Caroline Flack has defended a new cosmetic surgery-based programme after being criticised by Jameela Jamil and others.
Flack will host Channel 4’s The Surjury next year, a show that sees people pitching ideas for their dream surgeries to convince a jury of peers and experts to approve their life-changing operations.
Those wanting free cosmetic surgery must secure 75% of the jury vote to get their procedure and, months later, “will be invited back to show off the results”.
Although the show – which Channel 4 has previously said will not “glamorise nor condemn” the choices made by participants – has not yet aired, actress and body positivity activist Jamil took aim at its premise on Twitter.
“Welp. Black Mirror is officially happening guys. It’s here,” Jamil wrote, referring to Charlie Brooker’s dystopian series.
Flack replied to Jamil: “Have you managed to see a copy before me ? Please forward .. am desperate to see..”
Flack was then asked by a Twitter user how she can defend a show that is “toxic and exploitative”, to which she replied: “Because I’ve filmed it and the people who have taken part are amazing and have been through a lot and life is about individual choice …”
Another fan asked if the show is recorded in a “positive, compassionate way”, adding to Flack: “After reading about your personal journey with your mental health I’m surprised at your choice of job but ultimately they would have got another presenter.”
The Love Island presenter replied: “Well mental health is a sensitive subject and as we progress we are constantly asked to be more open and visible.
“My feeling toward the show is that it opens up conversations on why some people turn to surgery to help them lead the life that they believe will make them happier.”
A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: “Cosmetic surgery has become an increasingly mainstream choice in Britain. The Surjury seeks to explore why so many people feel the need to change their bodies, and whether surgery actually makes them happier.
“All contributors featured in the series have actively been seeking surgery of their own accord. This new series allows them to consult with surgical teams and then to discuss their reasons for wanting it with a panel of their peers.
“If their peers support their decision they will undergo the procedure of their choice subject to the usual surgical checks and consent processes.
“The show will neither glamorise nor condemn their choices: the aim is instead to interrogate the realities of cosmetic surgery.”
They added: “Duty of care to contributors is of paramount importance and all will be independently assessed by the clinic who will carry out their procedure.
“They will be psychologically assessed and supported regarding their involvement in the programme.”