New Biggest Loser host revealed

Written By komlim puldel on Sabtu, 11 April 2015 | 20.01

Expect tears ... Fiona Falkiner is a self-confessed crier. Source: Supplied

THE Biggest Loser has shed its host Hayley Lewis, in a new rebranding of the popular Channel 10 series as TBL Families, which will see one of the show's great success stories, international plus-size model Fiona Falkiner replace her as presenter of the 10th season.

Lewis, a former darling of the Australian Olympic and Commonwealth Games swim team, quietly confirmed to her Facebook followers she had left the weight-loss program after five years.

The married mother of two said it was "time to move on," focussing on family life with her husband and sons, while throwing her energies into growing a burgeoning Brisbane retail business, Coming Up Roses.

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Welcome back ... Fiona Falkiner is returning to the placed that made her famous, The Biggest Loser. Source: Supplied

The popular host became known for her heart-warming habit of crying along with the struggling

contestants, who will find a new shoulder to lean on in Falkiner, herself a seasoned "sook" who

wept her way through her own weight loss challenges in season one.

The 31-year-old proved a fan favourite in the first series, in 2006, losing 30 kilograms and finishing in the final four.

Falkiner says she barely recognises the young woman she was when she signed up.

"The girl I was 10 years ago was really shy, insecure. I had very little self confidence, I just wasn't a very happy person," Falkiner said.

After growing up in Victorian country town Birregurra, with a population of just 600, the then impressionable 22-year-old said she'd "been living life through my friends and putting my life on hold because of my weight."

"My time on the show gave me time to grow, to become an independent woman who took control. To realise this was my life and I just had to become a more confident, happy, healthy person."

Embracing her curves and maintaining her luscious size 16 figure has seen her draw on the lessons learned under the tutelage of TBL's American trainers Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels, who were part of the Australian series in its early days.

Can't wait to start ... new Biggest Loser host Fiona Falkiner. Source: Supplied

"There have been ups and downs, but I've been able to revert to the lessons I learned on the show and implement those into my life. It honestly helps me every day...it was a great experience."

She rejects suggestions the show goes to extremes or exploits people at a high-risk period of their lives, arguing: "for a lot of people, it's either this or surgery...it's their last chance. The show is about promoting being the happiest, healthiest people they can be."

Despite coming to love her curves, Falkiner is still determined to fight against the stigma surrounding plus-size modelling - even in her personal life.

"I've been on dates before where I've mentioned my job and they've said, 'oh great, I'll take you for a burger.' That really, really frustrates me because that's the stigma, but that's not what it's all about. Yes I've got curves, but I have to maintain it, eat well, drink lots of water. I have to be aware of the choices I make. I have to keep on top of it or I will regain weight. There are people like me out there, who find it a little bit harder to maintain a healthier lifestyle but when you get in the swing of it, you just feel so much better."

It's this empathy and Falkiner's own time on the TBL scales which Ten's programming boss Beverley McGarvey says will make the new host "a great source of support, compassion and inspiration to the contestants."

Falkiner admitted blubbing her way through the show's back catalogue of episodes in preparation.

"I've been re-watching a few seasons since I got back to Australia and I said to the producers, 'is it okay if I cry, because I am a bit of a crier.' When I was on the show, I think I cried almost every episode."

A secret to her own triumph over the scales on the show, perhaps?

"Absolutely, just cry it out," Falkiner said, laughing. "A good cry is good for the soul."

A new season of the Shine Australia production is currently filming in Sydney and will air on Ten later this year.


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