RTÉ's Operation Transformation to end after 17 seasons

Critics of programme claim it normalises disordered eating behaviours and perpetuates weight stigma

Operation Transformation, the RTÉ show focusing on health and weight loss, is to come to an end after 17 seasons.

The broadcaster announced on Friday that the decision had been communicated to those involved, including the experts on the show and stakeholders, some weeks ago.

“As series come to an end each year, RTÉ undertakes an editorial review to ensure the audience is being best served and to refresh and renew its slate of programming,” RTÉ said in a statement.

The series, launched in 2008, initially saw presenter Gerry Ryan select hopefuls on his RTÉ 2FM radio show and follow them on their weight loss journey. Kathryn Thomas began presenting the show in 2012.


The programme had come under criticism in recent years with an online petition calling for it to be decommissioned receiving 10,000 signatures. Critics claimed the programme normalises disordered eating behaviours and perpetuates weight stigma.

Grainne McAleer, RTÉ's commissioning editor, said: “We’d like to extend a huge thank you to all of the leaders who have participated in the series over the past 17 seasons and to the public who engaged with the series in huge numbers across Ireland. We are proud of the positive impact the show has had on individuals and communities across the country, but feel it’s time to refresh and renew our offering to the audience.”

Thomas said it had been “an incredible privilege” to be a part of Operation Transformation for the past 14 years, adding: “I am so so proud of the legacy the show is leaving behind.

“To be able to shine a national spotlight on the importance of looking after our health through our amazing leaders, ordinary people living ordinary lives, who opened up their hearts and homes in the most extraordinary ways,” she said.

“Every single one of you inspired me. And I learnt so much from all our incredible experts down through the years too.”

RTÉ said it would announce a new series to start next January later in the year.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times