Dalai Lama told cameraman he was fat and needed to go on a diet

21 May 2024, 17:32 | Updated: 21 May 2024, 17:42

The Dalai Lama was interviewed by Cathy Newman in 2013
The Dalai Lama was interviewed by Cathy Newman in 2013. Picture: Alamy

By Will Conroy

The Dalai Lama told a cameraman that he was fat and needed to go on a diet, according to broadcaster Cathy Newman.

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The presenter revealed that the Tibetan Buddhism teacher made the comment after interviewing him on Channel 4 news in 2013. 

While on the Walking The Dog podcast, she said: “I did meet the Dalai Lama… but at the end of the interview it was very funny because I had this cameraman called Graham – who sadly died not that many years afterwards, it was very sad – but he was a little bit rotund.

“And at the end of the interview, the Dalai Lama pointed at him and said, ‘you’re fat, you need to go on a diet’. [Graham] was open-mouthed in astonishment at this rudeness from the Dalai Lama – I thought it was hilarious – so he was giving us diet tips by the end.”

The Dalai Lama condemned Buddhist violence against Muslims.
The Dalai Lama condemned Buddhist violence against Muslims. Picture: Alamy

The 14th, and current, Dalai Lama, condemned Buddhist violence against Muslims during the interview.

He also shared that he would be happy for his successor to be a woman and that they should take a “more active role” in Buddhism.

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Ms Newman, who has worked for Channel 4 News since 2006, suggested she would not be a very good Buddhist as she finds that meditation is a “waste of time”. 

She said: “I think I’d be a useless Buddhist: I can’t get meditation at all. That’s such a waste of time. I watch telly, though, (so) I suppose that’s my equivalent of meditation.

“Let’s face it, we are on slightly different wavelengths, me and the Dalai Lama.”

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