Gerald Kean and Elaine Crowley among famous faces to join RTE's Celebrity Operation Transformation

Gerald Kean and his partner Lisa Murphy
Gerald Kean and his partner Lisa Murphy

RTÉ today revealed the leaders for the first series of Celebrity Operation Transformation.

Comedian Katherine Lynch, solicitor Gerald Kean, face of TV3’s Midday Elaine Crowley, funny man Karl Spain and RTÉ Radio 1 reporter Brenda Donohue are confirmed to take part in the new spin-off series.
Kathryn Thomas will present three one-hour episodes airing in early autumn on RTÉ One. 

Celebrity Operation Transformation will shadow the five celebrities across a month as they inspire viewers to get back in shape post summer following the OT food and fitness plan. 
Host Kathryn Thomas said: “I’m delighted to be on board for this new series of Celebrity Operation Transformation. This autumn along with introducing our new celebrity leaders we will also be reigniting our Million Pound Challenge*, where we challenge the nation to lose a million pounds in weight. Each week our celebrities will be totting up the pounds they are losing and we will be adding the pounds their followers are shedding to the country’s overall total weight loss. So don’t forget to pick a celebrity to follow and start losing the pounds together. We’ve got a great bunch of leaders on board and I have every confidence that they will inspire the nation to get up and get moving this autumn.”
Celebrity Operation Transformation also wants to hear from groups, workplaces and communities across the country who are hosting special events to promote health and fitness weekends in September

RTÉ Radio 1 reporter Brenda Donohue (50) said: “I’m a big fan of Operation Transformation and I’ve watched the show and thought I should do the plan but I’ve never taken the leap. Like a lot of other women I yo-yo up and down when it comes to my weight. Two years ago I was at the proper weight for my height but since then I’ve put on two stone. I feel the pounds just slipped back on. Last week I celebrated a landmark birthday – I turned 50 and now I feel my joints can’t take the weight. It’s a reality check. For my heart, my joints and my health I need to give myself the best chance and make significant changes. I’m delighted to get started on the OT plan. I cover so many lifestyle stories on Radio 1 that I think it’s time for me to lead the way and I’m hoping having followers all over the country will be the motivation I need.”
Presenter and producer of Midday on TV3 Elaine Crowley (38) commented: “I’m always up for a challenge to be quite honest. Realistically speaking I want to get fit and I want to get consistently fit. It’s very easy to go on health kicks now and again and you can do it for a couple of weeks but I want to get myself motivated. So hopefully this will give me the tools to do it consistently and long-term. I did a 10k race in December but in April I got a bad chest infection so my fitness levels are pretty much at zero now.”
Solicitor Gerald Kean (58) said: “I've probably never said yes so quickly to any programme because I’m 58 years of age, I have Type 2 Diabetes, I’m the happiest person in the world, I’m really positive but I’m disappointed in the way I’ve let myself go. Friends of mine are doing marathons and I’m struggling to tie the laces on my shoes. I’m over 19 stone and while my mind is very sharp, physically I’m a shambles. My lifestyle is bad, my eating habits are bad, I know that and I need to do something about it. I think the great advantage of this programme is that I’m with others in the same position. It’s a habit I think, a change of habit is needed and I need somebody to help me.”
Actor and comedian Karl Spain (44) noted: “My New Year’s resolution was to lose weight, to get healthier and I've kind of put it off... well it was my New Year’s resolution in 1994! So this is me finally catching up with myself! I have dieted loads over the years. Thirteen years ago I was going to the gym five times a week. I was three or four stone lighter than I am now and I was loving it but then I took a break for a couple of weeks and those weeks ended up being a couple of years. My weight used to fluctuate and now it’s just gone up and up. I’ve kept all my clothes from when I was skinny and I’ve a pair of white jeans I’m determined to get back into!”
Comedian and TV personality Katherine Lynch (44) added: “I’m too heavy for my height and I feel I have two stone to lose. I’m one of these people that pays for a gym membership of €500 a year and ends up going once so it’s a very expensive hobby! I’ve watched the series and I’m a fan of the show. I’m from Leitrim and a lot of my friends have followed the Operation Transformation plan and have had really positive results. I’m hoping for the same.”
To date there have been nine series of Operation Transformation. This is the first series of Celebrity Operation Transformation.