Monday 20 November 2017

Celebrity Operation Transformation: Leader profiles

Elaine Crowley, Brenda Donohoe, Gerald Keane, Kathryn Thomas, Karl Spain, and Katherine Lynch. Photo: RTE
Brenda Donohoe. Photo: RTE
Karl Spain. Photo: RTE
Gerald Keane. Photo: RTE
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

Meet the five leaders in Celebrity Operation Transformation:

Brenda Donohue (50)

Height: 5.1

Occupation: Radio Broadcaster

Starting weight:  13 stone 3.5 pounds

Broadcaster Brenda Donohue has as been working in radio for the last 25 years. After starting out on the Gerry Ryan Show on 2fm she became a household name and Ireland's most famous roving reporter during her time on the show. She’s currently reporting for RTÉ Radio 1’s The Marty Squad and Country Wide, along with producing and presenting her own series Like Family.

Brenda is married to Dennis, and they live in Johnstown, Co. Kildare, with their three children Ali (16), Robyn (13) and Harvey (7). Like every busy mother, she spends a lot of time, dropping and picking up the kids from school and their various activities.

Life on the road has taken its toll on Brenda’s eating habits, and she often ends up eating lunch in her car while she’s on the go, or having a chinese take-away (with a glass or two of wine) when she arrives home.

Working irregular hours means that her husband cooks most of the family meals, and Brenda is first to admit that she has a lot to learn when it comes to her culinary skills.

Brenda is starting to feel her weight in her joints and really wants to do something about it now before it starts to affect her health. She is looking forward to finding a routine that fits around the life of a busy working mother.

Gerald Kean (58)

Height: 6.2

Occupation: Solicitor

Starting weight: 19 stone 7 pounds

Irish solicitor Gerald enjoys a lavish lifestyle that most of us can only dream of. Single Gerald eats out an average of 22 times a week, and only has milk in his fridge. His favourite haunts don’t even give him a menu anymore; they know exactly what he wants; a dozen oysters, medium rare steak and a big glass of his favourite red wine. Gerald also enjoys one cigar at the end of a long day.

Now that Gerald is coming close to 60, his health is a huge concern. This is the heaviest he’s ever been and despite attempts in the past to get control of it, nothing has worked. At the moment, the simple act of getting up off a chair is starting to bother him.

In his youth Gerald was a talented tennis player and won several county medals. He would love to go back playing tennis at the end of Operation Transformation.

Gerald will spend the first week of the plan in Florida with his only daughter Kirsten, as she starts college in Atlantic University.

Katherine Lynch (44)

Height: 5.3

Occupation: Comedian/Actress/Producer

Starting weight: 13 stone 5pounds

For comedian, actress and producer Katherine no two days are the same. Some days are spent writing and developing ideas for her TV production company, others are spent touring the country with her stand-up act.

Katherine’s home in Temple Bar means she has instant access to all her favourite foods, and loves nothing more than going to her local bakery once (if not twice) a day. Meeting friends for coffee and a nibble is her favourite pastime.

She adores her red wine, and can demolish 2 big bags of Doritos in one sitting. Katherine splits her time between her new apartment in Temple Bar, and her family home in Mohill in Co. Leitrim. Katherine suffers from high cholesterol and really wants to get it under control before she has to deal with a health crisis. If Katherine reaches her target weight, her dream is to do a ‘sexy’ photo shoot for Life magazine.

Elaine Crowley (39)

Height:  5.7

Occupation: TV Presenter/Producer

Starting weight: 15 stone 11 pounds

Elaine has been on our TV screens for the last 15 years having started off as a news reader on TV3. She now presents her own show Midday 5 days a week.

Originally from a village called Twopothouse, near Mallow in Cork, Elaine grew up in a big family with 9 siblings. Her father was the headmaster in her local primary school, and her mother was also a teacher locally. Her father passed away from a rare type of cancer 10 years ago. Elaine loves going home to visit her family as she has over 20 nieces and nephews to keep her busy.

Over the years Elaine has spoken openly and honestly about her weight and how it has made her feel. She admits to trying every fad diet going, but ultimately she wants to learn how to keep the weight off and find a happy balance.

While Elaine doesn’t shy away from any topic when she’s talking to her panel on Midday, she is afraid of one thing… her kitchen. Elaine doesn’t like cooking and doesn’t want to cook. She prefers to load up on coffee during the day and not eat until she orders a take-away when she gets home. Elaine would often enjoy a glass of wine in the evening to help unwind after a busy day at work.

Karl Spain (44)

Height: 5.9

Occupation: Comedian

Weight:  19 stone and 4.5 pounds

Comedian Karl has previously looked for love but now he’s looking for a healthier lifestyle.

He lives with his girlfriend Rachel in Limerick city. More often than not, Karl and Rachel prefer to dine out rather than eat-in and he knows that this is something he needs to change.

Over the years Karl has used his weight struggles as material for his stand-up act, but is now coming to the realisation that he is putting his life in danger if he doesn’t do something about his weight soon.

Karl has Type 2 Diabetes and he understands that his food intake has a huge impact on his health. Karl does not drink alcohol but his work schedule means he oftens ends up eating in fast food restaurants after his comedy gigs. Fast food restaurants are familiar territory for Karl, as he used to manage many of them in Limerick (from Abrakebabra to Burgerland.)

Karl is a huge football fan but nowadays prefers to play Fifa on his PS4 rather than go out and play a game of soccer.

Celebrity Operation Transformation starts Wednesday at 9.35pm on RTÉ One. Follow the Operation Transformation food and exercise plan at

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