Friday 25 May 2018

'I was crying last week and I'll be bawling at the finale' - Kathryn Thomas on emotional series of Operation Transformation

Operation Transformation Lucy Dillon with host Kathryn Thomas
Operation Transformation Lucy Dillon with host Kathryn Thomas
Lucy Dillon breaks down in tears (Photo: Operation Transformation)
Operation Transformation - Noeleen Lynam
Rte - Operation Transformation Clare Scanlan
Dan Kennedy
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Kathryn thomas has said it is impossible not to get invested in the lives and the progress of the Operation Transformation leaders.

Clare Scanlan, John Conmy, Lucy Dillon, and Noeleen Lynam have their final weigh-in on Thursday's episode after seven weeks of hard graft and emotional ups and downs.

Presenter Kathryn was reduced to tears on last week's episode as Clare shared her progress and said she will be "bawling" again on Thursday night's finale.

Kathryn has been seen offering support, comfort, and encouragement during the most difficult times for each leader, and says she feels a certain responsibility towards them.

"I don't know if I would be brave enough to do it, and I've never worked on a production team where everybody is invested the way that they are and I think it's because we have to be," she says.

"There is a level of bravery and there is a sense of vulnerability when the guys put themselves out there like that.

John Conmy and Kathryn Thomas on Operation Transformation
John Conmy and Kathryn Thomas on Operation Transformation

"They are vetted to make sure they are able and willing for the intrusion that is Operation Transformation for seven weeks of their lives, not only to them but also friends and family.

"The fact that they put themselves out there the way that they do we have to be very mindful of that.  So you do get invested whether it's Clare or Lucy or John or Dan."

Operation Transformation leader Clare Scanlon
Operation Transformation leader Clare Scanlon

The series was a rollercoaster of emotion with leader Dan having to bow out due to colitis and Mayo man John battling the stress of losing his restaurant.

"Nobody knew what way the series was going to go.  Nobody knew that Dan was going to get sick, that Clare was going to get to the stage she is at now, and she'd say it herself, she's a new person, a new woman," says Kathryn.

"It's hard not to get invested.  You kind of feel you have to mind them and look after them and make sure that this is something they're going to be able to cope with, not just all the press now but going forward as well. 

"It's a difficult transition when the cameras go and the press go and they're not doing interviews, that they're able to maintain everything going forward."

Kathryn became particularly emotional at last week's weigh-in with Clare.  Clare had previously shared her story of losing her eldest son Darra (15) to Sudden Adult Death Syndrome and revealed how her life had been put on hold by grief.

"I think it hit a nerve with everybody," says Kathryn.  "She's an amazing woman and to have been witness and to have gotten to know her and to have been present when she was going through something she wasn't able to get over, or to deal with...

"I've never known anybody who's been able to voice their grief in the way that she did.  It knocked me for six.  She's incredible."

The leaders will face their final weigh in in the final episode of the series on Thursday, RTE One, 8.30pm and continuing after the news at 9.35pm.

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