Supersize Kids: Britain’s Tallest Teens On ITV
Thursday 12 July 2007 9:00pm – 10:00pm on ITV1.
Paul Sturgess is an incredible 7 foot 7 inches tall and 19 years old. As the tallest teenager in Britain, Paul looks set to become a record breaker and be crowned the world’s tallest man. The title is currently held by Mao Xi Shun who stands just under 7 foot 9 inches tall but Paul is still growing.
In Kent, Tara Savage faces adolescence with trepidation. At 6 foot 1 inches tall already and only aged 12 – she fears as she turns 13 she will never stop growing.
Unemployed 19-year-old Chris Lister dreamt of being a mechanic once he left school. But at 7 foot 3 inches tall his body simply couldn’t cope with the job. After years of surgery throughout his teens he too is still growing.
In a one-off documentary for ITV1, Supersize Kids: Britain’s Tallest Teens follows three tall teenagers and their battle with every day life. From finding a bed long enough to sleep in and clothes to fit, to later on in life cars to fit into and be able to drive, medical issues and of course finding romance.
The programme follows Paul, from Leicestershire, to the USA where he is currently living on a basketball scholarship. In the States his height is revered and looks set to rocket him to stardom. He won his scholarship at Florida Tech University in Orlando where he is expected to sign for the NBA in a deal worth millions of dollars, and if so he is set to become the tallest player in the world famous basketball league.
His coach, Billy Mims, says: “As one of the tallest teens in the world you have to think that his life was planned out a long time ago. I believe Paul was born to be a great basketball player and he feels it in his heart.”
Whilst Paul embraces his extreme height, the future is a more daunting prospect for 12-year-old Tara. The average height for a girl her age is five foot, so she’s already a foot taller than most of her school friends. And with size 11-12 feet the only place she can find shoes to fit her are in specialist shops for transvestites.
Tara’s mum Sue says: “She’s still growing and will be for at least four more years. She is slowing down, the growth rate, but it could potentially be she ends up at 6 foot 6 or 7 foot tall.”
During the programme, Tara goes to see a growth specialist to find out, as she approaches her thirteenth birthday, whether she’s ever going to stop growing.
In Leeds, Chris is in constant pain because of his extreme height. At 7 foot 3 inches tall he suffers from pain, described as bad cramp, and has lost all his confidence. Mum, Anita, is increasingly worried about his future and finds him a makeover mentor in Liverpool to try to help her son.