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Claire reveals her svelte new figure is down to Dukan Diet

SHE'S not afraid to ask the hard questions on radio -- but we doubt broadcaster Claire Byrne does it looking like this.

The RTE star graces the pages of VIP magazine this fortnight -- and looks more Hollywood star than RTE host of The Late Debate.

A beaming Claire admits that she followed the diet favoured by Kate Middleton and her mum Carole, as well as hitting the gym with Operation Transformation personal trainer Karl Henry.

And the results can be seen in the glossy spread. "When I took up the role on The Daily Show, back in March 2010, I did make a conscious effort with my diet. I tried out something called the Dukan Diet, which friends had recommended. It's a very strict diet; lots of vegetables, protein and oat bran. No sugar; no alcohol. I stuck to it for six weeks or so and was probably at my slimmest then," she said.

Landing the daytime TV show spurred her on -- but it was not something she intended to follow long-term.

"Well, it was certainly a motivator, but I'm not the type of person who would want to stick to a strict diet for life. I like cooking and baking too much. I'm hardly going to cook a big roast and not eat it, am I? And long working days mean that life gets in the way of a strict regime, so I suppose I put on a bit of weight over the course of the season. Now I'm back to to where I'm comfortable. I'm happy enough with my size and I am feeling healthy," she said.

"Since The Daily Show has finished I've had more time for exercise. I'm back with trainer Karl Henry. He's got a baby face but is a tough customer."

Speaking about The Daily Show, which she co-hosts with Daithi O Se, she said it came as no surprise that the programme's run finished early as they had been told previously it was to finish on March 2.

Although she remains unaware as to the show's future, she's made a friend in co-presenter Daithi.

"Myself and Daithi were lucky in that we got on well and we really are great friends," she said.

Read the full interview in VIP Magazine, out now