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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Katie Gallagher

Operation Transformation star quits show as RTE announce replacement for new season return

Operation Transformation’s Aoife Hearne has stepped away from the show as RTE have announced her replacement for the new season.

The show’s dietitian expert, who is a member of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute, has been part of the series for 12 seasons.

Aoife announced her exit, saying: "After a rewarding nine years and 12 series of working on Operation Transformation, I have decided after careful consideration that it is time for me to leave.

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"I wish the team of experts, Kathryn, series producer Niamh Maher and her team all the very best for the upcoming series."

The show will welcome new dietitian Sophie Pratt, who is also a member of the institute, which is the professional body for Dietitians in Ireland.

She will join returning experts Dr Sumi Dunne, Dr Eddie Murphy and Karl Henry on the panel for 2023.

On joining the new show, Pratt said: “I am delighted to be part of the Operation Transformation team and I am really looking forward to guiding the leaders on their journey. I hope that together we can inspire the general public to make the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes for their own transformation in 2023.”

RTÉ announced the popular show will return on Wednesday 4th January 2023 at 9.30pm with five new leaders.

OT expert and HSE Clinical Psychologist, Dr Eddie Murphy said: “I am very excited to be involved in Operation Transformation for my 13th Year, promoting mental health and wellbeing in all its facets including promoting the authentic self, positive psychology and ensuring well being for the head and the heart.”

The release has also teased the new series to have ‘a refreshed visual identity and some new features as it continues to inspire audiences to live a longer, healthier, happier life’.

Presenter Kathryn Thomas will be on hand to encourage the leaders every step of the way, as they take on a health and wellness plan under the careful supervision of four qualified experts with the aim of resetting and kick-starting a new chapter in their lives.

Now entering its 16th series, the show has continued to evolve each year and RTE said that will continue this year with the focus still very much on overall health and well-being.

The leaders will have a weekly health check in where 14 health indicators will be monitored. These include Upper Body Strength, Balance, Lower Body Strength and Cardiovascular adding to the usual Hydration, Blood Pressure, Metabolic Age, Weight, General Health, Nutrition, Movement, among others.

They also underwent the Health-Related Fitness Test under the direction of Professor Niall Moyna and his team at Dublin City University.

The experts use all the information gathered to devise a plan tailored to the individual needs of each leader.

During the series Professor Niall Moyna will also highlight the importance of everyday movement and how best to utilise outdoor amenities when it comes to daily exercise.

The five leaders began their transformation back in November when they were fully assessed by the experts.

Fitness expert and coach Henry said: “Health and wellness have never been more important for our viewers, and I can’t wait to show them how everyone can get healthy in 2023.”

Following a slew of requests from viewers for updates on how previous leaders are getting on since their transformation journey on the show, the upcoming series will also check in with previous leaders about their experiences since taking part in the show with a new podcast.

Leaders will share their personal stories and their own tips, their highs, and lows as they continue to prioritise health and well-being in their lives.

Former OT leader Katie Jones will host the brand-new OT podcast.

Katie was hugely popular with viewers last year and has been an inspiration to this series’ upcoming leaders.

Each week Katie will also talk to a former leader in the company of one of the OT experts to help everyone on their wellness journey.

The show will broadcast from Stradbally, Co Laois this year, where each week the leaders will meet the experts here as they chart their weekly Health Check-In.

In partnership with SVT Activity and Wellness Hub and Laois County Council, the county will host the weekly Ad Break Challenges where OT Fitness Karl Henry will be on hand to get the community moving and the series will aim to boost awareness of health and well-being initiatives in the area.

Also, back for 2023, is Ireland Lights Up, an initiative in collaboration with the GAA encourages clubs from the 32 counties to open their grounds and allow people to safely walk under their lights.

OT expert and General Practitioner, Dr Sumi said:

“I am delighted to be involved with series 16 of Operation Transformation. It will be a fantastic 8 weeks. We have super leaders whom we have the privilege of getting to know and accompanying them on their journey to wellness and health.

“A special honour also to be in Co. Laois – particularly as it is my home county!”


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