When we were looking at who we should do our next Why We Love piece on, Kate Thornton was someone who quickly sprang to my mind.
I met Kate briefly back in 2009 when she was in Manchester at the now old Granada Studios, filming a show called Baby Ballroom. At the time I had just finished my first year at University. After the taping was finished myself and my friend approached her, we stood nervously at the back of the queue of people wanting autographs and photos.
When we spoke to her and I admit very nervously complimented her outfit. She swept me up in a big hug and told me she loved my nail varnish. We chatted for a few minutes and she asked what we did and I told her I was at University studying Creative Writing and mentioned I had written for the University paper and for a local magazine. She mentioned her own career and said something to me that was probably meaningless to her but was something that stuck with me to this day. She told 19-year-old me that all the writing I was doing then would help me build my future and make my CV stand out. She was right!
Kate is one of those remarkable women who when you take a look at her career history, you sit back and think wow what this woman has achieved in her career is amazing.
Kate started working at the age of 12. She taught ballroom dancing to other kids, to fund her own lessons when her parents were forced to cut costs. She made a deal with her teacher to teach what she learnt to others for free. She has said in many interviews over the years that she grew up understanding the value of money. In an interview with the Daily Mirror in April 2017 she said:
I had a NatWest piggy bank at the time – it taught me to plan and save – and so when I did buy myself something, I knew the real value of it – my hard work. It taught me never to be frivolous with money.
I grew up knowing that if I wanted something, I’d have to work for it. After earning my first bit of cash as a child, I couldn’t stop. I would get bored at home and start knocking on my neighbours’ doors asking for jobs to do here and there.
Her career really began in 1992 at the Daily Mirror with a job as an editorial assistant, she then became the papers pop music columnist.
At the age of 22, just three years out of school she took up the position of Editor at ‘Smash Hits’ magazine. The youngest person to ever hold the position. Her first issue was covering the break up of Take That. She later became a Features Editor at the Sunday Times and a Contributing Editor for Marie Claire.
She then swapped print journalism for broadcast journalism and forged a TV career. Kate did an interview with the Metro in 2013 where she spoke about her career.
Everything I’ve done professionally has had some synergy, from going to print to radio and television,’ she says. ‘It’s an extension of being a journalist and being interested in people and how they function.
Her TV and broadcast career has been varied and has seen her present radio shows for the BBC to be the first presenter of ITV’s X Factor and a stint as a presenter on daytime TV panel show Loose Women.
Many of the shows Kate has been involved with over the years have remained true to her ‘pop beginnings.’ Including presenting Pop Idol Extra on ITV 2 and a one-off show with boy band Westlife, She’s The One’.
As well as interviewing people on the radio Kate also writes for radio, From Band to Brand in 2004, and the creator of the radio series Line of Enquiry, inviting an audience to put questions to a number of celebrities, which began in 2007. Since 2014, she has presented Paper Cuts, a radio series for BBC Radio 2. To date, four series have aired with guests including Craig Revel Horwood, Patsy Kensit, Eamonn Holmes and Paul O’Grady who all look back through their lives via their newspaper headlines.
For over five years she worked as a travel reporter for the BBC. In an interview with the Telegraph, she said it was one of the best jobs in the world that taught her a lot and changed her outlook on many things in life.
Arguably the best job in the world – so I’ve been to some amazing places and it changed the way I approach holidays, the world, my life and even the human race.
It’s not just her remarkable career that makes us love Kate. But Kate has been so open about her struggle with anorexia when she was younger. In 2012 she did a documentary where she opened up about her personal battle with the disease and spoke to others.
Kate also went back to school and trained as a counsellor as she told the metro.
I had counselling as a teenager,’ she says. ‘It was life-saving because I had anorexia and there’s no medicine that can cure it – the only way to get on top of it is to change the way you think. There’s no way I’d have the life I have now if I hadn’t dealt with that illness – if you don’t, it dominates your choices.
Throughout her life, she has done a numerous charity work. She is heavily involved in Comic Relief, for her it’s not just about raising money but awareness. On a trip to Uganda with the charity; eleven years ago she met two young boys, she was so moved by what she saw that she couldn’t walk away. she promised their parents she would help them. She has kept her promise to the boy’s parents that they would get the education they deserve. She pays their school fees each year and they attend a private boarding school.
In 2016 Kate set up her own company with the help of some of her friends called TBSeen.
She realised getting cashback every time you shop was a total no-brainer, Which is how TBSeen ended up being fronted by 12 women (Myleene Klass, Denise Van Outen, Tamzin Outhwaite, Heidi Range, Julie Graham, Lisa Faulkner, Amanda Byram, Nicole Appleton, Natalie Appleton, Melanie Blatt and Shaznay Lewis.) Each well known within their own respective industries, who are all connected by friendship and a great idea.
One of the reasons we love the fact that Kate created TBSeen, isn’t just for the fact you get cash back when you shop through the site.(We know we’ve tried it and are hooked on using the site whenever we shop online.) it’s because they TBSeen team post great info videos on every topic you can think of.
Although one of our personal faves is the video below where all of the lovely TBSeen ladies are sat chatting about how they met.
When you watch the TBSeen ladies videos it feels to us as if you are sat watching your friends on Skype or Facetime chat away and you’ve just muted your side of the conversation. All of the ladies involved in TBSeen come across as such warm and friendly people who you know you’d have a great time chatting to over a cup of tea or a bottle of wine.
Let us know in the comments below or over on @Fuzzable if you love Kate as much as we do!