Remember how, back in the day, they'd talk about how someone with a great personality might have a face for radio? Well, Joe Wicks might be the 2016 internet equivalent—except, the opposite. The indisputably handsome Instagram star behind @TheBodyCoach—he has 1.4 million followers on the photo-sharing platform—published Lean in 15 last year. Thanks to his robust fan base, the cooking and wellness book currently sits at the top of Amazon.co.uk's bestseller list and, according to a report in the Daily Mail, Wicks is earning an estimated $1.4 million each month. Last night, Wicks debuted his new television series, The Body Coach, on the UK's Channel 4 and, well, it's been roundly mocked and widely panned by both viewers and critics.
The show received a one-star review from Mail critic Christopher Stevens, who wrote a scathing critique: "Joe Wicks cannot be real. He must be a prank, a fake personality dreamed up by some comedian, to create Britain's most insanely irritating celebrity. He can't truly be that awful—he'd have been chased out of town long ago." Oh, it gets worse—and personal: "It's natural that anyone who loves himself this much will want his own TV show and, after a couple of years of parading on YouTube and Instagram, he gets his dream.... Louder than Jamie Oliver, as vain as Russell Brand, even more annoying than Mr Motivator, Joe Wicks reckons he can 'get you lean' in 90 days. There will be lots of tasty treats, too, which make him shout 'Naught-ee' and 'Guilt-ee' like a camp Danny Dyer."
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Meanwhile, over at the Guardian, Julia Raeside digs in: "It's a seductive cocktail, despite the shrill slang, that left me wanting to leap off the sofa and swing a couple of bean tins above my head. And hating myself for it, obviously. There is so much unabashed bosh and wallop you'd be forgiven for thinking he is taking the mick."
It's not just the critics—viewers seemed to find the entire show completely hilarious, annoying, and/or unbearable to watch. One accused him of being shouty: "Maybe if Joe Wicks cut his hair away from his ears, he wouldn't have to shout at us," tweeted Kate Attwood. And actor Neil Fitzmaurice chalked it up to an elaborate prank on the part of the TV illuminati: "Someone please tell me that The show Joe Wicks Body Coach is an elaborate piss take comedy show! He's like Jamie Oliver on steds!"
Missed Wicks' debut episode? Check out the trailer for yourself, right here: