Monday 22 July 2019

Kathryn Thomas's parents panicked and thought they'd have to participate in Ireland's Fittest Family, star reveals

Kathryn Thomas
Kathryn Thomas

Sean O'Grady

Kathryn Thomas has revealed her parents flew into a panic when she told them she had got a new job on Ireland’s Fittest Family – as they thought they would have to take part themselves.

The Carlow native (39) has taken over from Mairead Ronan as the new presenter of the series but when she told her parents about it, they assumed the whole family would be gearing up to become contestants on a celebrity version.

“They thought it was a celebrity version and they all had to take part. I reassured them that no, it was just me presenting it,” she said.

“There was a large sigh of relief down the phone.”

The new gig was an unexpected one for Kathryn.

She was still on maternity leave after welcoming daughter Ellie in March when TV producers came calling to see would she be interested in the job.

“The opportunity was too good to turn down. To be able to step in was great as a new mother and I loved filming it,” she told the RTE Guide.

“I knew the production team already, for 20 years, which has the benefit of bringing a lot of experience to a new job.”

The show meant Kathryn had to spend a lot of time away from other half Padraig and Ellie.

“Very long days, 7am to 10pm, but I’m used to those,” she said.

“I brought her to set once or twice, but not often because there’d be a lot of hanging around for her.”

The TV host will be joining coaches Donnacha O'Callaghan, Anna Geary, Derval O'Rourke and Davy Fitzgerald.

Kathryn has promised the new series of Ireland’s Fittest Family will be more extreme than ever after producers worked with designers from US shows like The Biggest Loser and The Amazing Race.

“There’s a bigger, more American feeling to it. And we never had as many families as this year.

“We started out with 20, on Dollymount Strand, and had to whittle them down.

“This year, there’s a lot more mental endurance,” she said.

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