About RTÉ Television
The Afternoon Show
The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

Kathryn Thomas: No Frontiers 12th Series

Friday, 12 February 2010

Kathryn Thomas is back with a new series of No Frontiers - on Sunday nights at 7.30pm on RTE ONE.

Winning Streak is on Saturday RTÉ One 8:10pm

"Kathryn Thomas and the No Frontiers team are back on Sunday nights at 7.30pm on RTÉ One with a suitcase full of great affordable holiday ideas and the best independent travel from around the globe.

This year's series truly has something for everyone, whatever your taste or budget. Kathryn travels on the real road to Damascus as she discovers Syria's ancient capital and the sensational ruined city of Palmyra. She also finds out what Darwin has to offer those heading to Australia on a working holiday visa, takes an epic rail journey across North America from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Golden Gate and comes home to Ireland to have a world-class surf experience on the beaches of Sligo.

Kathryn is joined by some favourite faces this year as well as a surprise or two. Outdoors enthusiast, Diarmuid Gavin, explores Iceland's wild landscape and legendary geysers on horseback. Stylish Sonya Lennon hikes through Italy's Cinque Terre, five unspoilt medieval villages perched on cliffs above the Italian Riviera. Tracy Piggott swaps the parade ring for the sea on a Club Med sailing holiday in Turkey.

Clodagh McKenna leaves her cookbooks behind, takes a leisurely break on France's most scenic canal and visits the fairytale cité of Carcassonne. Ice Presenter Sinead Kennedy finds action behind quaint scenery when she goes rally driving and gorge walking in North Wales. We've also selected three of the very best package holidays available and sent Fiona Looney, Sallie McArdle and Michelle Doherty to review them.

No Frontiers also has two new features. Travel writer and broadcaster Fionn Davenport brings you the "Inside Track" on your favourite European cities. Most of us know what the key attractions of the major cities are. Based on his vast travel experience, Fionn will give insider tips on how to get the most of a city break by going beyond the tourist trail.

In "Breakaways", newcomer Jenny Buckley will show you how to take advantage of the amazing cheap flights on offer and have a relaxing holiday in some of Europe's loveliest regions." RTE PRESS

Programme 7 (Tasmania, Amsterdam, France Canal)
Kathryn Thomas finds stunning beaches, great wine and tasty Aussie food in Tasmania. Lonely Planet writer Fionn Davenport finds out if Amsterdam can shed its bad reputation on his latest Inside Track report. Chef Clodagh McKenna leaves her cookbooks behind and takes the slow route through the south of France on a canal boat.

Kathryn Thomas Fact File:

. Kathryn studied ARTS in UCD but left before she completed her degree because she landed the role of co-presenting Rapid with Jason Sherlock on RTE TWO.
. After Rapid - Kathryn won the coveted job presenting No Frontiers on RTE ONE.
. She also holds a PR and Marketing Diploma.
. When she was younger she had ambitions to become an actress.
. Kathryn has been involved with the Special Olympics for a long time and one of her highlights both in a professional and personal capacity was presenting the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics in 2003 in Croke Park.
. She wrote a book called 'Off the Beaten Track' and was nominated for an Irish Book Award.
. She won TV personality in 2008 at the IFTA's.
. She has ambitions to write a chick lit book.
. In May 2009 - Kathryn revealed that she was auditioning for a role in a movie in London.
. Kathryn presents Winning Streak alongside Marty Whelan.
. She contracted malaria in 2008.
. In 2009 Kathryn bought a house in Dublin 8 with her partner Enda. They gutted the house from top to bottom.
. Kathryn in January won Best Broadcast Travel Journalist Award.

Have 'No Frontiers' changed the format a bit because of the recession?
Yeah absolutely, we are doing much more Irish stories this year and we are doing two new strands - called 'Insight Track' with Fionn Davenport. That is one where you learn all the insiders tips and you can do it on a budget. The other one is with Jenny Buckley called 'Breakaway's. What we did was we looked at places that you fly to but they tend to end up being outside the cities and people usually have to pay more money to get to the heart of the city and what we did was we looked at what was near the area you flew into.

