This much I know: Kathryn Thomas, presenter

I’ve always been a bit of a tom boy, I’ll give anything a go.
This much I know: Kathryn Thomas, presenter

Boundaries never suited me.

My plan was to be on the big screen in Hollywood. To be the greatest actress in the world. I acted when I was in school. Then I did some short films and even auditioned for Roddy Doyle.

I went to UCD to study Arts for a year, during which time I wrote to every television production company in the country and landed myself a job in the basement of Coco Television, labelling tapes and making coffee. I loved being part of a team.

I was hooked on working in TV. My first presenting gig was on a sports programme, Rapid, with footballer Jason Sherlock. I was completely intimidated.

I had no formal training. The best advice I got, from that day to this, was to ‘be yourself’ on air. Once I got the hang of it, it was great craic.

There have been so many highlights over the years.

I grew up, spent my entire 20s, seeing the world with No Frontiers for nine months of the year, from seven-star hotels in Dubai to the slums of Brazil.

Travel became an addiction. I learned to live that lifestyle and to be pretty fearless. It shaped the woman I am today.

It was intense, usually just me and a crew of two or three men. The flip side is that I sometimes find it hard to stay in one place now.

The scariest moment was in Papua New Guinea. We had local guides but still got lost in the jungle. It was hideous.

We came to a river and everyone except me crossed over. I turned to see a man in a loin cloth coming towards me with a machete. His teeth and face were stained red, from betel nut.

As he screamed at me, so close that I could feel his spit on my face, I remembered that tribal land is sacred and we’d cleary crossed some boundary.

I also remembered that Papua New Guinea is one of the last places that practises cannibalism. That moment has stuck with me.

I’m a fighter, yet I didn’t run or scream. I simply accepted that my life was about to end. Somehow, one of the guides made it back across the river and negotiated with the man.

Operation Transformation is probably the show I’m most proud of as we all work so hard to get the right message across about health and fitness.

I’m a workaholic. I want to get a better work life balance but I’ve my own business now, and although I love it, I had no idea how much work that entails.

We run residential detox and fitness courses. I’m always encouraging people to come down and invest in themselves for a few days, enjoy our good food and mindfullness training, and I really should take my own advice.

I love my food, so I have to work at my fitness. Although for me it’s not just about looking good.

I have two dogs, so I have to walk them twice a day. I generally do a 5k run and I work out twice a week. That regime can slip, of course.

I find it hard to switch off. I went to India to try and get into meditation, but I still have’t managed to do so.

Spending time with my boyfriend Pádraig is how I unwind. We met completely by chance when I was having a drink with a friend in O’Donohues on Baggot Street. He’s in the restaurant business - he owns Union 8 and Catch 22 - and we live in Kilmainham.

My biggest fault is not saying no.

I probably enjoy television more than radio because I’m more at home doing TV. Radio is more challenging as I’m still learning the craft.

My idea of misery is having to do something that would suck the life out of me and that didn’t inspire me or that involved working alone. I’m a team player.

My idea of bliss is travelling. With Pádraig.

If I could be someone else for a day I’d be Muhammad Ali. I loved his persona and what he created.

I’m not a religious person. But when my grandmother passed away it made me consider my beliefs about an after life. Up to that, I’d have said you depart the planet and that’s it. Now, I’m not so sure.

So far life has taught me to get out and live it. The only way you are going to know if something will work is if you try.

Kathryn’s fitness, detox and weight loss bootcamp ‘Pure Results’ offers both seven and four day residential retreats followed by a two week aftercare programme.

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