HE’S lost 40% of his bodyweight and changed his life – and millions of TV viewers willed him on as he did it.
Last night, Sunderland man Kevin McLernon was crowned weight-loss champ as he won ITV1’s The Biggest Loser.
The 38-year-old shed an astonishing 12st 12lb during the almost six-month process – equivalent to nearly 82 bags of sugar.
Mr McLernon, one of 14 contestants who started this year’s competition, said: “I can’t believe it – everything I’ve done since the minute I applied for the show has led me to this moment and it feels incredible.
The victor – who weighed 32st 2lb at the start of the competition – added: “I came to The Biggest Loser as the heaviest person ever to compete in the programme and that gave me massive motivation to shed that title and chase the title of The Biggest Loser.”
During the competition he endured a series of tough challenges racing up the Brecon Beacons, battling across a gruelling 1km assault course and pulling a double decker bus down an airfield.
Mr McLernon, who supports his partner Joanne with her property projects, spent eight weeks in The Biggest Loser house and had already trained for 16 weeks at home.
Presenter Davina McCall and trainers Richard Callender, Rob Edmond and Charlotte Ord were with him at the final when he learned he had triumphed.
McCall said: “I really believe that for Kevin this weight loss isn’t just for the programme it is for the rest of his life and he’s a winner in this series and in life.”
Mr McLernon continued: “I think there’s so many things that I have learnt, not just about diet and exercise but about myself.
“For me it isn’t about the prize and the plaudits, it’s about winning and what that means, which is that I have lost a massive amount of weight and become fit and healthy.
“Being able to show others that if I can change my life, they can. If I can inspire just one person to do what I have done and truly make a change, I will be a happy man.”