You have done a piece for 'No Frontiers' with your nanna and this series your sister - what's it like working with your family?
Brilliant, what makes it different is that it's not just me talking to the camera but me interacting with my sister. The Greece trip with Linda, my sister, it was the best rated one we have done so far, I think why people liked that one was because it was Mamma Mia and it was a real girly trip. It was nice to see an insight into my relationship with my sister and I think that's what struck people that that might be a nice holiday with their sisters or their mother.

It was a great holiday and Linda was great on camera. What she realised was that it took so many hours to put this to camera and it was no lounging around or drinking cocktails by the pool. She works in PR.

You are busy with 'No Frontiers' and 'Winning Streak' - do you ever get time for yourself?
In the coming weeks I should have time for myself as I'm back from all the trips with 'No Frontiers' and I'll just be doing the voice over part. For 'Winning Streak' I record it on Thursday and so my weekend is Sunday and Monday.

Has there been any destination you went to where you didn't feel safe?
Nothing that we couldn't handle. There was one time in Senegal in West Africa - with Judy Kelly who worked with the Lonely Planet and we headed out to Senegal and we got into a bit of trouble in Dakar. Generally when we arrive we have been in touch with the tourist board and we also get picked up by a car but this was the time when we did independent travel so it was literally us just arriving and sorting out the trip. When we arrived we were an all female camera crew - we arrived in a train station in Dakar and we were surrounded by 300 men and one guy was shouting - in his own dialect- that the camera we were using was making them look naked. Then thank god - a woman on a peanut stall came out and dragged us into her stall and called the police. That was a hairy one.

What are your tips for packing? Tips when in the airport?
Give yourself time to get to the airport - I never do that. I was heading to Tobago about 2 weeks ago and I got to the airport and literally had about 5 seconds to spare. They tend to tell me my flight is a half hour earlier than it is. I always take a copy of my passport and Birth Cert. I have had to do that twice now so it's handier to bring them with you if you are doing an independent travel trip. With a rucksack roll your clothes, stuff your shoes and boots with your underwear, I bring candles in case the place has a blackout and always pack a good book. I love to fly as no one can contact me and I love to switch off and read.

You also recently bought and gutted your house - are you a dab hand at DIY?
I am brilliant - I am a tiler extraordinaire. I am thrilled with the house and it's a real home.

I read last year that you went to an acting audition in London - how did it go? Is acting something you would like to do?
I met the director but then the finance of the movie was put off and now they are trying to get the finances together from America. So we will see what happens. It has been a big passion of mine but television is my career and I love it.

You also published a travel book 'Off the Beaten Track' any aspirations to be a chick lit author like Amy Huberman?
I am starting to write and I would love to write a novel but at the moment it's about finding the time and being disciplined.

Favourite place in the world?
I love Greece so I like to go there on my holidays. I also love to go to Kerry. I got a camper van trip as a birthday present so I'm hoping to do that for a week in the summer time.

You do a lot of charity work - tell me about the RESPECT BALL?
6th March 2010 - Dress to Impress - TBA Corporate Fashion Show
"The TBA is delighted to announce the launch of their charity debut fashion show where the business and fashion worlds will merge for a glamorous evening in aid of the charity Respect. Respect is an Irish registered charity responsible for fundraising projects for people with intellectual disabilities of all ages in the Dublin area.

This unique event will not only showcase the best in Irish and internationally designed fashion, it promises to be a wonderful networking event - a true highlight in the calendar for 2010. The show will commence with a complimentary drinks reception and will be directed by Celia Holman-Lee, with Eddie Hobbs and Kathryn Thomas as our hosts for the evening and musical entertainment provided by the Dublin Gospel Choir.
Tickets on sale now. Please email the address below for tickets or more information".