Louis Theroux: Under The Knife

Louis Theroux: Under the Knife


Louis Theroux has been known to suffer for his art – letting himself be snuggled by a tipsy Christine Hamilton springs to mind. But surely going under the knife in the cause of research is taking things a bit too far?

Theroux volunteers for liposuction as part of this 2007 exploration of the plastic-surgery industry in Los Angeles. It doesn’t appear too gruesome, though what’s sucked out looks disturbingly like carrot and coriander soup. But why do it? It doesn’t add much to the programme, and feels a bit gimmicky. Neither are there many surprises here. Yes, plastic surgery is popular in LA, and yes, lots of women and men have some very odd ideas about what’s attractive and what’s not. But this is at its most interesting when Theroux manages to get behind the tight, grinning faces to see the unhappiness and insecurity beneath.


The roving broadcaster travels to California, the birthplace of plastic surgery, to investigate the obsession with beauty and self-image. In his quest he meets Eve, a domineering stylist and her client Laura, and DJ Kris, who is resorting to liposuction to achieve the six-pack he so desires, leading Louis to consider having a nip and tuck himself.

Cast & Crew

Director Emma Cooper
Producer Emma Cooper
Series Producer Stuart Cabb