Boris Johnson has enlisted the help of a celebrity personal trainer as he attempts to shed the pounds after his near-death battle with coronavirus.
The Prime Minster was snapped running near Westminster in central London today with trainer to the stars Harry Jameson as he continues his weight battle ahead of a potential second wave of the virus in the winter.
Mr Johnson wore a strained expression during his jog, with Mr Jameson appearing to feed him instructions on their way through the park.
The hulking personal trainer, who describes himself as an ‘elite performance coach’, is the son of Doctor Who actress Louise Jameson, who played the character of Leela in the BBC show, companion to Tom Baker’s Doctor.
She also played Rosa di Marco on EastEnders for more than 200 episodes.
Her son’s new job training the Prime Minister comes after roles with a slew of celebrities, including Love Island presenter Laura Whitmore, Hollywood actor Dolph Lundgren and former footballer Wayne Bridge.
He also appears on Ms Whitmore’s BBC radio show as the resident health wellness expert.
Now, his task is to help Mr Johnson lose weight after the Prime Minister admitted his poor condition contributed to his struggles with coronavirus.
It is unclear how Mr Jameson’s services are being paid for, with the trainer described as ‘elite and award winning’ and boasting a client list that includes Twitter, ITV and ASOS. He has also curated one-on-one fitness training for senior leaders at Quintessentially, Chelsea Football Club and the Soho House Group.
Writing in 2018, Mr Johnson suggested that a ‘national weakness of will’ was costing taxpayers’ tens of billions of pounds in dealing with the consequences of obesity.
He wrote: ‘We are spending tens of billions of taxpayers’ money on the consequences of this national weakness of will.
‘We expect the state to pay for all the premature cancers and cardiovascular diseases we contract as a result of our obesity, to say nothing of stapling our stomachs and liposuctioning our thighs.’
On his website, personal trainer Mr Jameson says he works on physical and nutritional health and mental wellbeing ‘through mindfulness, meditation and stress management, as well as leadership and goal setting for senior teams’.
It is unclear what programme the Prime Minister will follow with Mr Jameson, though the trainer touts a four week ‘body blitz’ for men.
It reads: ‘No gym needed. No excuses. Invest in a workout mat, two dumb bells and train from anywhere, at any time. Each week will be more challenging than the last, recruiting new muscle groups to ensure you get that full body tone.
‘Follow this program for the next four weeks to see the maximal effect and for best results train 5 times a week. Finally, eat a solid diet and get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.’
If Mr Johnson follows the plan, he would have to do push ups, mountain climbers, jumping squats and clap crunches in week one. He would have to do each exercise non-stop for 30 seconds with a minute’s rest in between. He would have to do the exercises three times each.
In week two, he’d have to do superman press ups, mountain climbers, jumping squats and bicycle crunches. Week three would include dumbbell burpees, squat push-press, reverse lunges while holding dumbbells and Russian twists. Finally, week four includes burpee press ups, squat curl and press, dumbbell swing and crunch press.
It is unclear if Mr Johnson is following the intensive plan, though a Number 10 source confirmed he had hired Mr Jameson.
They told the Evening Standard: ‘Yes, he has engaged a personal trainer. I can confirm it is Harry Jameson. It’s because he is really serious about getting fit, as anyone who has seen him over the past couple of months knows. Boris is raring to go.’
It comes as the prime minister insisted he was fighting fit yesterday – after Dominic Cummings’ father-in-law suggested he was planning to quit within six months after struggling to recover from the virus.
Sir Humphry Wakefield is said to have told a holidaymaker who visited his castle in Northumberland that the Prime Minister is still suffering longer-term ill effects of coronavirus and could resign.
But speaking on a visit to Appledore shipyard in Devon, Mr Johnson said: ‘It’s absolute nonsense.
‘I am feeling, if anything, far better as I’ve lost some weight.’
Baronet Sir Humphry, 84, a former soldier and interior designer whose journalist daughter Mary is married to top aide Mr Cummings, likened the Prime Minister to a horse that is made to work while injured, leaving it permanently lame, according to the Times.
‘If you put a horse back to work when it’s injured it will never recover,’ it reported him as saying.
Mr Johnson spent more than a week in hospital with coronavirus in early April, including a stint in intensive care.
And many of those who have suffered report still suffering the lingering effects of its attack on their systems months after leaving hospital or their home sick bed.
His illness at the end of March sent shockwaves through Westminster as he became the first major world leader affected.
He spent three nights in intensive care amid a week in London’s St Thomas’s Hospital receiving oxygen treatment and Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, took temporary charge, as a worried nation waits for news.
Prayers and well wishes were offered from across the globe, with NHS nurses even praying for his recovery.
Four weeks previously he was still shaking hands at official engagements and ahead of interviews with the likes of Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, and insisting it was fine as long as you washed your hands afterwards.
After being discharged from hospital at the end of April he spent a couple of weeks with Carrie Symonds recuperating at his country retreat, Chequers, before returning to Downing Street to take charge again.
Since his return he has shown an increased interest in his own fitness and that of the nation.
Last month he revealed he had lost more than a stone in weight since his coronavirus scare as he urged Britons to join him in getting fit this summer to ward off the worst of the disease.
Obesity has been flagged as a major risk factor for coronavirus, with researchers finding that obese people have a 37 per cent higher risk of dying from it. One in four Britons is obese.
The Prime Minister has urged overweight Britons to shed the pounds.
Speaking on a visit to a London health centre yesterday to encourage uptake of the winter flu jab the PM, who has been photographed running since his return to Downing Street, told reporters: ‘I’m on the way, I’ve lost about a stone and a bit. Primarily by eating less, but also by a lot of exercise.’
At the same time he appeared to abandon long-held libertarian instincts with support for moves to ban junk food adverts from TV before the 9pm watershed and outlaw online ads altogether.
Retail and advertising executives have been told the plans will include a ban on TV ads for junk food such as burgers and chocolate before 9pm . A ban on online adverts is also expected, as are restrictions on buy-one-get-one-free supermarket deals.
It comes amid fears of a second wave of coronavirus in Britain.
The UK could go into a second national lockdown if it sees a rise in cases like Spain, a senior official warned last week.
More ‘nationwide measures’ could be brought in to combat rising infections after the R-rate crept over one for the first time since restrictions were lifted in July.
Senior officials said local outbreaks could skew the reproduction number, which needs to stay below one to avoid another rise in infections, but another nationwide lockdown could soon be necessary to curb the spread.
Mr Johnson said another lockdown was a ‘nuclear deterrent’ in an interview with The Daily Telegraph last month – effectively ruling out the option of a second nationwide shutdown.
But officials are reportedly keen to avoid a situation like Spain, where 142 cases per 100,000 people represents the fastest growing infection rate in Europe.
A senior government source told The Daily Telegraph: ‘If it doesn’t get contained it may be that some things that have been open, you need to think about whether measures need to be taken to reverse things.
‘The strategy is to manage this through local outbreak management, but if it moves in the direction of Spain, then clearly you can see what’s happening there, and in France, people are making more nationwide measures.’
They added that the prospect of national lockdown depended on the ‘trajectory’ of the spread and how quickly outbreaks can be dealt with.
Another source told the newspaper: ‘We’re looking at a pretty bumpy autumn and winter and that’s going to go in the direction of increased cases and increased outbreaks.’ The daily case number in the UK is nearly double the tally at the beginning of June, and is likely to increase further once schools reopen in September.