Catholic schools’ Aspire production, Dark Matter, to play at Civic Theatre

REVIEW: Aspire musical gets to the dark heart of the matter TweetFacebook Dark Matter – Aspire 2018Photos: Jonathan CarrollA STORY set during a lockdown in a secondary school might not appear to be a good subject matter for a musical play, but this engrossing production by Aspire, the Hunter Catholic schools organisation that helps students develop their skills in performing arts, shows the very diverse impacts the event has on children, teachers and other people associated with a school.

There are amusing scenes, for example, that have boy and girl students, who were in the school’s adjoining toilets when the lockdown began, trying to communicate through a narrow gap in the wall just below the ceiling.

The students locked into classrooms react in very different ways, with some voicing feelings about others, the teachers, and things that have happened to them that they have previously not said.

The teachers are frustrated by the lockdown, with the event helping a new young male teacher to make up his mind that it’s not the job for him.

The staging, by Aspire artistic director Anna Kerrigan, who also wrote the play, and her team, has watchers sympathising with the characters at times, as well as laughing at the more amusing words and actions.

The song and dance routineshave engagingly diverse styles. There is a Michael Jackson song,They Don’t Care About Us, which has children voicing their frustrations.

One song, presented while the students are discussing whether the lockdown has been caused by creatures such as vampires, has dance ensemble members dressed like white ghosts, with five of them moving around on long white stilts.

As indicated above, the staging team and the performers have made excellent use of the Civic Theatre stage area.

While many of the song-and-dance numbers have movement around the whole stage, there are scenes where the focus is on just a few people in a small space.

The school’s four cleaners, for example, whom neither teachers or students like, have a very funny sequence where they are voicing an amusingly revamped discussion between the witches inMacbeth.

The band ensemble, in the orchestra pit, likewise help make the variety of song styles very engaging.

The Upper Hunter’s Dartbrook coalmine gets a new half-owner

CHANGE IN THE WIND: Dartbrook’s owner has sold a half-stake in the venture for $20 million. It has plans to reopen the shuttered longwall underground, but as a bord-and-pillar mine producing 1.5 million tonnes a year.DARTBROOK’S owner Australian Pacific Coal has agreed to sell a half share in the mine to a private Canadian company, Stella Natural Resources, for $20 million.

Australian Pacific Coal –or AQC to use its stock exchange listing initials – was originally a comeback vehicle for Nathan Tinkler but he no longer has any public role with the company, which is backed by wealthy business families from the Northern Territory.

Stella has its corporate base in Canada butmost of its executive team, including former Wollongong Coal boss David Stone, have held senior roles with big resources sector companies, including Glencore.

AQC announced its purchase of Dartbrook from Anglo American in December 2015 for $25 million. Its eventual aim isto run an open-cut mine on the lease, but it is also seeking approval to reopen the shuttered Dartbrook underground, but as a small bord-and-pillar operation rather than the longwall shut in 2006. Submissions responding to the underground mine’s environmental assessment show Muswellbrook andUpper Hunter shire councils raising various concerns butstopping short of opposing the project outright.

In a statement announcingthe joint venture, AQC said the Stella Natural Resources team had “significant coalmining experience” and would be responsible for developing and operating the Dartbrook operations.

In a sign that AQC may end up selling more of the operation, it said Stella would also be responsible for “the procurement of all required funding for the life of the operation”.

“AQC will not be required to contribute directly to any holding, development or operational costs at Dartbrook,” the company’s statement said. It said the Dartbrook Joint Venture would lend AQC $10 million to repay a loan from Anglo American.

David Stone, Stella’s chief executive, said Dartbrook was his company’s “entry operation into the Australian coal sector . . . and we look forward to expanding our footprint”.

On the reopening of the underground mine, Muswellbrook council says “many other” mines in its local government area, including Mount Arthur, Mangoola and an extension of Bengalla, were “not contemplated” when Dartbrook was approved, meaning that “any assessment of cumulative environmental and social impacts completed for the original proposal is now out of date and unreliable as a predicator of impact”.

Upper Hunter council says the underground mine is unlikely to be financiallyviable given its small size.It asks whether AQC has “a genuine interest” in the underground mine or whether it is “simply buying time” to develop the open-cut.

Muswellbrookraises dust concerns overDartbrook’s intention to sell unwashed or “run-of-mine coal”, noting that the environmental assessment “generally doesn’t consider the impacts of the mine beyond the immediate boundaries of the site”.

The council also raises questions about predicted dust levels based on 24-hour averages, saying this measure “has the unintended consequence of obscuring issues of elevated dust levels at night”. It says not enough is known about the human health impacts of high dust levels at night and calls on the NSW government to fund a study on the subject.


Anglo sells Dartbrook

Tinkler in Dartbrook purchase

Dartbrook underground proposal

Dartbrook seeks approval to reopen

Aussie climber rescued from NZ mountain

An Australian soldier trapped by severe weather on a New Zealand mountain for nearly a week has been flown to safety, with rescuers saying he was found just in time.

Lieutenant Terry Harch, 29, was found alive and with mild frostbite on his hands on Thursday night after days of efforts to rescue him from the South Island’s Mount Aspiring were frustrated by gales, sub-zero temperatures and snow.

With a brief gap opening up in the weather on Friday afternoon, he was choppered out in what’s been described as a “snatch and grab” by the pilot.

He’ll be treated at Dunedin Hospital, about 300km away.

Four alpine rescuers equipped with clothes, tents and much-needed food spent the night with Lt Harch as helicopter pilots patiently waited for a window in harsh conditions on Friday.

“It’s a great result as we did not want the climber spending another night on the mountain,” Rescue Coordination Centre officer Neville Blakemore said.

Southern Lakes Helicopters pilot Sean Mullally told the NZ Herald that Lt Harch was lucky to be alive when help arrived.

“I don’t think he would have lasted another night,” he said.

Officials say Lt Harch would have used his military training to survive, likely by digging out a shelter in the snow.

They described it as “extraordinary” he was standing and waving when a helicopter spotted him on Thursday.

“[He] has been sheltering for the past two nights at the pass and he has clearly made some good decisions to be able to survive the bad weather, heavy snow and high winds,” search and rescue officer Geoff Lunt said.

Lt Harch is an experienced mountaineer and previously scaled Mount Cook for military charity Soldier On.

He was in good spirits when found, rescuers said.

Arriving at the national park last Friday, he is thought to have left his heavier gear behind to make a quick ascent – not unusual practice – before being caught out by the weather.

The alarm was raised on Monday and rescue crews watched his beacon moving around the mountain for days as concerns grew.

More than 30 people have died around the popular national park surrounding Mount Aspiring in the past decade, with mountain safety groups frequently warning of the risks posed by New Zealand’s rugged landscapes in winter.

Australian Associated Press

Trump-Putin doco set for August release

A documentary which details the decades-long connection between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin is set to be released on August 31.

The doco titled “Active Measures” was made by Jack Bryan and was acquired by Super LTD after it aired in April at the Hot Docs festival in Toronto.

It includes reporting on Trump’s alleged dealings with Russian mob figures and analysis about Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.

In the film, Bryan alleges that Putin has engaged for 30 years in covert political warfare devised to disrupt, influence, and ultimately control world events through cyber attacks, propaganda campaigns and corruption.

He asserts that the trail of money, real estate, mob connections, and on the record confessions lead directly back to the White House.

The film includes interviews with Senator John McCain, Hillary Clinton, former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Steven Hall (former CIA Chief of Russia Operations), author Michael Isikoff, John Podesta, Jeremy Bash (former CIA Chief of Staff and Pentagon Chief of Staff), and James Woolsey (former CIA director).

Produced by Shooting Films’ Bryan, Laura DuBois, and Marley Clements, “Active Measures” was co-written by Bryan and Clements.

“When we embarked on this project we thought we’d find a scandal but what we uncovered was the greatest threat to democracy in almost a century,” Bryan said.

“It is impossible to understand what is happening today unless you know how it started and why. Once you do the news becomes terrifyingly predictable.”

Bryan began filming May 10, 2017, the day after Trump fired James Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The title of the film is a Soviet term for the actions of political warfare conducted by the Soviet and Russian security services to influence the course of world events.

The deal was negotiated by Super LTD and CAA on behalf of the filmmakers.

Super LTD’s debut film was Anthony Bourdain’s “Wasted: The Story of Food Waste.”

Australian Associated Press

Sporting Declaration: It is now four years since there were any additions to the Knights’ Hall of Fame.

CLUB LEGEND: Robbie O’Davis won two grand finals with Newcastle and represented Queensland and Australia. He would be a worthy addition to the club’s Hall of Fame.THE Immortals is a wonderful concept based on a perplexing process.

