The second Celebrity Operation Transformation arrives on our screens this autumn with a whole new batch of famous faces looking to lose a few pounds.
RTE today revealed who these leaders would be, and it's a pretty good bunch. Stepping onto the scales this series will be X Factor singer Mary Byrne, beauty expert Triona McCarthy, chef Gary O'Hanlon, social media influencer James Patrice and singer and (former contestant on The Voice) Kayleigh Cullinan.
Kathryn Thomas will be on hosting duties once more for the four-part series. She said: "I’m thrilled to be back on board for the second series of Celebrity Operation Transformation. We have five brilliant leaders on our hands this year who are brave enough to let cameras into their homes and lives as they face this struggle head on and set about losing the weight they feel is holding them back. Lots of people across the country will have put on weight over the summer holidays so join us - choose a celebrity to follow and start losing the pounds together. We've got a determined bunch of leaders on board this year, and I have every confidence that they will inspire the nation to get up and get moving this autumn."
The five leaders will start the food and fitness plan on Monday, 28th August and viewers can follow it with them by logging onto rte.ie/ot. There you'll find all the information you need, including a selection of brand new added recipes, perfect for autumn.
Singer-songwriter, X Factor semi-finalist Mary Byrne (58)
Weight: 18 stone 5.5lbs
Mary said, "Well, I was shocked when I was approached to take part because I watched the programme last year when Elaine Crowley was on and I said to myself 'Jeez I’d love to do that – give it a chance, boost my morale up.' I was over excited and still in disbelief. I had to ring my manager back to find out was she messing, so I was thrilled, really thrilled. Two years ago I did a juicing diet, and I lost near enough two stone, and I’ve kept that off for two years only due to my daughter, but I haven’t lost anything since that. But the one thing I did notice was two weeks ago I was in the bedroom, and I was looking through tops, and I put a top on that was sleeveless. Now, I know I have big arms, but they were always big and firm-ish, but I never noticed since the two stone went off how wobbly my arms have become and I was sick, and I had changed my whole way of living before that dieting wise trying to keep healthy. But that was my moment when I said, 'Thank God I was asked to do this show' because this is going to make me really, really want to do this."
Beauty and fashion journalist Triona McCarthy (44)
Weight: 12 stone 6.5lbs
Triona said, "I actually feel I have the opposite of body dysmorphia. I actually always think I look alright and that it’s other people who seem to be more concerned about my weight – it’s like my mum or my sisters are always saying to me, 'Triona if you just lost a few pounds your life would be so much easier' and I have to go 'Guys, it’s ok – I’m actually happy.' I don’t see it. In this beauty obsessed world – it’s what I do for a living, and I don’t have a huge amount of vanity. I prefer writing about other peoples beauty, but for myself, I think I need to be more vain. Also if I see a photo where I look particularly heavy I think, 'Oh that’s just a bad angle' or I just stood in a funny position or whatever. But then it can get a bit embarrassing if I have to do a photo shoot for something or a job and somebody asks me what size I am and I’ll say I think I’m oh maybe a 10 or 12 and the clothes arrive and the dress can’t get zipped up, or the buttons are all open at the back."
Celebrity chef Gary O'Hanlon (39)
Gary said: "I'm most looking forward to a change of lifestyle. Very few chefs look after themselves. The trigger was probably wee Ollie being born last year. Cora’s 3 and a half, my daughter, and the wee boy’s 11 months old. He’ll turn one right when we start, and you know what, I don’t want to be an out of shape daddy when they start getting more active. I’m at a stage now where I’ve put a big graft into the restaurant for the past nine years, we’re well established now, and I need to start taking a wee bit more time for myself instead of just pushing on and pushing for stars and everything else."
Social influencer and presenter James Patrice (28)
Weight 19 stone 1lbs
James said: "When they (the production company) said it first I thought to myself 'oh maybe they want me to do backstage stuff for social media as I have before', and they were like 'no, no we’d like you to be in it.' And my gut reaction was yes straight away because I just thought yeah it’s a great opportunity. I’ll get training, I’ll get diet advice, and I think my diddies need to go – it’s time for them to leave! Anyone who'd like to follow me, anyone who needs a bit of change, needs a bit of a lift and needs to hear it from someone who isn’t perfectly ripped on Instagram or doesn’t have that perfect fit life that everyone tries to aspire to; I’m someone who is the opposite of that, I’m someone who will be having their cappuccino and their scone and regretting it afterwards. If you want to get on the bandwagon, then come along."
Singer/The Voice of Ireland finalist Kayleigh Cullinan (21)
Kayleigh said: "I know being a lot overweight does 100% play on your confidence, but it also does play on your energy levels and what you give to people. I know Operation Transformation is the stepping stone, but it’s something I will be keeping on. It’s the kick in the bum I need so it’ll be nice to be able to go out and buy nice dresses and look well. Lately, I definitely feel sluggish all the time. Myself and Mary are actually carrying around the weight of another person, so we’ve been joking around saying it will be nice to get the girl off our back! It’s definitely a long time coming, but I’m extremely excited to be involved in the series."