Superhuman Giants was a programme examining the everyday lives and problems encountered by the very tall . Around 3 in every million people are 7 feet or more in height. The programme featured a number of people, who had dealt with abuse and comments over their size, had specially made beds, furniture and clothes and were unable to go about their daily lives without a reference to their height.
Chris Greener aged 63, had been the tallest man in Britain since 1967 until very recently. He had a tumour on his pituitary gland , which caused him to grow 22 inches in 3 years. Chris was 7 feet and 6 and a quarter inches in height with size 17 shoe size. Over the years Chris had received plenty of work in films, adverts and to demonstrate the height of a product. In the programme, he had a job standing by a security fence at the Glastonbury festival. This was to demonstrate that the organisers of the festival had put in much taller fences than in past years (in an attempt to control the crowd size).
During the job, Chris became quite tired and collapsed. Although Chris had an large heart, he had been subject to an irregular heart beat for the last 40 years.
Neil Fingleton’s height had not been caused by medical condition, but at 7 feet 7 inches, he had recently been crowned as Britain’s tallest man. Aged 26 and still living with his mum, we were taken to Neil’s home where the only modification was to have an extended bed. Neil’s mum still cooked for him and spent around £100 per week on his food. A typical meal consisted of whole packets of bacon, sausages and a tin of beans and Neil needed 8,000 calories a day. It would take 20-25 pints of beer for Neil to feel “merry”. Neil had been working as a basketball player but we followed his attempt to become an actor in Hollywood. He was told that he could get a job as an “alien” in films. Whilst walking around Hollywood, Neil was verbally abused when someone suggested that he his brain did not work properly as a result of his height. Sadly, it was a regular event to receive such abuse.
During the programme, we also came across Ross, a supermarket worker with a case of curvature of the spine causing him to actually become shorter. He thought that he was 7 feet 5 but actually measured 6 feet and 10 inches and was extremely disappointed as he could not be a member of the exclusive 7 feet club.
The programme also concentrated on Alana, 6 feet 11 inches in height and recently engaged to a guy of 6 feet 2 and the former tallest man in the world, from Inner Mongolia.
Superhuman Giants gave an interesting insight into the problems faced by extremely tall people in terms of their health, finding employment and suitable accommodation and in finding love.