Leotards and Vests: The Great British Workout

Leotards and Vests: The Great British Workout


This purports to be a potted history of the British appetite for exercise but – unlike your typical BBC4 documentary – there are no scholarly talking heads or highbrow hypotheses. Instead narrator Mark Benton (best known for playing tubby Northerners) pokes fun at stitched-together archive clips of us Brits looking pathetically pigeon-chested and pallid-thighed in unflattering kit, and regrets how “the great British diet” – our penchant for deep-fried fish, chips and lovely, lovely cakes – sabotages our sporting prowess. It’s terribly silly but still a welcome antidote to Olympics mania.


Mark Benton presents a humorous exploration of the ways British people keep fit, examining the tortures inflicted by bench presses, barbells, rowing machines and electric shock mittens.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Mark Benton
Executive Producer Caroline Wright
Producer Elaine Shepherd