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Lockdown fails to stop the hunt for Ireland's Fittest Family

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Host Mairead Ronan (centre) with judges Derval O’Rourke, Donncha O’Callaghan, Anna Geary and Davy Fitzgerald

Host Mairead Ronan (centre) with judges Derval O’Rourke, Donncha O’Callaghan, Anna Geary and Davy Fitzgerald

Host Mairead Ronan (centre) with judges Derval O’Rourke, Donncha O’Callaghan, Anna Geary and Davy Fitzgerald

The race is on to find Ireland's Fittest Family, despite the lockdown.

The eighth series of the popular physical fitness show on RTE One will be back later this summer.

Applications to take part are now open.

The producers said it will be "more challenging than ever before".

It is not only the physical hurdles that competitors will have to overcome, but the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic too, producer Adam McGarry Byrne said.

"It will be the same Fittest Family but with the new normal," he said.

While there will be the same challenges including mud runs and climbing high walls, participants will have to adhere to social-distancing guidelines and other safety measures,.

Dublin production company Animo Television is working out measures that will be in place to ensure the safety of all participants, such as possibly taking temperatures to ensure no one is carrying Covid-19.

Confident

However, it is confident that the restrictions will not be an impediment.

"We're trying to create the show in a Covid-friendly way. Families won't be in close contact and there will be things like separate lanes," said Mr McGarry Byrne.

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Last year’s winners, the McSharry family from Sligo

Last year’s winners, the McSharry family from Sligo

Last year’s winners, the McSharry family from Sligo

"It's not a contact-heavy show anyway. We have to be mindful social distancing is implemented."

Coaches Davy Fitzgerald, Anna Geary, Donncha O'Callaghan and Derval O'Rourke will be back.

Dancing With The Stars winner Mairead Ronan will return too to as the host.

The winning family will collect a €15,000 prize.

Each participating family must have four members over 14 by August 1.

The last series was won by the McSharrys from Sligo.

They beat off competition from 15 other finalists and emerged victorious after taking on three other families in the grand final at Croke Park.

Families interested in taking part in the new series can apply online at rte.ie/irelandsfittestfamily.