Keeping away from the tasting spoon is set to be a real challenge for Donegal chef Gary O'Hanlon as he starts this health kick.

Gary O’Hanlon

Celebrity chef Gary O’Hanlon from Ramelton is one of the leaders on the new series of Celebrity Operation Transformation, and you can find out how his first week went tonight (Wednesday) on RTE One at 9.30pm.

Gary is 39 years old and a well-known culinary star on TV3’s The Restaurant. A life spent in the kitchen means that he’s always around food, but it has recently impacted on his weight. Gary is now 15st 3.5lb, and is looking shed the excess pounds.

Gary leads a busy career as Head Chef at Viewmount House, Co. Longford. He’s always on the go with his young family too.  Gary lives in Granard, Co. Longford with his wife Annette and their two children, Cora (3) and Olly (11 months).

Gary admits he has gone from a fit and healthy marathon runner to a ‘wee fat chef’ but is ready to give it his all in this challenge.

Despite being constantly surrounded by food, Gary said he could go an entire day without eating a proper meal. Turning instead to energy drinks, fizzy drinks, jellies, ice-pops, crisps and chocolate to keep him going. He admits as a chef he should know better but his eating habits are out of control.

Gary is known as a food expert in many circuits, but not the kind this show is looking for. He is confident he’ll still be the one ‘bringing the flavour’ to this series though!

He is keen to get back to a level of fitness to run marathons again. He is a gym member but is usually only found relaxing in the jacuzzi or sauna these days! Working on his feet for 23 years has left him with joint and back pain. Even putting on socks has become torture.

The devoted dad wants to be able to enjoy running around with his kids for a long time to come. He’ll be following a tailored OT food and fitness plan over the coming weeks, and you can do the same if you follow his leader page on

Other leaders on this series are X Factor singer Mary Byrne, beauty expert Triona McCarthy, social media influencer James Patrice and singer Kayleigh Cullinan.

Tune in tonight to see the team face the scales and the experts at the weekly weigh in, and experience the highs and lows as they embark on one of their biggest challenges to date.