AMERICAN Pickers star Frank Fritz looks unrecognizable after losing 65 pounds as he resurfaces for the first time in over one year in The Sun's exclusive photos.
Frank, 57, hasn’t appeared on History Channel’s American Pickers since March 2020, and viewers have been speculating about what led to the star’s mysterious mid-season disappearance.
In an exclusive interview with The Sun from Frank’s Le Claire, Iowa farmhouse, the collector debuted a shockingly thin appearance compared to his heavier figure on the show and revealed what has kept him off American Pickers.
Since Frank’s stint on the hit show, he has lost 65 pounds, which he attributes to living a healthier lifestyle as he battles Crohn’s, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease.
Frank told The Sun: “The weight loss is me watching what I’m eating so I can keep my disease under control the best I can. I’m just eating healthy.
“After a while I started watching what I’m doing and I’m doing a little bit more walking. I keep pretty busy around here too, taking care of the grass and getting rid of the weeds.”
Frank continued that he is sober today, adding: “Not drinking helps with the weight loss because when you drink you eat. I’m not dieting.
“I was drinking a little bit too, but that didn’t work out either. I haven’t had a drink in almost nine, ten months.
“It would have been a year but I had one slip up, it was maybe for four hours but it was enough.”
Frank also blamed his heavy drinking on his nasty split from longtime girlfriend turned ex-fiancee Diann Bankson.
Frank said of their split: “I tried to drink her away.”
In photos exclusively obtained by The Sun, Frank posed near his $155,000 Iowa farmhouse, where he has lived for 11 years.
This is the first time Frank has been seen in over a year, as he smiled while showing off his impressive weight loss.
In another series of photos, Frank is in his element as he poses with his extensive motorcycle collection in his bike garage and with his favorite picks.
As for when viewers could see Frank back on the small screen alongside partner Mike Wolfe, he seemed unsure.
Frank told The Sun: “That was a big thing about coming back to the show. How can I come back to the show 65lbs lighter?
"I would like to come back to the show, but we will see. I was doing it for 11 years, but there is a lot of controversy going on right now.”
Frank noted Mike’s ongoing divorce from wife Jodi after nearly nine years of marriage.
He continued: “It’s up to the network whether I come back on the show. It ain’t gonna affect me one bit. I didn’t leave the show, I finished shooting and then I had a little back surgery and the pandemic came.”
Mike claimed Frank’s absence from the series was because he was recovering from back surgery.
Frank said of how his back is today: “My back is doing perfect. I had a couple of rods put in there. It was from lifting stuff all the time.
“If you watch the show you can see who the guy is that’s lifting all the time, it’s always me. It had been hurting for a long, long time. I’m talking months and months and months.”
Frank admitted that during his time off the show, he “hasn’t been out picking much lately.”
He continued: “I’ve been working on a couple motorcycles and stuff, but that’s about it. I was in Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota in August last year. I’ve been going to Sturgis for 40 years now. I was there for the 50th, 60th, 70th, 80th and 90th anniversaries and every year in between that.
“I just got inducted two years ago to the Sturgis Hall of Fame.”
Frank has remained off social media, despite frequent updates being posted to his verified Facebook page.
He explained: “It’s all fake, all that stuff on Facebook is fake. I don’t have a Facebook, I don’t have any idea what’s going with that.
“I’ve never posted anything on there so everything that’s on there is a f**king lie. I have no idea who is posting that stuff, I don’t even have a computer.”
American Pickers premiered in 2010 with Frank, Mike and Danielle Colby.
Frank’s last episode was on March 2, 2020.
Season 21 is currently airing on the History channel.
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