Operation Transformation on the search for five new leaders

Kathryn Thomas and Ray D’Arcy launch the search for leaders of Operation Transformation Series 10

Wednesday 05 October, 2016. Operation Transformation is on the hunt for five new leaders to inspire the country in 2017 as the series celebrates its tenth year. Today (Wednesday 05 October) presenter Kathryn Thomas and radio partner Ray D’Arcy joined four of last year's leaders Lucy Dillon, Noeleen Lynam, John Conmy and Clare Scanlan to launch a nationwide search for new leaders for the upcoming series.

The leaders from series nine continued their health journeys long after the cameras stopped rolling and collectively lost 11st 3.5lbs since starting on the OT Plan. Today, they posed with sacks of potatoes to illustrate how much weight they’ve shed in 2016 in a bid to inspire others to get involved in January. (Please find additional information at the end of this press release on the leaders and their progress).

Operation Transformation presenter Kathryn Thomas said: “This is a really special year for Operation Transformation. We’ve just finished our first ever celebrity spin-off series and now we’re gearing up for an amazing tenth season! I’d encourage anyone who has been thinking about making a change to in their lifestyle or fans of OT who’ve been meaning to get involved, to stop waiting and apply today. Last year’s leaders are proof that the Operation Transformation plan works and that you can lose weight and keep it off. So don’t hold back and make 2017 your year.”

RTÉ Radio 1 partner Ray D’Arcy said: “I was amazed by how this year’s leaders embraced the change in lifestyle and I’m so happy to see they’ve kept it going. Anyone who’s thinking about signing up should know it can be really tough but in the end the effort is worth it and think how much better you’ll feel.”

This afternoon on The Ray D’Arcy Show on RTÉ Radio 1last year’s leaders put out a nationwide call to find five new leaders for the 2017 series. An audio clip of this item will be available from Sheena Madden, RTÉ Radio Press Office (contact details below) after 4.30pm today. 

Do you struggle with your weight? Would you like to change your relationship with eating and exercise? Is your current weight holding you back from living the life you want to? Would you like 2017 to be the year you transform yourself? If you’ve answered yes to those questions then the Operation Transformation team would love to hear from you. 

If you think you have what it takes and want to change your life for the better log on to www.rte.ie/ot to download an application form. If you have any queries or would like an application form sent in the post, please call Helen or Elisha on 01 864 1444 or email ot@vipmg.tv  The closing date for applications is Friday 04 November, 2016.

The tenth series of Operation Transformation, which will air on RTÉ One, will be sponsored by safefood.

Dr Cliodhna Foley-Nolan, Director, Human Health & Nutrition with safefood said:

Operation Transformation is a really important aspect of the nation’s struggle with weight at a time when the majority (two in three) of us adults are overweight or obese. The inspirational leaders, year after year, show in a really practical way how changes can be made in our daily lives to what we eat and how active we are. Their very real stories resonate with us and have inspired many to make changes; our research at safefood found that this year alone, over 280,000 people reported losing weight as a result of following the show. Operation Transformation also jump starts the year with an important focus on our personal weight and we hope the show continues to encourage communities right across the island to tackle one of the most important social health issues we face.”

- Ends -

Contestants with bags of potatoes

For further information please contact

Sarah Neville, RTÉ Television Press Officer, 01-208 2872, 087 9800561, sarah.neville@rte.ie

Sheena Madden, RTÉ Radio Press Officer, 01-208 2452, 087 245 8046, sheena.madden@rte.ie

***Photographs will be sent to national photodesks by Brian McEvoy on behalf of RTÉ. Contact Brian on: 086 250 9393 or picturesinpublicity@gmail.com ***

Editor's notes

Series 9 of Operation Transformation was broadcast twice a week on RTÉ One television with a consolidated average of 465,000 viewers. A consolidated average of 29,800 watched it on RTÉ One + 1*.

There were over 362,600** streams of Operation Transformation and Operation Transformation Extras on RTÉ Player for the ninth series. There were an average of 18,500 streams per episode and there were 52,000 streams of Operation Transformation Extras with the group workouts proving the most popular.

