Offaly Independent

Published: Wednesday, 20th November, 2013 2:30pm

Offaly man in final 20 for Operation Transformation

Profile by Laura Ryder

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Weighing in at 17st 7lbs, Offaly’s Fionan O’Sullivan this week edged one step closer to becoming an Operation Transformation leader.

The 45-year-old father-of-one was physically and emotionally assessed yesterday (Wednesday) for possible inclusion in the seventh series of the programme that’s due to air in early January.

He and 19 other finalists were also put through their paces as part of an RTE Radio 1 broadcast with John Murray and his team.

If included in the final line-up of five leaders, Fionan will follow in the footsteps of past leaders from Offaly Ronan Scully and Adrian Brereton.

Originally from Dublin, Fionan now lives in Offaly with his wife Judy, his five-year-old son Cameron and their two dogs. Working as a horse feed sales man, Fionan admitted this week it can be hard to convince people he knows anything about nutrition at his current size.

The former professional cyclist who represented Ireland seven times up until the age of 27 spends a lot of time on the road and is constantly popping in and out of shops. He said he has retained the “massive appetite” he developed while cycling, and that pasta and wine are his downfalls.

Fionan has also admitted to having a bit of an ego and being very competitive, and says he knows that if he started Operation Transformation as a leader, he would have to succeed.

Next year’s Operation Transformation will include two new experts along with the familiar faces of Karl Henry and Dr Eddie Murphy - dietician Aoife Hearne and GP and family health expert Dr Ciara Kelly.

The five leaders for the show will be revealed next week, when show host Kathryn Thomas visits their homes to tell them the good news. Speaking this week she said becoming a leader is a huge undertaking.

“There’s a camera crew shadowing you constantly,” she said. “It’s intense but that’s why it works - it’s easier when there’s a support network around you who want you to succeed. The production team, the experts, John and I all want the leaders to achieve their goals and we hope our five leaders for 2014 will be as fabulous and inspirational as our leaders Charlotte, Gavin, Deirdre, Greg and Monica last year.”

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