WHAT a loser. In fact, Sunderland’s Kevin McLernon is the country’s biggest loser – and he couldn’t be more thrilled about it.
Millions tuned in last night to see former heavyweight Kevin crowned ITV’s Biggest Loser 2012 in the grand final, after shedding an amazing 40 per cent of his body weight to drop from 32st 2lb to 19st 4lb.
To keep it in the family, Kevin’s niece and partner on the television show, Amy McLernon, took the runner-up spot.
The South Shields 23-year-old shed 32.7 per cent of her body weight, from 19st to 12st 11lb.
Property developer Kevin, of Seaburn Dene, split the £25,000 winning prize with Amy and with his share intends to enjoy a luxury holiday, which is much-deserved after six months of gruelling workouts.
“It was never about the money for me,” said the 38-year-old. “It was about completely transforming my life.
“I really wanted to win, to know that I had completed it to the end and done everything I possibly could.
“When we realised I had won, me and Amy just went wild. It was absolutely amazing.
“All the stress just lifted away and all that effort was worth every minute.
“Everything in the last six months of my life had been working towards that moment and it was awesome.”
Kevin said the day of the final had been nerve-wracking, because all the contestants were kept on their own and not allowed to see each other before the big reveal in front of the cameras.
“No one was allowed to see us, so we were moved from room to room with people checking corridors were empty before we came out.
“It was all very cloak and dagger, which made the waiting horrendous.
“After the show it was a brilliant night. All the contestants went out together and had a fantastic time.”
But the story doesn’t stop there for Kevin, who lives with partner Joanne, because he still wants to shed another four stone to reach his ideal weight.
And he knows the change of lifestyle is forever because he never wants to go back to the way he was before.
“Life is so much better now. I have more confidence and can do so much more and have a lot to look forward to.
“It is great that Joanne and my mam and dad are not worrying about my weight all the time now.”
Kevin plans to keep setting himself challenges to work towards and is planning to climb Ben Nevis, do the Sunderland 10k run and the Blaydon Race during the coming months.