Much as I love the nostalgia of celebrating and honouring rugby league’s greatest champions, and have marvelled at the archival vision of their playing days, the business of selecting them has been as random as a dog’s breakfast.

The original Immortals –Clive Churchill, Reg Gasnier, Johnny Raper and Bob Fulton –were chosen in 1981 as a promotional gimmick, designed to boost sales for a Hunter Valley vineyard and Rugby League Week magazine.

There was something slightly mythical about the notion of four players, all of whom were before my time, being so far above and beyond anyone else who had ever played the game that they were considered worthy of their own exclusive club.

And so they remained for 18 years, until it was decided they needed some company.

That Wally Lewis was inducted next was no great surprise. He was, after all, “the King” of the 1980s, the man who almost single-handedly put State of Origin on the map.

What was slightly harder to fathom was the inclusion of Graeme Langlands. If he was considered in 1981 and overlooked, did this now mean the goalposts had moved?

It was a similarly vexing dilemma in 2003, when Arthur Beetson was added to the list, despite having failed to make the grade four years earlier.

This week five moreplayers were inducted. Three of them –Dally Messenger, Dave Brown and Frank Burge –were installed after revamping the criteria to consider players before World War II for the first time.

The others were Norm Provan and Mal Meninga, who had previously missed the cut four and three times respectively.

Adding to the confusion (at least in my own head), Meninga was named in 2008 as starting centre in the Australian Rugby League’s team of the century.

Fulton, who played centre in Manly’s 1972 and 1973 grand final victories, was chosen on the bench, despite (at the time) outranking Meninga with his Immortal status.

Meanwhile, atWednesday’s unveiling of the five new inductees, Darren Lockyer was regarded as anunlucky omission. The former Brisbane, Queensland and Kangaroos captain, however, isseemingly a shoo-infor the next induction opportunity, in 2022.

“The feeling was perhaps that Locky’s time will come,” selection-panel chairman Ian Heads said afterwards.

In other words, Lockyer has to wait in the queue, unlike Joey Johns, who was fast-tracked at the first available opportunity.

None of which, incidentally, is designed to query the credentials of the 13 men chosen, all of whom have beenthoroughly deserving.

On the subject of honour rolls, perhaps it would be timely for the Newcastle Knights to tap into the interest generated by the Immortals and expand their own Hall of Fame.

Newcastle’s Hall of Fame was founded in 2012, and the inaugural inductees were Andrew Johns, Paul Harragon, Michael Hagan, Matt Gidley and the late Allan McMahon.

Two years later, Danny Buderus, Tony Butterfield and Mark Sargent were included.

It is now four years since there were any additions, although apparentlythere were discussions around that subject last year that amounted to nothing.

My understanding is the selection panel –Michael Hill, Leigh Maughan, Allan Bell, Brett Keeble and Mike Rabbitt – are available to update the Hall of Fame whenever their services are required.

But they first need to be commissioned by Knights management.

Given that the club’s annual presentation dinner is only a matter of weeks away, I would suggestthere is no time like the present.

A Hall of Fame induction, or two, would be a highlight of the evening.

As for the likely candidates, I would find it hard to split Kurt Gidley, Robbie O’Davis and Malcolm Reilly.

Gidley played in 251 first-grade games for Newcastle, second only to Buderus, and also 12 Tests and 12 Origins, captaining NSW in the 2009 and 2010 series.

He held the club together during some lean seasons.

O’Davis is one of only five players to have featured in both Newcastle’s grand final triumphs, earning the Clive Churchill Medal in 1997.

With 223 games, 12 Origins and six Tests to his name, he retired, reluctantly, in 2004 as a club legend.

If McMahon was the coach who laid the foundations in Newcastle’s formative seasons, Reilly was the man who took the club to the next level and convinced a talented group of players they could become champions.

After steering the Knights to their unforgettable premiership win in 1997, he returned to Yorkshire a year later, becoming one of the few coaches to leave a club on his own terms, still revered by his players and the club’s supporters.

Other names such as Steve Simpson, Adam MacDougall, Matthew Johns, Timana Tahu, Ben Kennedy, Adam Muir, Marc Glanville, Mark Hughes and Bill Peden deserve to feature in discussions.

Eventually all warrant inclusion in Newcastle’s Hall of Fame. Hopefully they won’t be kept waiting as long as some of the Immortals.

