(Radio 1's Greg James with the sewer team before going down below)
Radio 1 drivetime DJ Greg James recorded the first ever show from the side of a fatberg yesterday.
Congealed masses of fat, grease, wet wipes, nappies and other sanitary products that combine to block sewers have been in the world news since the story about the monster Whitechapel fatberg hit headlines on September 12.
Thames Water said news about fatbergs, a word coined by the company and now in the dictionary, has now been covered in more than 115 countries and reached over one billion people.
Greg, who has been fascinated by fatbergs since first hearing about the Whitechapel beast, said after emerging from a smaller blockage in Lisle Street, Soho, yesterday: “I came face-to-face with the fatberg in Chinatown and it was hideous. It’s a memory that will live on in my mind forever, and I’m not sure necessarily in a good way.
“Still, we’ve just done the first radio show from the side of a fatberg in a sewer, and if that’s my legacy then so be it.”
Greg added: “To stop future fatbergs let’s stop flushing wet wipes down the toilets and cooking fat down the sink.”He even wrote a short speech to highlight the problems caused by sewer abuse. It read:
(Greg James enters the sewer to meet the fatberg)
“We are gathered here today, at the foot of this gigantic, disgusting blob of fat.
“Yes it is an enormous blob of fat, but if you dig a little deeper you realise it is a snapshot of a world we have created.
“A world full of leftover grease, wet wipes from countless spillages, rubber evidence from nights of passion.
“It is a monument depicting the wasteful ‘oh let’s just flush it away and be gone with it all’ society we have created. This is Britain’s shame.
“Having said that, I declare this the Radio 1 fatberg.”
Journalists from around the world, including America, Canada, Holland, Italy, Sweden and Germany, have all visited the blocked sewer in Lisle Street, Chinatown, to see a fatberg measuring 50 metres in length and 26 tonnes in weight.
Thames Water is now halfway through clearing the infamous and much larger Whitechapel fatberg, which weighs 130 tonnes and will be converted into around 10,000 litres of biodiesel.
Thames Water’s Stuart White said: “The Whitechapel fatberg has become a global celebrity. It has captured imaginations, shocked and disgusted, and got people all over the world talking about what happens next to their waste.
“Why? There is definitely something repulsively human about this modern-day monster we help create.
“It’s there lurking, congealing and growing fast under our feet. At its worst, a fatberg can cause a total blockage and the misery of sewer flooding. It is a vivid reminder to us all that out of sight is not gone forever, so please help keep London and all the sewers flowing – don't feed the fatberg.”Thames Water’s ‘Bin it – don’t block it’ campaign encourages its 15 million customers to only flush the three P’s: poo, pee and toilet paper. Cooking fats, oil and grease should also be binned and never poured down the sink.