Marc Fennell: 'I’ve always had a really bad relationship with food'

Alicia Vrajlal
Entertainment Editor
Marc Fennell admits he’s had his own share of insecurities, one of which is related to body image. Photo: Build Series Sydney

He’s been in the media industry for the past 15 years and fronts popular news and current affairs show, The Feed, but TV presenter Marc Fennell admits he’s had his own share of insecurities, one of which is related to body image.

The 33-year-old SBS presenter says he’s had “a really bad relationship with food” since a young age, and his new podcast, It Burns, has given him the opportunity to explore this.

Marc embarks on an overseas journey in his new podcast, where he delves into the world of competitive chilli-eating and the world’s hottest chilli.

In an interview with Build Series Sydney, Marc explained his connection with chilli and his relationship with food that became a stronger link between him and the audio project.

Marc with his The Feed co-host, Jan Fran. Photo: Getty

“I’d been raised with hot food. My mum’s from Singapore, we used to have chilli-offs when I was a kid and so I’d loved spicy food,” he said.

“At the same time, I’ve always had a really bad relationship with food. I used to binge eat as a kid and I had never really talked about that stuff and as I’m having this conversation with the producers, they’re like, ‘Well is that why you’re interested in this?’

“I always had a combative relationship with food where I felt like food was beating me and here we have these people who are beating their bodies into submission with ridiculously hot chilis.”

Little did Marc realise just how important this podcast would be to him.

“The whole narrative has forced me to confront aspects of myself and my relationship with food from when I was a kid that I never really dealt with, and I’ve also never really spoken about publicly,” he told Build Series Sydney host Hayden Quinn.

SBS presenter says he’s had “a really bad relationship with food” since a young age. Photo: Instagram/marcfennell (L) and Getty (R)

“That’s probably the scariest thing about putting a series like this out because I’ve been in TV and radio since I was a teenager, like 18 years old, but I’ve never shared this aspect of myself before.

“I describe myself in the series as a fat kid. Whether my body gets big or small... when I look in a mirror, I’ll always see a fat kid,” he revealed.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive for the TV presenter, who said many listeners related to his own body image battle.

Marc opened up to Hayden Quinn in the interview. Photo: Build Series Sydney

“I’ve been getting emails from people saying the thoughts on body image really speaks to them, so if nothing else, whether people like the series or not, I know that for the people who had that experience growing up, it’s meant something.

“In that sense I’m really glad it’s out there.”

It Burns is available to listen now exclusively on Audible.

For confidential support about eating disorders and body image issues you can free call the Butterfly Foundation National Hotline on 1800 33 4673 or visit their website.

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