‘Possible criminal offence’ in union raids

Leanne Close refused to say if government ministers including Michaelia Cash had assisted police.The Australian Federal Police believes a criminal offence may have been committed in relation to leaks about raids on union premises linked to Jobs Minister Michaelia Cash’s office.

The AFP has referred evidence to the commonwealth prosecutor after investigating raids on Australian Workers’ Union headquarters in Sydney and Melbourne last October.

“We do believe an offence may have been committed,” AFP deputy commissioner Leanne Close told a Senate hearing on Friday.

The AFP is investigating the leak of information which led to media being tipped off and arriving before police raiding the offices.

Ms Close said dozens of people had been interviewed during the investigation, but refused to say if government ministers including Senator Cash had assisted police.

AFP officers raided the union offices last year as part of an investigation by the Registered Organisations Commission.

One of Senator Cash’s media advisers quit after admitting to informing media about the raids.

Under questioning from Labor senator Murray Watt, Ms Close said it could jeopardise the investigation if she confirmed or denied if ministers had been interviewed.

She also declined to detail what crimes may have been committed and how many people could be implicated.

Liberal senator and committee chair Ian Macdonald said the AFP’s refusal to rule out investigating Senator Cash proved nothing.

The minister has also claimed public interest immunity in answering questions over whether she has been investigated.

Labor’s workplace relations spokesman Brendan O’Connor believes that explanation doesn’t stack up.

“It is in the public interest to know if the AFP is investigating the role of the minister and her office in the leak and Senator Cash should come clean,” Mr O’Connor said in a statement.

Earlier in the week, a spokeswoman for Senator Cash said there was no suggestion she was the subject of any investigation or referral of information to the prosecutor.

Senator Cash has repeatedly made clear she had nothing to do with alleged unauthorised disclosure of information.

Australian Associated Press

Sam Poolman’s GWS Giants playing for the Super Netball minor premiership

MOTIVATED: Newcastle’s Sam Poolman, left, in action during the Super Netball this season. She is determined to put out a strong performance this weekend to help GWS Giants secure the minor premiership and a home semi-final. Picture: AAP ImagesSam Poolman has not forgotten how hard it was to make last year’s Super Netball grand final from third spot, nor the pain of then being well-beaten in the decider.

Those memories will drivethe Newcastle defender and herGWS Giants teammates as this weekend, with destiny in their own hands, they host West Coast Fever in a game which will determine the minor premiership.

Fever sit in first place with 70 points and the Giants are one point behind as they prepare to do battle at the International Convention Centre on Saturday night.

For the Giants it is simple –a win and they not only securethe minor premiership but also a home semi-final and the scenario of going straight through to another decider with a win in the first weekend of finals.

But a loss and they could end up fourth, depending on other results.

Five teams, including Sunshine Coast Lightning (63 points), Queensland Firebirds (62) and Melbourne Vixens(57), are still in the mix for a top-four finish.

“We could go from hosting our semi-final to playing off in third versus fourth to try to get into the grand final the long way,” Poolman said.

“There’s a lot to play for, which is why you play sport and it’s exciting.”

Bonus points have been introduced this season, which means teams get four points for a win, two points for a draw and one bonus point for every quarter won.

The Giants picked up a crucial eight points in their 66-56 win over the Collingwood Magpies last weekend to secure a finals berth.

It came after a 14-goal loss to the Firebirds in round 11 then a two-goal win over the Vixens in round 12.

“For the last three games Julie has been adamant with what we’re playing for,” Poolman said.

“We went into Vixens and that game was crucial because that week she was saying,‘If you don’t win this game you’re not going to make fourth’.

“We were top two but we could’ve lost that game and been outof finals.

“Thengoing into the [Magpies] game they worked out we needed 11 points from two games, so that not only creates pressure to win games but you have to get points.

“Because we got the eight points last week it’s put us in a good position, so we don’t have to worry about bonus points now.We just need to win the game, which is a nice position to be in.”

The last time the two sides met, in round six on June 2, Fever won 63-61 and Poolman expected another tight tussle but hoped a vocal NSW crowd could get them across the line.

“We weren’t happy with a loss against them last time,” the Giants defender said.

“Now we’re in a position where we want to play for a home final.We want to host and that adds a little bit more to wanting to win and to want to finish in that place.

“You want to play in front of your fans.You want your family there. You want that advantage and everything that goes with it and that’s definitely what we’re playing for. I think it will be a ripper game.”

