Claire Beakhurst, the bubbly barber from Malahide in Dublin who was revealed last week as the first leader of Operation Transformation 2020, has been forced to pull out of the show due to medical reasons. 

The Operation Transformation medical expert Dr. Sumi Dunne met with Claire yesterday and explained to her why she could no longer take part. Claire was understandably disappointed but, hopefully, her health journey will continue away from the cameras.

Spotting an issue like this is built into the show's design, as all contestants are checked and monitored to ensure they can take part in the sometimes challenging food plans and lifestyle changes.

Speaking after breaking the news to Claire, Sumi said: "Casting for Operation Transformation is paramount, with a rigorous multi-faceted process, which includes detailed on-line application forms, research calls, house visits and a GP visit to include blood pressure checks and blood tests.

"Very occasionally, these tests will reveal some results our candidate won't be aware of. In this instance with Claire, the blood tests indicated a possible anomaly. Given this was an unexpected result, a second set of blood tests were requested for Claire, which confirmed an issue.

"The health and well-being of all the leaders is of the utmost importance for me and the team. For Claire, medical management of this condition and appropriate care is now the priority. As Claire will need to commence treatment, it is prudent for these medical reasons that Claire steps back from the OT journey of 2020."

A new leader will be announced later today, but we wish Claire all the best and she's still an Operation Transformation leader to us!