My Secret Life: Pierre Dukan, 70, diet guru

'I injected my friends and family'

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The Independent Online

My parents were... My mother was somebody exceptional – and my father was very, very severe. I loved it because he gave me the law and she gave me the emotions. Like a plant: I had enough water and enough light.

The household I grew up in... From my window I had the sea and every night I heard the noise of the small waves. Every morning I saw the sparkle of the sun and I think it is something that helped me a lot. In this house, [I lived with] my mother, father and two brothers.

When I was a child I wanted to be... Around 10 years old, I had a panic [when I had] an injection. My mother wanted to help me, so she taught me to make [a pretend] injection, and from then, I became a small doctor, I had a small bag, and learnt to make injections on my friends and family so I wasn't scared. That's when I started to think about medicine.

If I could change one thing about myself... My age.

You wouldn't know it but I am very good at... I am very manual – somebody who can do everything with their hands. I can repair many things in the house.

You may not know it but I'm no good at... seeing the people you love dying.

At night I dream of... Most of the time, I am running [away from] someone who wants me to suffer. I run and run, but it takes me a long time to escape them.

I wish I had never worn... Certainly school uniform I disliked a lot – I hated to wear it when I was very young.

What I see when I look in the mirror... A friend.

My favourite item of clothing... A pullover in Scottish lamb's wool.

I drive... I have no car – I go on the Metro or by taxi. But the last one I had was a Porsche! It was a long, long time ago.

My favourite work of art... I make sculpture: I find in the street, or on the beach, pieces of metal and wood, and I arrange them. I do it with my children – we always come back with some pieces because they know how much I enjoy it.

My favourite building... Le Tour Eiffel. I live near the Eiffel Tower and I love it, especially at night, with the lights.

Movie heaven... Gone With the Wind. It's my preferred English – I mean American! – film.

My greatest regret... Not to have had two lives to lead.

My real-life villain... Adolf Hitler.

My secret crush... Audrey Hepburn.

My five-year plan... I would just like to still be here on Earth.

My life in six words... Fight against obesity, over the world.


Pierre Dukan was born in Algeria in 1942. He has worked as a nutritionist for more than 40 years, publishing 19 weight-loss books. The Dukan Diet ( has been a bestseller around the world, with 12 million people estimated to have tried the high-protein, low-carb diet. Dukan, who lives in Paris, has celebrity fans in Jennifer Lopez, Penelope Cruz, and Carole and Kate Middleton, but after being accused of giving damaging advice to teenagers earlier this year, struck himself off the medical register