The Giants’ match against Fever starts at 7pm.

Enjoying Beer and Mangan over a winter’s lunch

Luke Mangan and Maggie Beer … a great partnership in the kitchen. I’m old enough to remember the days when the Sydney and Melbourne Hiltons first opened in their current guise and ran a clever series of black-and-white half-page ads that tongue-in-cheek mocked the other — and particularly the cultural status of the other’s city of origin.

I don’t know so much about Melbourne but in Sydney the arrival of this quite brash, yet eminently classy newcomer served to totally change the landscape of the city’s accommodation scene.

Sydney suddenly had digs that could comfortably be rated alongside New York’s, London’s and Paris’s best. You could almost hear the Peter Stuyvesant cigarette commercial playing in the background.

But that was more than 40 years ago, and these days the Hilton is very much an established part of the Sydney landscape. Staying at the Hilton is just what the well-heeled do, isn’t it?

The Sydney Hilton … very much an established part of the Sydney landscape. Image: Artur Feraro.

So it’s quite right that the Sydney Hilton’s kitchens should be in the hands of Luke Mangan, one of the country’s best-known chefs, and that its showpiece should be his Glass Brasserie, complete with a splendid view of the historic Queens Victoria Building, even if that view doesn’t stretch down to the city’s fabled harbour itself.

Quite frankly, Mangan is a culinary genius who has proved his worth in the kitchens of places such as Salt, Luke’s Kitchen and Chicken Confidential, and a bevy of cookbooks.

It somehow seems appropriate that Luke has teamed this winter with the Barossa Valley’s Maggie Beer, undoubtedly the country’s best-known cook — she won’t call herself a chef because that implies a level of formal training that she’s never had — to produce a special lunch-time menu in Glass Brasserie.

Maggie Beer’s seville-marmalade-glazed pork belly with verjuice, potato purée and cavolo nero.

The duo are serving up a collaborative winter menuthat features a series of delicious seasonal dishes packed full of fresh, quality produce from around New South Wales and Maggie’s home state, South Australia.

Maggie’s signature dishes including her mustard-pear-stuffed chicken breast with crushed parsnip and jus, made with pears from her orchard in the Barossa, seville-marmalade-glazed pork belly with verjuice, potato purée and cavolo nero, and her cumin-roasted sweet potato and black barley with tahini and Persian feta.

Those with a sweet-tooth can upgrade their experience to include Maggie’s signature verjuice custard with bergamot-braised raisin clusters, from the dessert menu.

Maggie Beer’s verjuice custard with bergamot-braised raisin clusters.

On a recent visit, I tried Maggie’s dishes of pork belly and vanilla custard, plus a small serving of Luke’s mushroom fettuccine, all washed down with a bottle of his signature Yarra Valley pinot noir.

The simple verdict. All delicious thanks, in a gorgeous venue and with an impeccable standard of service.

And if you’re thinking of baulking at the $29 lunch charge, then think of where you are and about who’s been responsible, ultimately, for preparing the food.

You’re having lunch in one of central Sydney’s few hatted restaurants, and your meal has been designed by two of the country’s leading culinary advocates.

The Glass Bar … Luke Mangan’s pride at the Sydney Hilton.

The menu is on offer available Monday to Friday from 12-2pm until August 31. Visit www.hiltonsydney南京夜網.au

Commonwealth Bank to give farmers break

The Commonwealth Bank has bowed to federal pressure and will allow farmers to offset money put away in good times against mortgages.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud welcomed the move on Friday after earlier challenging the bank to offer the measure to help drought-stricken farmers.

Commonwealth Bank will offer a credit adjustment for customers with eligible farm management deposits and business loans.

“I commend CBA on its strength of character,” Mr Littleproud said.

“Yesterday I gave them an uppercut but today they deserve a bouquet. They showed courage and leadership.”

The bank’s executive general manager of regional and agribusiness banking, Grant Cairns, believes the move will give farmers additional peace of mind.

“Our priority is helping farmers who are doing it tough because of the drought,” he said in a statement.

The mechanism allows primary producers to remove money from their taxable income during good years to use during tough times.

Rural Bank, NAB and CBA now offer farmers the ability to have farm management deposits used as offsets against their loans but ANZ and Westpac don’t.

“I hope ANZ and Westpac have announcements coming on this issue,” Mr Littleproud said.

