Truth or Scare - Samaritans

Daytime TV debut for Leeds Samaritans in BBC’s brand new lifestyle show

Working a night shift took on a whole new meaning for two Leeds Samaritans volunteers when they took part in Food: Truth or Scare, to be shown on BBC1 at 9.15am on Monday 22 February.

Bob Howe and Mick Moran had their diet and sleep patterns scrutinised for the new series, presented by Chris Bavin and Gloria Hunniford, to help them adopt healthy habits. The before and after filming took place in in the branch and in Bob’s kitchen, with the intrepid pair being given tips on foods to embrace or avoid, to be at their peak on duty, but also to be able to sleep later on.

Volunteer Bob, who’s also planning Leeds Samaritans’ 50th anniversary celebrations, said the filming really made him think:

“Being aware of what we should eat before and during a Samaritans night time duty is not something I had considered before. The emphasis had just been on ‘being there and being available’. But the concept of actually being in a more alert state of mind for taking calls as a result of my diet really made sense during the making of the programme.”

Leeds Samaritans volunteer Mick Moran agrees the experience was useful:

“I think that all Samaritans volunteers are so totally focused on our callers at night, and we will effectively use any coping strategy to keep the adrenalin rush at its peak for those night hours. This also needs balancing with the need to have had sleep in advance and also to get back to a daytime routine once the shift is over. The program identified for us the optimum ways to try and achieve this balance."

Food: Truth or Scare aims to cut through the headlines and ‘pseudo-science’ to make sense of the confusing food advice we’re being ‘fed’ each day, and myth-bust any misinformation.

The episode featuring Samaritans volunteers Mick and Bob will be also be available on the BBC iPlayer here:


For more information, please contact Samaritans Press Office on 020 8394 8300 or email


– ENDS –


Notes to editors:

  • You don’t have to be suicidal to call us. Whatever you’re going through, call us free any time from any phone on 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill), email, or visit to find details of your nearest branch.
  • It’s the public’s kind donations and more than 21,000 trained volunteers that mean Samaritans is always there for anyone struggling to cope. For further information, please contact Samaritans’ press office on 020 8394 8300 or