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The five Operation Transformation leaders have lost a lot of weight in eight weeks

And plenty of us tuned in to watch them do it.

The five leaders have lost 10 stone between them in two months
The five leaders have lost 10 stone between them in two months
Image: Andres Poveda Photography

THE FIVE LEADERS on the RTÉ programme Operation Transformation have collectively lost almost 10 stone in two months.

Chris McElligott, Marie Grace, Maireád Redmond, Seán Daly and Yvonne Keenan-Ross embarked on their food and exercise plans eight weeks ago and, to date, have lost a total of 9 stone 11 pounds between them.

And plenty of us tuned in to watch them do it, with an average of 441,000 people watching the show weekly.

Over the course of the show, school children all over Ireland coordinated 10 minutes of exercise at 10am on 10 February and 5,000 people joining a 5k run in the Phoenix Park.

The person who lost the most weight was Seán Daly, who started with a weight of 24 stone 3 pounds. With a final weight of 21 stone 5.5 pounds, Daly lost almost 3 stone in the eight week period.

Operation Transformation is designed to encourage people all around the country to have a healthier relationship with food and learn to love exercise, says show presenter Kathryn Thomas.

Ray D’Arcy went on the defensive of the programme’s principles on his radio show last month, when a health expert said that Operation Transformation is “worse than useless” for the people that watch it.

D’Arcy, however, retorted that the show was “part of a bigger picture” and was helping to contribute to “having conversations we weren’t having before”.

RTÉ said that the show gained a 29% share of the available audience each night it aired, drawing in an average of 441,000 people. Furthermore, there have been 285,000 streams of the show and its clips on the RTÉ Player to date.

A special double bill of the show will air tonight at 7pm, and again at 8.30pm, on RTÉ One.

Read: Ray D’Arcy defends Operation Transformation from critic who calls it ‘worse than useless’

Read: “Operation Transformation is not the end of my journey – it’s just the start”

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Sean Murray

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