Charlene White thought she was testing an autocue in her breakthrough audition
Loose Women and ITV News at Ten presenter Charlene White says she didn't realise her breakthrough audition was a genuine audition at the time.
The presenter and broadcaster, who was the first Black woman to read the News at Ten in 2014, said she had been in Sheffield on a roadshow when she was working with Radio 1 and 1Xtra but she didn't want to be there for the whole thing because she had a night out planned with her friends.
She told Kate Thornton on the White Wine Question Time podcast that 'nothing was going to stop her' from going on the night out with her friends, so she stayed to help with the set up and then left.
She said: "So I went up to Sheffield on the Friday, helped them to set up, then on the Saturday before the public came in, we had to test the autocue.
WATCH: Charlene White on becoming the first black woman to present the ITV News at Ten, on keeping her identity in the media world, and her emotional journey to discover her Jamaican heritage
"This guy said: 'Charlene and this other girl, Hannah, can you get up on stage and just make sure we've got it at the right distance?' We did that, that was literally five minutes then went on with the rest of the roadshow.
"I left, got the train back to London, went raving, didn't think anything of it."
She said around two months later she had a call from the editor of BBC Three's 60 Seconds news show, the person who had asked her to get up on stage and read the autocue.
Listen to the full episode to hear Charlene talk about how natural Loose Women is for her, and about the early audition she didn't realise was an audition!
She explained: "He said to me: 'From the moment you walked in to the marquee to do the roadshow, I knew there was something different.
"'So I got you to get up on stage to read the autocue, just wanting to make sure. And I'd like you to come in and do a screen test.'
"And I went in, read 60 seconds of news. I got out of the studio to do the screen test and he just went: 'Have you got your diary so we can start booking you some shifts?'"
She said there was a real drive to make sure the show was representative of people in the country, and that the editor who chose her helped to make the careers of many people who might not otherwise have had the chance.
She said: "He spotted each and every one of us in really different situations, saw something in us and brought us into the fold.
"And many of us wouldn't have on-screen careers if it wasn't for him. He was amazing. He was in a position of power, and an authority, and he changed the lives of so many of us.
"He didn't have to do it. He wasn't forced to do it. He wanted to do it. And that completely changed the course of my career."
WATCH: Charlene White on the negative impact of 24 hour news consumption on our mental health