Presenter Kate Thornton says the lows help you appreciate the highs 

The one lesson I’ve learned from life: Presenter Kate Thornton says the lows help you appreciate the highs

  • Kate Thornton is known for presenting Pop Idol and anchoring Loose Women
  • Kate, 48, who lives in London, now presents podcast White Wine Question Time
  • She urges people to be open to new ideas and to feel the fear and do it anyway

Kate Thornton, 48, presented Pop Idol and the first three series of The X Factor and has anchored daytime TV show Loose Women. She now presents podcast White Wine Question Time and lives in South-West London with her 12-year-old son, Ben.


My English teacher at school, David Pugh, was a brilliant champion who had a huge impact on the rest of my life. He dared me to dream big and believe the world was indeed my oyster.

I remember a session with the careers advice officer, and telling her I wanted to be a journalist. She was both withering and condescending.

She put her head on one side, all but curled her lip and then asked whether a typing course might be a bit more realistic as an option in line with my abilities. 

Kate Thornton, 48, (pictured) who lives in south-west London and is known for anchoring Loose Women, says you cannot appreciate the highs if you haven’t experienced the lows

I was furious — and so was my dad. He marched up to the school and demanded: ‘How dare you squash children’s ambitions!’

Both my parents and Mr Pugh made me more determined than ever to make a career for myself.

At 21, I became Editor of Smash Hits and, in that capacity, I used to pop up occasionally on TV. One day, I was cold-called by an ITV producer, Trish Powell, who eventually persuaded me I would make a good TV presenter.

Like so many people, I have suffered from impostor syndrome and yet, if you tell yourself often enough that you can do something, it usually turns out that you can.

When it comes to change and new technologies, I can’t bear being behind the curve. But I’ve never had a career plan — that way lies disappointment. 

All you can do is be open to new ideas. For instance, I was happy to jump from traditional telly into digital.

And what’s the worst that can happen? You may not always succeed, but that’s good because how else can you appreciate the highs if you haven’t experienced the lows, too?

You need light and shade. My philosophy is: feel the fear and do it anyway.

Whatever I’ve got, I’ve worked for. And how you measure success, as I’m always saying to my son, is down to you, not down to how other people perceive it.