Earlier in the week, the Commonwealth Bank donated $2 million to drought relief.

That includes $1.75 million to the Australian Red Cross’s national fundraising appeal while $250,000 will support charity Rural Aid’s Buy a Bale program.

The bank made nearly $10 billion profit last year.

Mr Littleproud said the message on farm management deposits was sent loud and clear to the banks at a recent drought meeting in Canberra.

But Labor’s agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon accused the government of inaction on drought since coming to power in 2013.

“I’m tiring of Turnbull government ministers blaming everyone else for the situation we now find ourselves, having done next to nothing over the course of the last five years,” he told AAP.

He has unveiled a drought mitigation policy which uses agricultural research and development corporations to help farmers build defences against climate change.

If Labor wins the election, it would pursue a Commonwealth-state drought relief agreement.

“This is not something that’s going to help a farmer tomorrow or next week or even next month,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

“But if we’d done this work over the last five years, people would be coping much better with drought.”

Australian Associated Press

Why everyone is talking about Netflix’s Insatiable

PROBLEMATIC: Riley-Rose Harper says while the new Netflix series Insatiable is fictional, the thought processes are real. Netflix is about to release a new TV show called Insatiable.

Before you get excited over a new binge-worthy show, you should know more than 200,000 people have signed an online petition calling for it to be cancelled. That’s a lot of disgruntled internet users, am I right?

The show is a satire, a teenage comedy reminiscent of shows such as Degrassi High or even movies like Mean Girls.

So why are 200,000 people hating on it, describing the show as “fat-shaming”,and even going as far as to say it could induce eating disorders?

Let me explain.The plot revolves around the main character, Patty – or “Fatty Patty” –who’s played by former Disney star Debbie Ryan wearing an unconvincing fat suit.

Fatty Pattygets taunted by your stereotypical bullies and generally portrayed as your stereotypical loser.

So, after she spends a summer with her jaw wired shut due to an injury, she drops a heap of weight, returns to high school with a bangin’ bod and evidently also discovers make-up and hoop earrings. As you do.

Her new found “hotness”prompts her to seek revenge on the people that bullied her and avenge her former “fat”self.

I was never seriously bullied in high school but I definitely know what it’s like to want to change the way you look.

I remember viewing the six-week summer holidays as a prime opportunity to go on a diet and come back to school in January looking completely different.

And yep, this fantasy also involved me walking slow-mo down the corridor of my high school with everyone looking on amazed at me.

Now that I’m a bit older I know that’s ridiculous.

But sometimes, that’s the way the minds of 14-year-old kids work, and the desire to be “liked”or “popular” makes us a bit cray-cray (kids still say cray-cray, yeah?)

Sure, I get this new Netflix show is designed to make us laugh.

But the truth is, Fatty Pattybeing bullied and made fun of because of her size is, unfortunately, a common occurrence in most schools.

The theme of the show echoes problematic thinking that even adults struggle with – that everything miraculously changes when you get thin. Your life will be better and you’ll inherit a sassy little attitude to go with it.

The show is fictional … these thought processes are real.

Who cares about ratings or streams.This series could be damaging, and that’s the premise of the online petition to cancel it.

The fact is, it’s teenagers who are going to watch this show on Netflix and further confirm in their impressionable minds that if you don’t want to be aloser,you can’t look like Fatty Patty.

The online petition itself states: “For so long, the narrative has told women and young impressionable girls that in order to be popular, have friends, to be desirable for the male gaze, and to some extent be a worthy human … that we must be thin.”

This petition is attracting fiercely passionate support, withmothers of those with eating disorders and even dieticians all pleading for the show to be cancelled.

Netflix’s vice president of original programming, Cindy Holland, defended the series saying: “Ultimately, the message of the show is that what is most important is that you feel comfortable in your own self. Fat-shaming itself, that criticism, is embedded in the DNA of the show.”

I totally agree – we should be encouraging people to feel comfortable in their own self.

However, is this plotline really highlighting that?

I signed the petition because this plotline was also around when I was growing up and it gave me a warped sense of popularity.

I signed it because Hollywood needs to stop using ridiculous and unconvincing fat suits. And I signed it because of the kids who might watch Insatiable and question their own sense of self, body shape or popularity.

And if one more signature can potentially move to avoid that, I’ll put my name down.

Insatiablepremieres on Netflix this Friday.

Riley-Rose Harper is a presenter on the Hit Radio Network.