A MYSTERY man who has been buying takeaway fish and chips for his entire village is now offering them £100 to lose weight.

The anonymous donor in Denchworth near Wantage, who has been paying the village's Fox Inn to make and deliver fish suppers to all 171 residents every Friday for three months, now wants to encourage a healthier lifestyle in the community.

Landlord Stephen Davidson revealed he is working with the wealthy well-wisher on the new initiative that is offering £100 to anybody in the village who loses 10 per cent of their body weight in two months.

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Villagers who want to join the challenge have to lose the weight between the June 1 and August 1 and prove it with pictures of them on their scales.

Participants will be awarded with a £50 voucher to use at the Fox Inn on meals once the government eases the lockdown restrictions further and the pub reopens its doors.

Those who keep the weight off for six months will be then given another voucher for the same amount.

Mr Davidson said that ‘a big positive’ during the lockdown is the amount of people using it as an opportunity to get out on bikes, go for a walk and generally exercise more.

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The landlord added: “We at the Fox, along with the ‘mystery man’, would like to push this one step further.

“We know people are getting more health conscious, so we are planning to have a new section on our menu when we re-open with healthier options, along with no sugar or low-sugar drinks as well.”

Denchworth residents who show interest in the initiative will be asked to complete and sign a pre-exercise questionnaire and obtain their doctor’s approval before they start.

This is done to ensure that everybody taking part will actually benefit from the unorthodox challenge and that no one loses weight in an unhealthy way.

The 17th century Fox on Hyde Road first became the centre of attention for Denchworth villagers two months ago when the anonymous donor took it upon himself to raise their spirits by offering to pay for takeaway meals for everyone.

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The unexpected gesture was applauded by many locals including Mr Davidson, who was forced to shut down the Fox Inn pub in March amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The publican revealed that he will not be making a huge profit from the weekly meals he will be cooking for residents.

He said he was going ahead because of his love for the village, after he was approached by the ‘very wealthy in-betweener’ who spends his time in both London and Denchworth.

Anybody who wishes to find out more about the challenge and take part can send an email to thefoxinn@tiscali.co.uk