Rosemary Conley

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Rosemary Jean Neil Conley CBE, DL (née Weston, 19 December 1946, in Leicester)[1][2] is an English businesswoman, author and broadcaster on exercise and health. She was the founder and president of Rosemary Conley Diet And Fitness Clubs, a franchise-based organisation that was alongside Slimming World and Weight Watchers, one of the "big three" weight loss organisations in the UK. She has released several exercise videos and books. She now chairs an online weight loss club.


Conley attended Bushloe High School and Goddards Secretarial College.[1] She then studied for an RSA in Exercise to Music.[2] After losing weight herself, Conley began by running evening classes for local women looking to lose weight in 1972, under the name the Slimming & Good Grooming Club.[1][2] She established a number of slimming clubs, which she later sold to IPC for £50,000,[3] working for the company to oversee the expansion of the club network.[2] After suffering from gallstones, she adopted a low-fat diet as an alternative to surgery, and the resulting fat-loss inspired her to promote the diet to others.[2] She became nationally famous in 1988 via her book The Hip & Thigh Diet, which went on to sell over two million copies.[2] The Rosemary Conley approach is characterised by a low-fat diet regime, but what distinguished the organisation from its competitors is that the classes also offered a 45 minute aerobic workout with a trained instructor. Thus it provided a fitness club for people wanting an alternative to gym membership rather than simply another club for dieters, although there were similar product endorsements of foods and kitchen equipment. Conley's personal fortune expanded as the Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness Club franchise expanded to 180 clubs by 2004, with 80,000 members.[2] In 1998 the cost of starting a Rosemary Conley franchise was £12,000.[3] The company went into administration in January 2014 and ceased trading with many of the class leaders continuing to operate diet & fitness classes without the backing of the franchise company.

In 1999, Conley was appointed as Deputy Lieutenant of Leicestershire. In 2001, she became the first woman to be granted the Freedom of the City of Leicester.[4] She was awarded a CBE in 2004.[2]

In January 2012, Conley became a participant in the seventh series of the ITV celebrity ice-skating programme, Dancing on Ice. Her professional skating partner was Mark Hanretty. She became the sixth celebrity to be eliminated from the competition.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The International Who's Who of Women 2002, Europa, ISBN 978-1-85743-122-3, p. 113
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Bridge, Rachel (2004) How I Made It: 40 Successful Entrepreneurs Reveal All, Kogan Page, ISBN 978-0-7494-4311-5, p. 43-46
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cooper, Glenda (1998) "Profile: The slimmer's evangelist; Rosemary Conley", The Independent, 4 January 1998, retrieved 2010-11-14
  4. "Celebrity health - Rosemary Conley", BBC, 23 January 2006, retrieved 2010-11-14

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