Michelle does the barking while another 'loser' goes down.

Michelle does the barking while another 'loser' goes down.

Isn't it great that The Biggest Loser is back? Such a marvellous, heart-warming show, isn't it? Inspirational. Seeing people fulfil their dreams, of not being disgusting freaks who don't deserve to be a part of normal society. It's beautiful seeing these creatures, who have forfeited their right to be considered human beings, being brought back to the bounds of decency by the gentle mercies of Michelle ''run you fat pig'' Bridges, Shannan ''more sit-ups, Lardy!'' Ponton and The ''I'm so tough my face can't move'' Commando.

I'm not saying The Biggest Loser is a negative influence; I'm just saying that letting your kids watch it should bring you to the notice of the authorities.

The Biggest Loser is, to its credit, a show that knows what it does and does it well. It's just that what it does is incredibly loathsome.  

It's not often I worry about ''messages'' in TV - as far as I'm concerned the message of Family Guy is ''Funny!'' and the message of Buffy the Vampire Slayer was ''Sexy Fights!'' - but TBL claims to be transmitting a message it's not.

The message the show purports to be sending is: ''Anything is possible: if you work hard and believe in yourself, you can turn your life around''. However, the message the show is actually sending is: ''Ew! Look at these horrible fatties! Aren't they gross! Look at them try to run! Look at their big, wobbly bellies and stupid, red, sweaty faces! See their pain! Hahahahahahaha!''

The Biggest Loser is, to its credit, a show that knows what it does and does it well. It's just that what it does is incredibly loathsome. The average episode is divided into four segments: the Working Out While Obnoxious Skinny People Yell; the Being Given a Pointless Task by Hayley Lewis; the Tinkly Piano Music While We Talk about Your Childhood; and the Ridiculously Elongated Weigh-In. At the beginning of the series we are also introduced to the contestants by going to their houses and seeing them serve up absurd, elephantine portions of food, inflatable pools full of mashed potato and whole cows stuffed with Coco Pops, because the producer told them to.

But we quickly shift into the normal routine.

Except for The Twist! Last season's twist was that all the fatties were losers who didn't deserve loving relationships. This season's is that they are fat parents and the fat children whose lives they've ruined. So we can expect a whole lot of emotional chats with the children, making it clear they have to stop blaming their parents for their blubberiness, and also with the parents, making it clear that it's their fault their child is a repellent, socially unacceptable specimen of megafauna. And, of course, a lot of emotional chats with everyone about how if they don't get back on that treadmill and let Michelle bark like a coked-up seal in their ear for another hour, they are going to die next week.

And there you have it - The Biggest Loser, the show for everyone who believes being overweight makes a person worthless, and that anyone who refuses to lose weight deserves loneliness, derision and an early death. And that anyone can get into shape, as long as they have a personal trainer working on them full-time and cameras on them 24/7 to prevent them ever straying from their prescribed diet. But I'm sure most people can manage that.

Oh, isn't it great to have it back? Don't forget to point and laugh!