'It's making an impact' Kathryn Thomas at launch of Operation Transformation's TENTH series
Kathryn Thomas has described Operation Transformation as “one of the most important shows that RTE” has done in a long time.
Speaking at this afternoon’s launch of the 10th series of RTE’s popular weight loss show, she said that while Ireland is still facing an obesity crisis, huge strides have been made in the area of weight loss.
“I’ve been on telly since I was 21 and this is my 7th year and the show is on ten years. it’s making an impact, it’s making people change,” she told Independent.ie.
“When you look at the ratio of people who go on the show, the weight loss is maintained or they achieve more weight loss. Our figures are really, really good, compared with people who try to lose weight on their own.
“The show has become what the audience want it to be.
"We’ve looked at childhood obesity, we’ve looked at diabetes, we’ve looked at the link to cancer, we’ve looked at the sugar tax so it’s not just five people who go on every week to stand on a weighing scales. It is much more than that, not to mention all the communities getting involved around the place.
“Ireland is riding a wave of wellness and it’s only going to continue. We still have a massive problem with obesity so it’s to get the people who need to lose weight to ride that wave of wellness and not just everyone else.”
The newly-engaged star, whose other half Padraig McLoughlin proposed earlier this month, was on hand at Santry’s Sportslink today to introduce the 18 hopeful applicants who’ve been shortlisted to become one of the five team leaders.
Among them is publican Gerard Cahill (41) from Mallow, who weighs nearly 27 stone. He’s also a Type 2 Diabetic and says he has struggled with his weight for the past 20 years. The dad of three says he applied to be on the show in a bid to live a normal life and do things with his family.
Another of this year’s hopefuls is Sean Daly (25), who weighs nearly 24st and said he’s so desperate to lose weight, he’s considering going to Poland to get a gastric band fitted.
Today’s assessment day included an aerobic test in the swimming pool along with a group session with psychologist Dr Eddie Murphy, who quizzed the 18 applicants on how they had reached this point in their lives.
It included a live broadcast with RTE Radio 1’s Ray D’Arcy, with the five successful applicants being unveiled on his programme every day next week.
One of RTE’s most successful shows, last year’s series pulled in an average of 465,000 viewers and its website had over 4.8m page views during the ninth series.