Deirdre Hosford - Operation Transformation 2013 leader Image Name: Deirdre Hosford - Operation Transformation 2013 leader
Charlotte O'Connell - RTE Operation Transformation 2013 leader Image Name: Charlotte O'Connell - RTE Operation Transformation 2013 leader
Operation Transformation 2013 - Leaders (1) Image Name: Operation Transformation 2013 - Leaders (1) Description: Operation Transformation - 5 Leaders. (L-R) Monica Percy, Deirdre Hosford, Charlotte O'Connell, Gavin Walker and Greg Starr New series starts Tuesday 8th January and Wednesday 9th January at 8.00pm on RTE One
Monica Percy - Operation Transformation 2013 leader Image Name: Monica Percy - Operation Transformation 2013 leader
Greg Starr - Operation Transformation 2013 leader Image Name: Greg Starr - Operation Transformation 2013 leader
Gavin Walker - Operation Transformation 2013 leader Image Name: Gavin Walker - Operation Transformation 2013 leader

Operation Transformation will return to our television screens twice a week in 2013, on Tuesday and Wednesday nights starting from the 8th of January. Once again, RTÉ Radio 1’s The John Murray Show is the radio home for the series and this year we are joining forces with digital station RTÉ Pulse for music to keep you motivated. There will be more interactive content available on www.rte.ie/ot and www.rte.ie/radio1/thejohnmurrayshow

With the help of presenter Kathryn Thomas, Karl Henry, fitness expert, Dr. Eva Orsmond, medical doctor and Dr. Eddie Murphy, a Principle Clinical Psychologist with the HSE the five leaders will drastically change their eating and exercise habits, and inspire listeners and viewers to follow them on their journey.

The final five leaders were chosen from hundreds of applicants. The final 19 applicants were invited to come to Santry Sportslink in November to be put through their paces and were assessed on their physical and emotional suitability for the television series.

The five leaders are: 1) Charlotte O’ Connell (23) from Cavan 2) Gavin Walker (35), Dublin 3) Deirdre Hosford (31) from Cork 4) Greg Starr (36) from Co. Tipperary 5) Monica Percy (44)from Carlow


Programme 1 – Tuesday 8th January 2013

On Tuesday’s night show, we meet the 19 hopefuls who made it to Sportslink in Santry for a day of rigorous assessment by our three experts Karl Henry, Dr. Eddie Murphy and Dr. Eva Orsmond. Kathryn will unveil our first two leaders – Deirdre and Gavin, and Operation Transformation travels to Harvard University to meet Dublin scientist Dr. Lydia Lynch whose groundbreaking research made headlines worldwide when she showed the link between obesity and cancer. We also meet running man John Casey who after taking part in our 5K Fun Run in the Phoenix Park last year has now gone on to take part in the Iron Man in Galway and has lost a total of 10 stone.


Programme 2 – Wednesday 9th January 2013

On Wednesday’s night show, we meet our first group of 2013 and Kathryn unveils our final three leaders, Charlotte, Greg and Monica. It’s also our leaders very first fitness test where Karl Henry shows them the hard journey they have to embark on over the next 7 weeks if they are to lead the nation in the Operation Transformation 5K Fun Run in February.


Childhood Obesity:

With one in four nine-year-olds now overweight or obese, this year there will be a big focus on childhood obesity. Professor Niall Moyna returns to Operation Transformation to raise awareness of our children’s increasingly poor levels of physical activity. He believes that primary school children should be doing 15,000 steps a day and this series we will find ways of how we can all ‘Step It Up.’


Nationwide Events:

Nationwide Walk – Saturday 19th January. In conjunction with the Irish Sports Council Operation Transformation encourages everyone to get out and walk today. Sports Partnerships provide walking leaders to show people the pace they should be following and there will be walks taking place at over 30 venues all around the country. Details to follow.

5k Run – Saturday 23rd February. Building on last year’s success which saw 5,000 people take to Phoenix Park for the annual 5K Fun Run, this year we will be holding two 5K Fun Runs in both Dublin and Cork. We want everyone to take part and Operation Transformation fitness expert Karl Henry has developed an audio 5K training plan which is available at www.rte.ie/ot

Roadshows – Operation Transformation will be on the road with Safefood this year where people can learn more about healthy eating, being more active and transforming their choices as well as meeting the leaders.’

Leader Biogs:

Note: Their first weigh in takes place on the 7th of January and these weights may change.

Charlotte O’ Connell

Address: Bailieborough, Co. Cavan

Current Weight: 16st

Charlotte (23) comes across as a carefree young girl but inside her weight issues are really starting to get her down. She lives with her boyfriend, Gerald, in a converted garage in her parent’s back garden in Bailieborough, Co. Cavan. Having recently completed a degree in Early Childhood Studies, she is currently working as a hotel housekeeper but is hoping to further her studies and become a teacher. Charlotte has always struggled with her weight and has a massive sweet tooth. With her sister’s wedding looming and the thoughts of bridesmaid’s dress shopping filling Charlotte with dread, she is desperate to get in shape.

Deirdre Hosford

Address: Whitechurch, Co. Cork

Current Weight: 14st 5lbs

Deirdre (31) is adjusting to life as a stay at home mum and looking after her two ‘bundles of energy’, Jack (2) and Cian (2 months). She lives in Whitechurch, Co. Cork with her husband Will, who is a Garda.

Having lost her father earlier this year, Deirdre has a new perspective on life and is determined to get healthier for the sake of her young family. Deirdre has struggled with her weight since puberty but has noticed a major change in her figure since having her two boys. As a former beauty therapist, she took great pride in her appearance and while she may no longer have the time for false lashes and freshly painted nails, she longs to get a bit of her glamorous self back.


Gavin Walker

Address: Kill, Co. Kildare/ Originally from Tallaght

Current Weight: 18st 7lbs

Recently separated, Gavin (35) is starting over but his weight is preventing him from moving on. Originally from Tallaght, he now lives in Kill, Co. Kildare. He has four children, who he sees regularly and are a major source of motivation to him. As a Process Technician, he does shift work, which plays havoc with his diet. Living alone has also added to the problem, as his cooking lacks both imagination and ability. Afraid of ending up unhealthy and alone, Gavin is desperate to take action and start moving on with his life.

Greg Starr

Address: Aglish, Co Tipperary

Current Weight:  17st 13lbs

As an Operation Transformation group member in 2012, Greg (36) feels ready to take the leap and become a leader this year. He lost two stone as a member of the Aglish Village People Group last year and wants to continue what he has started. Greg lives in Aglish, Co. Tipperary with his wife Claire and son Eoghan. He runs his own Motor Factors shop. As a former member of the Air Corps and avid rugby player, Greg was once sporty and fit. His weight is now starting to affect his health and with a history of heart disease in the family, he fears he is a ticking time bomb and wants to improve his health before it’s too late!

Monica Percy

Address: Ballon, Co. Carlow

Current Weight: 13st 8lbs

Devoted single mum, Monica (44) spends her days juggling her fulltime job as a finance manager with the demands of her two children’s busy schedules. When she is not at work, she is busy ferrying them around to their many activities.  Monica was born in the UK but returned home to Ireland with her parents when she was 10-years-old. She now lives in Ballon, Co. Carlow.  Her father died in a car accident when she was 16-years-old. Monica is divorced, having separated from her husband 8 years ago. The time since then has gone by in a blur for Monica but she is ready to start living again.

Operation Transformation is sponsored by Safefood