*Consolidated data incorporates VCR, DVDR and PVR playback viewing that took place within seven days of the original broadcast. This time-shifted viewing is added to the live data to produce consolidated viewing data. Consolidated data is available 8 days after the original transmission date. This data is the "TAM Gold Standard" used by the industry to report and trade on.

**Source for these stats is comScore Digital Analytix. RTÉ Player streams quoted here are across all platforms and both domestic and international streams.

Combined Weight Loss of the four leaders since starting on Operation Transformation in January

11st 3.5 lbs (71.5kg)

Clare Scanlan

Starting weight in Janurary 2016: 17st

Weight at the end of the show: 15st 7lbs

Current weight: 14st 12lbs

Overall weight Loss: 2st 2lbs

Clare has maintained her weight loss since finishing on the series. She now makes better choices everyday about her food. As a busy working mum, she sticks to quick and easy recipes that give her more time. Clare’s knee still hasn’t fully recovered since OT, and her exercise regime has been curtailed because of it. Clare didn’t catch the running bug like some of the other Leaders, but she now enjoys cycling, and loves to bring the kids, Liam and Caoímhe, swimming.

Clare says that emotionally she’s come an awful long way, since Operation Transformation. Clare’s eldest son Darra passed away almost five years ago from SAD (Sudden Adult Death Syndrome), when he was only 15 years old. While Clare misses him every day, she says: “Operation Transformation and all the people in it gave me back the strength I’d lost.”

Lucy Dillon

Starting weight in January 2016: 16st 13.5lbs

Weight at the end of the show: 15st 6.5lbs

Current weight: 14st 3lbs

Overall weight loss: 2st 10.5lbs

Nine months on from Operation Transformation, and Lucy’s life has changed for the better. She loves her new healthier lifestyle, and she has more energy than ever before. She’s gone from sitting on the couch last January to becoming an ambassador for the Womens’ Mini Marathon and now runs 10K. She regularly attends her local parkrun in Co. Meath, and works out three to four times a week, while still following the OT meal plan.

Lucy also started a new job, as the administrator for the Be Active After School Activity Programme for Meath Local Sports Partnership.

While Lucy is loving her new level of fitness, her biggest achievement is that she’s still a non smoker after quitting during the series in January.

Noeleen Lynam

Starting weight in Janurary 2016: 11st 11.5lbs

Weight at the end of the show: 10st 12lbs

Current weight: 10st 1lbs

Overall weight Loss:1st 13lbs

For Noeleen applying for Operation Transformation was one of the best decisions she ever made. She’s happy with her body for the first time in her life and her increased energy levels and confidence levels, has made every aspect of her life better and brighter.

When people ask Noeleen if she still following Operation Transformation, she answers: “No, because it has become my lifestyle now and not something I have to think about.”

Noeleen has lost almost two stone since starting on the OT Plan in the New Year, and she attributes that to following the OT Plan, five out of seven days a week, and to her new found love for fitness. She says that she’d actually misses exercise now on any day she doesn’t do it. Running and cycling have become passions, and she was recently the ambassador for the Great Dublin Bike Ride, which was 60K.

Since appearing on Operation Transformation, Noeleen has been writing a weekly article for the Westmeath Examiner, and her personal blog has reached over 500,000 views.

John Conmy

Starting weight in January 2016: 22t 6lbs

Weight at the end of the show: 20st 7lbs

Current weight: 18st 2lbs 

Overall weight loss: 4st 6lbs

This time last year Mayo Man John Conmy had a smile for everyone he met, but deep down he was miserable and worried that his weight would be the death of him, especially since developing Type 2 Diabetes in 2008. Nine months on, and John is living a happier and healthier life.

John had a set back with his weight earlier this summer when he broke a bone his foot, but he’s back on track now with his exercise. John also feels that he has his Type 2 Diabetes under control, and with the blessing of his doctors he is hoping to come off the medication for this in the next few weeks.