The search for the Operation Transformation 2018 leaders is on and Kathryn told us today that 19 potential candidates will be whittled down to five ahead of the 11th season of the show in January.

The OT hopefuls came together at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus, in Blanchardstown before undergoing a fitness test and sessions with the OT experts, before appearing on the Ray D'Arcy Show on RTÉ Radio 1.

The show's presenter Kathryn was in flying form following her baby news announcement last week. More below.

The experts, Kathryn, Ray and the 19 hopefuls who would like to become OT leaders
The experts, Kathryn, Ray and the 19 hopefuls who would like to become OT leaders. Pic: Andres Poveda

"Since I announced I'm pregnant, honestly, it has been such an overwhelming outpouring of love and support. People are almost more excited than I am. Its just been gorgeous.

"It was only a week ago I announced - I was trying to keep it quiet as long as I could."

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Myself and Padraig were relishing in the news ourselves and getting used to it and letting all our friends and family know.

Kathryn and Padraig got engaged this time last year and are planning to get married next year although she told us that everything will work around the baby.

Speaking about the reaction of family, friends and the public to their baby news, she added: "People are so good and so full of good will for you, that it has been overwhelming. I haven't even started replying on social media yet. That's my job for tonight I think but thankfully, we're very blessed. we feel extremely lucky.

This is something we've wanted for a while, so I feel really blessed.

"I feel really lucky, I'm looking for wood to touch but I haven't been sick, I haven't gone off any food. which was typical of me - I was never going to go off my grub. Yes, thankfully all good and couldn't be happier."

The presenter will be seven or eight months pregnant when OT hits our TV screens again in January and she is already in a healthy pregnancy fitness routine in the lead up to her due date at the end of March, beginning of April.

We'll have more news from Kathryn later in the week, and the OT experts, as the leaders will be unveiled over the next week on the Ray D'Arcy show.

The OT experts are fitness leader Karl Henry, dietitian Aoife Hearne, GP Dr Ciara Kelly and a Principal Clinical Psychologist Dr Eddie Murphy.
OT experts Dr Ciara Kelly, Karl Henry, presenters Kathryn Thomas and Ray D'Arcy, Aoife Hearne, Dr Eddie Murphy. Pic: Andres Poveda