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Daithi gets on the wagon to shape up for Roses role

TV HOST Daithi O Se has given up booze in a bid to get fighting fit for his new role at the Rose of Tralee festival.

It seems this year's troupe of anxious Rose candidates aren't the only ones getting caught up in pre-pageant grooming.

The All Ireland Talent Show judge (34) told the Herald he has completely ditched alcohol as part of a dramatic lifestyle overhaul to get in shape ahead of the eagerly awaited Kerry contest later this year.

The hunky TG4 star kicked off his healthy new regime on his recent trip to the US, where he spent time earlier this summer filming his latest series.

He told the Herald: "I've totally given up alcohol over the past two months and I'm feeling great for it. I kind of started doing it unintentionally while I was over working in the States and I've just kept it up."

The Gaelgoir joked that he needs to be peak physical condition for his new high profile position, which will introduce him to a new international audience, but insisted he hasn't been put under any pressure by the contest's organisers.

Meanwhile the TG4 weatherman, who is renowned for his flamboyant sense of style, is so popular with punters that Paddy Power has dedicated a wide array of special betting markets to him.

But although punters can avail of a 4/1 offer that flirtatious Daithi will hook up with one of this year's contestants, he insisted he plans to take his role very seriously. "No way, I couldn't do that," he said.

Punters can also speculate on what colour tux Daithi will don on the night and whether he will wear his famous cowboy boots.

Sharon McHugh, spokesperson for Paddy Power, said: "So far punters are more concerned with how Daithi does on the night and what he'll wear than who is actually going to win. I think it's fair to say he's taken centre stage."

Among the gorgeous contestants will be newly crowned Dublin Rose Niamh Sherlock. The 26-year-old entered the pageant in memory of her late mother, Marie who died of a heart attack eight years ago.