Ireland’s Fittest Family returns to our screens on Sunday the 29thof October. The fifth series has a coaching line-up that includes season four winner Anna Geary, GAA legend Davy Fitz, returning hero Derval O’Rourke and first time Fittest Family coach and rugby legend Donncha O’Callaghan.

Ireland’s Fittest Family 2017 will see 12 mega-fit families compete against each other, in what promises to be the most gruelling contest yet, as they compete to win the coveted title and the €15,000 prize money.

New tougher locations have been added to the series which test all aspects of fitness. Camden Fort Meagher in Crosshaven Co. Cork is the first location in the series. Dark damp underground tunnels terrify the families in the very first event ,and  it doesn’t get any easier in the eliminator, which the coaches believe to be the toughest course ever featured on the series.

Performance consultant and referee Joe O’Connor said: "Each year the stakes get higher, and this year definitely presents the toughest physical challenges that we have seen to date. Some Fittest Family hero events like Hanging Tough will return, but new events which see the families tested in ways we haven’t seen before will feature in every episode."

Discussing his upcoming role on the show Donncha O’Callaghan said: "After watching it at home for years I’m dying to get stuck into Ireland’s Fittest Family… I’m not a coach but I’ve been a member of a family for 38 years so I’ve plenty of experience! And I’m looking forward to playing a few mind games with Davy Fitz!"

Having previously won the second series, Olympic athlete Derval O’Rourke is returning to build on her victory. She said: "I’m very excited to be returning to Fittest Family. As the winner of series two I’m out to prove it was no fluke as I take on Davy, Anna and Donncha – I’m determined to repeat my success. And did I mention I had two families in the final before?"

Davy Fitz said: "The one thing that really stands out for me this year is the strength of the girls; some of the girls in the competition are the strongest members of their family. The lads will have to up their game!"

Last year’s winning coach Anna Geary said: "The courses are tougher, the standards are higher, the competition is fierce… right now it’s very hard to tell what family has the edge. I’m going to focus on attitude, teamwork and strategy with my families. One thing the other coaches have in common is the incentive to take my title, but there’s no way I’m giving it up without one hell of a fight."

On series 4 of Ireland’s Fittest Family Anna Geary’s Cummins family from Tipperary ran out winners.

Presented by Mairead Ronan Ireland’s Fittest Family is produced by Animo TV and Kite Entertainment.

Series 5, episode 1

Six of our 12 families go battle against each other in the underground tunnels of Camden Fort Meaghar, a 400 year old military fort in Crosshaven, Co. Cork.  The four super –competitive coaches- Davy Fitz, Donncha O’ Callaghan, Derval O’ Rourke and Anna Geary- watch on and vie for the best families for their teams. After the tunnels of terror time trials, the families with the slowest times face the eliminator- our toughest yet- while the others are straight through to coach selection.

Families featured: Guilfoyles, Meaghers, Ó Gibnes, Hynes, Ryans, Smyths.