'bullies called me fatrick at school but now i'll show them i can be the biggest loser'

Melanie Finn

THE Irish star of TV3's Biggest Loser has opened up about being a victim of childhood bullying.

Sligo native Paddy Cunningham (28) says it was this that prompted him to take up the challenge of losing weight.

"When I was in school, I used to get picked on quite a lot because of my size," he said.

"People used to call me Fatrick and it used to really hurt me. I don't think I have ever looked at myself in the mirror and been completely happy with myself and thought 'Yeah, looking fine'."

Radio presenter Paddy, whose starting weight was 21st 1lb, is now in the middle of his weight-loss journey after making it on to the British programme presented by Davina McCall.

And both he and his flatmate Wil Graham have been wowing their mentors on the show, both sailing through to the next stages in the past few weeks as they continue dropping the pounds.

The ITV/TV3 programme is doing exceptionally well over here, reaching an audience of 355,000 viewers last Wednesday night.


It's a strong rival to RTE's Operation Transformation and the fact that it features an Irish contestant has proved a big attraction.

"We are delighted that the show is performing week after week and that Paddy is doing so well on the show," said a TV3 spokeswoman.

"We have had plenty of feedback from our viewers to say how much they are enjoying the series."

This week saw contestants facing the challenge of having to lose 90lbs between them in a series of tough physical tasks.

Paddy and pal Wil put in the best effort when it came to the hay-rolling challenge and managed to lose 16lbs between them at the final weigh-in.

In the end, the contestants voted out sisters-in-law Sara and Claire, who took up the offer to stay on in the house and continue trying to shed the weight.

Just eight of the original 14 contestants remain. They are battling to scoop the €29,000 that goes to the winners of the competition.

Originally from Sligo but now living in Reading, Paddy said he was determined to lose weight before his 30th birthday.