Kathryn Thomas has revealed the heartbreaking reason she originally turned down the opportunity to host Operation Transformation.
The popular presenter started hosting RTÉ’s weight loss show in 2010, after former host Gerry Ryan died suddenly.
Speaking on the Real Health podcast with Karl Henry, Kathryn said she was “terrified” of replacing such an iconic television personality.
She explained: “Gerry had been doing the show for three years and I got a phone call from Mary Curtis, a brilliant woman who was very good to me throughout my career in RTE. She phoned me and asked me if I’d be interested in doing it.”
“Straight away I said no. I said ‘That is not for me, that’s Gerry’s show, how can I take this on, how can I do it?”
“I felt like I was stepping into Gerry Ryan’s shoes and nobody can step into Gerry Ryan’s shoes.”
But Kathryn eventually said yes to the gig, after she got the go ahead from members of Gerry’s family.
Kathryn said: “I met the production team and I was and still am friends with Mick Ryan, Gerry’s brother, so I rang Mick and said ‘What do you think?’”
“This was less than a year after Gerry’s passing so it was all very soon and sudden. He said ‘Absolutely, this is the show for you, it’s a great gig, you’re perfect for it and you’re great with people.'”
“I said I’m going to it differently because I can’t do it the same. He said it to Morah (Gerry’s ex-wife). Once I had their backing, it made the decision easy for me,” she added.