DR EVA ORSMOND was best known to us as the straight-talking medic from television’s Operation Transformation until she decided to put her footwork to the test in Dancing with the Stars, on RTE One, Sundays at 6.30pm.
She spent five years on Operation Transformation as an obesity expert, leaving the series to focus on her weight-loss programmes at Orsmond Clinics, with bases in Dublin, Galway and Kilkenny. She owns the business — and their parallel enterprise Dr Orsmond’s Ectiva Health Products — with her ex-husband Wyatt.
The 50-year-old has also made health documentaries for TV such as Sugar Crash and Medication Nation and she is the author of two books, The Last Diet and Dr Eva Orsmond’s 10lb Diet.
A mother of two teenage sons, Christopher and Evan, she is originally from Finland, and moved here from Helsinki in 2000.
Are you a saver or a spender?
I’m a spender — I love shopping.
Do you prefer cash or cards?
I prefer cash because I feel like I have more control, but then I always end up using my card.
What’s the biggest bargain you’ve ever landed?
A silver tray I got in an auction. It wasn’t cheap and I thought that I had overspent — until I got it valued.
What’s been your biggest luxury spend?
My sauna that was imported in kit form from Finland, and which I use regularly. The stove is wood-burning and it takes a while to heat up, but it is just amazing.
How do you think Ireland compares, value-wise, to other European countries?
Some things seem better value and some seem more expensive, but the Irish seem to have more fun spending their money.
Have you ever witnessed someone being really stingy — and how?
Yes. It was unfortunately a relative, who, at Christmas a few years ago, insisted on working out exactly what each person had to contribute to the dinner. I had suggested we, the wealthier overseas visitors, just divide it between us, but she wanted everyone to pay. We were only talking about €100 or so!
Have you ever seen someone spend money in a way that shocked you?
Yes, when we were at a nightclub in Cannes, the table next to us ordered €1,000 bottles of champagne. I thought it was ridiculous, but what made it worse was that they were already drunk and wouldn’t physically have been able to enjoy its flavour.
What was your first ever job?
My first job was when I was 11 and I delivered pamphlets from door to door.
I can’t remember exactly how much I got paid, but I do recall that it made me feel grown-up and independent.
Are you better off financially than your parents? My mother is a dark horse. Her name is Kirsti. She is 79 now and in good health and she was a buyer for a large chain of department stores in Finland, and later she had a perfume shop in Helsinki — a very successful lady.
I think financially we are in a similar position now, but compared with when she was my age, I am better off in comparison.
Can money buy happiness?
No, I don’t think it can, but not having money can certainly make things unhappy.
Have you ever been the victim of theft?
At the age of 16 I was trying on a new jacket when someone stole my handbag. I couldn’t buy the jacket I’d been saving for. It was very traumatic. They also took my house keys; we had to change locks.
How much would you spend, generally, on a night out?
Do you play the Lotto?
I think I have only bought Lotto tickets twice in my whole life.
What’s the best financial advice you ever received?
We have this Finnish saying — translated as “what comes singing, goes flying”, or money easily earned is easily spent.