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'I was scared witless but the op helped me go from 24 stones to 14': Dame Jenni Murray on her battle with obesity

BBC Woman's Hour presenter Dame Jenni Murray talks to Hannah Stephenson about her battle with obesity and the irreversible surgery she chose to shed 10 stone

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Jenni Murray

Jenni Murray

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Book jacket of Fat Cow, Fat Chance by Jenni Murray

Book jacket of Fat Cow, Fat Chance by Jenni Murray

Press Association Images

Jenni Murray

For much of her adult life, Dame Jenni Murray, longtime presenter of BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour, has been overweight, even obese. She has been called a 'fat cow' in the street many times, or taunted with cries of, 'Eh, love, who ate all the pies?'

"The taunting infuriated me and it hurt," says Murray (70) whose weight yo-yoed between 14 and 24 stones for some years. She had tried every diet, from Weight Watchers to Atkins and Dukon, but ended up putting back on all the weight and more, she recalls.

At 64, the presenter avoided the scales, refusing to make connections between her weight and health issues, telling herself she was fat and happy. In private she feared that being fat would probably kill her before she hit 70. She'd already had breast cancer - a disease which has been linked to obesity - and a double hip replacement.