Former CHEERS star Kirstie Alley piled on 16 pounds (7.25 kilograms) when she started her much-hyped Hollywood diet, because she gave up smoking at the same time.

The actress, who has turned her efforts to be slim into new US TV series FAT ACTRESS and has become a spokeswoman for diet firm Jenny Craig, admits she went backwards before she started losing weight.

And she took the decision to make things extra difficult for herself after appearing on pal Oprah Winfrey's show last year (04).

Appearing on the show again yesterday (16MAY05), where she boasted she has lost 34 pounds (15.4 kilograms), she revealed, "When I did your show, you said you quit eating a lot and changed your life because you had heart palpitations, so, when I left here, I thought, 'Oh my God, I'm smoking and I'm fat - these heart palpitations are just around the corner.'

"I actually stayed in Chicago after the show and I stayed here for, I think, five or six days, holed up in the Four Seasons (hotel) and I quit smoking.

"I didn't actually quit smoking and lose weight; I quit smoking and I gained about 16 pounds in a month and something... I was filming Fat Actress and I thought, 'Who cares?'"

To celebrate her weight loss, which is half of what she wants to achieve by the end of 2005, Alley set fire to her 'fat pants' on the show.

17/05/2005 02:47