Having found fame on the second season of Big Brother in 2001, you'd think that Brian Dowling would be more than comfortable appearing in front of a live audience every week. However, the Irish presenter says he still has a way to go before he feels totally at ease fox trotting and salsaing across the Dancing With the Stars stage.
"It's so stressful. You kind of underestimate how stressful it is", he said on Sunday.
As one of the celebrity contestants, on one of the most-watched show on Irish television, Brian has already dazzled audiences - his salsa with pro partner Laura Nolan racking up a score of 16 and smashing through his personal goal of 15 points. But for Brian, there's another goal in mind.
"I can't wait for the weight loss", he quipped. "For our wedding [to Arthur Gourounlian] I lost 70 lbs, from 2014 to 2015." He said that by the time Wagon's Den aired in 2011 with comedian Katherine Lynch "I was a lot bigger then than I am now" so keeping fit and healthy has been a priority for some time.
A combination of "dietitian, personal trainer" and cutting out a lot of "crap" from his diet was the secret behind his weight loss, though you can tell that cutting out one food was particularly difficult - "bread and pasta".
"But I remember when I was hosting Big Brother and it wasn't going so well for me, I was comfort eating. That was when I did my first show of the three years I was on the show. I gained so much weight."
"If I'm in [a situation where] nothing’s going right, you feel awkward about something, I eat. I’m a nervous eater. It’s not alcohol, it’s not that, it’s food for me. It’s about also being in a happy place yourself and I think that allows you to make healthier choices in life."
As the eldest of seven and the only boy among six girls, Brian says he learned how to be responsible and watch over people, which comes through in his mindfulness towards himself. "I always feel I have to look after them and advise them. But they're not afraid to tell me what I need to do either!"
Being closer to home has been a huge advantage for the couple, who have temporarily moved from their current home in Los Angeles to Dublin while Brian does the show.
"I want to move back here, we want to have our family here, raise our children here, so who knows?"
"Babies are firmly on the brain, he added. "We are on the baby train, the baby train has departed. We're down to two things, about what we’re going to do. I’m 42 this year, Arthur’s 40. The train has left the station!
"I'm one of seven, I’ve six sisters, five nieces, six nephews, I’m godfather to multiple people, all my friends’ children, so this is just normal to me. I’m a bit older now, though."