They are the notoriously fat family whose combined 83st weight and reality TV show stardom won them the nickname The Telly Tubbies.But the chubby Chawners have lost a huge amount of weight – 26st mum Audrey has walked out, vowing never to return. Heartbroken husband Philip, 59, sobbed: “We are still in shock, I haven’t been eating or sleeping. I was Audrey’s carer for 29 years. I did everything for her. Now I feel like such a fool. I feel betrayed and I will never forgive her. She isn’t welcome back – ever.”
The family of four first came to public notice in 2007 when daughter Emma, now 26, flunked an X Factor audition, with Simon Cowell complaining she had the “voice of a baby”. Then all the family, including big sister Sam, 27, appeared in a six-part ITV series in 2009 called Lorraine Kelly’s Big Fat Challenge, where the presenter tried to help them lose weight.
It followed revelations they claimed an estimated £350,000 in benefits over 18 years and once weighed 91st between them. Emma said: “Mum had posted her front door key through, it was on the mat. It was such a big shock. When we said ’bye to her, she was completely normal.”
The trio, who suffer from a range of health problems, say the loss of Audrey’s benefits mean they will struggle to pay the rent and bills on their council home. And weight remains an issue. Emma got down to 17st in 2012 but is now over 20st and has also developed type 2 diabetes. And Sam, who got down to about 19st, has now climbed back up to 26st. “I just want to ask Audrey why,” says Philip. “And did you ever love me?”