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Katy Louise "Kate" Thornton (born 7 February 1973) is an Englishmarker journalist and television presenter, most famous for being the first host of The X Factor and being the new anchor of Loose Women as of 2009. She is also best known internationally for her coverage of the Concert for Diana.

Early career

Thornton, who is from Cheltenhammarker, started her career at the Sunday Mirror in 1992 as an editorial assistant. In 1995, she became the youngest ever editor of pop magazine Smash Hits at age 22, though she left after only a year. She also worked as the secretary on the earlier series of ITV1's smash hit programme Airline.

After studying drama she worked as a TV presenter on the Channel 4 cookery/dating show Dishes, co-hosted the stunt daring show Don't Try This at Home and the BBC seriesHoliday - You Call the Shots and a Holiday Australia special with her friend Tamzin Outhwaite. She also occasionally presented Top of the Pops, The Brits are Coming and The Brits Backstage for the ITV Network and ITV2.

Television career and prominence

In 2001 and again in 2003 she hosted the ITV2 Pop Idol backstage programme, Pop Idol Extra and appeared as a guest on American Idol. In 2004, 2005 and 2006, her position as an ITV starlet was cemented as she hosted The X Factor and announced the winners of three series including Steve Brookstein, Shayne Ward and Leona Lewis before being very publicly sacked in a 'shake up' of the show. She has also hosted Celebrity Wrestling, Westlife: Allow us to be Frank, Me and my Bingo Wings- Living with the Shame and ITV's 50th Birthday Avenue of the stars for ITV.

Thornton is a regular talking head on a number of celebrity based documentaries. She also provided the voice for the entertainment correspondent (voiced by Joan Rivers in the U.S.) in the UK version of the film Shrek 2.

Thornton has occasionally come in for criticism from reviewers who dislike her presentational style. In his review of her show The X Factor, television reviewer for The Guardian Charlie Brooker memorably described Thornton as "the straight human equivalent of a scarcely detectable kitten's fart". However, she has also become a cult figure thanks to repeated joke mentions in the mailouts produced by the TV Cream website. In December 2006, Thornton presented Viewer of the Year for ITV.

On 7 February 2007, Thornton presented a documentary on the BRIT Awards for the fourth successive year. In March 2007, ITV announced that Thornton would be leaving The X Factor, and will not be presenting the fourth series. According to UK tabloid newspaper The Sun, the decision to replace her came as a shock for Thornton as well as for judge Louis Walsh, who was to be replaced with two other judges by show producer and judge Simon Cowell (although he later returned after the resignation of Brian Friedman). In April 2007, ITV announced Dermot O'Leary would host the fourth series of The X Factor.

In March 2007, Thornton returned to prime-time television to present Red Nose Day 2007: The Big One, live on BBC1 with Paul O'Grady. She also presented Happy Birthday Elton John! for ITV to celebrate the 60th birthday of Sir Elton John. In May 2007, Thornton returned to ITV to host the new awards show Greatest Britons, and on July 1, co-presented VH1's live coverage of the Concert for Diana.

Kate Thornton recently continued her new projects with ITV as host of Baby Ballroom: The Championship on prime-time, Saturday night ITV.

In December 2007, Kate co-hosted the Royal Variety Show with Phillip Schofield.

Kate Thornton hosted the hugely successful live tour of the BBC hit Strictly Come Dancing in 2008 and 2009.

Most recently, Kate hosted the National Teaching Awards, broadcast on BBC Two.

On 2 November 2007 it was announced in the Daily Mirror newspaper that Kate Thornton will be hosting a Christmas show, Britain Sings Christmas, for ITV1 in December. Vocal coaches David and Carrie Grant will train celebrities to become part of a Christmas choir - viewers will vote for their favourites.

Kate interviewed David Beckham for BBC Radio 2 on Christmas Day 2008

On 31 December 2008 Kate hosted ITV's live New Year celebrations - Countdown to Midnight from The O2 Arenamarker in London in the company of Take That and the Sugababes.

Kate presented Sky One's "Oscars - The Stars Arriving" coverage live from the red carpet on Sunday 24 February 2008 from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

Also Kate has been filming a new documentary called Hello Goodbye at Heathrow's Terminal 5. The programme starts airing Thursday 26 February 2009 on Sky 1 at 8pm.

Kate was a guest on The Paul O'Grady Show' on Wednesday 25 February 2009, and she is also the voice-over on the advert for Faryl Smith's new album.

Kate began her role as the main anchor on ITV's Loose Women replacing Jackie Brambles on 10th September 2009.

On Friday 30th October 2009, Kate co-hosted ITV's flagship daytime magazine, 'This Morning' with Peter Andre.

Kate has been confirmed as the host of the Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour in 2010.

Personal life

Having been briefly linked to Robbie Williams in the past, and admitted that she is Simon Cowell's "nightmare" date , Kate has been dating DJ Darren Emerson since 2004. She is a Manchester United supporter. The couple got engaged in 2007. She gave birth to her first child, a boy named Ben on 13 May, 2008.


  1. Charlie Brooker. Opportunity knocked. The Guardian. September 11, 2004.
  2. X Factor's Kate Thornton Thinks Simon Cowell Is "Handsome".
  3. Melanie Swan. Joy of X. The People. 29 October, 2006
  4. Kate is latest yummy mummy The Sun - 16 May, 2008

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