Thursday 18 January 2018

Kathryn Thomas: 'I lived for weeks on withered bananas and stale bread, it was the happiest time'


Kathryn Thomas and Padraig
Kathryn Thomas and Padraig

She's one of RTE's most in-demand presenters, which is why Kathryn Thomas' pocket wasn't affected by the recession.

Asked if she had been personally hit by the economic downturn, the Carlow native (36) admitted: "Financially no. I've been lucky enough to continue my contract with RTE."

While the popular broadcaster admits she was one of the lucky ones, she added that people close to her were not so fortunate.

"My friends and family have lost jobs. My brother had to move to the Isle of Man. My sister emigrated to America," she said.

While she now has a hugely successful career in RTE, the Voice of Ireland host revealed that she survived on only £80 one summer.

The Operation Transformation presenter, who has recently branched out by starting her own bootcamp, explained how she and two friends lived on "withered bananas and bread rolls" while they worked in Greece for a summer.

"After the Leaving Cert I headed off to Greece with a grand total of £80 to last for four months," she said.

"I lived in a room with no windows, and mattresses for beds.


"I worked for a restaurant, selling vodka and watermelons on the beach, and lived on withered bananas and bread rolls that we managed to get from the baker."

Despite being strapped for cash during her Greek adventure, Kathryn insisted she had never been happier, saying: "It was the best time of my life."

The TV and radio presenter, who began her broadcasting career at the age of 19, recently admitted she planned on going on stage when she was younger.

"I wanted to be an actress," she told the Herald. "I loved it while I was in school and I was quite good at it.

"I did a few short films when I was in college in UCD and I did all of my London Guild Hall Exams right up. The next exam I would do would qualify me to be a speech and drama teacher.

"I loved it, but in typical Irish parenting style my mom said, 'You're not going off to London to be an actress unless you have a piece of paper behind you'!

"My parents insisted that I go to college, which is why I ended up in UCD."

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