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In 2004 Kate Thornton landed the most high-profile presenting gig in British TV, fronting Simon Cowell’s brand new talent show The X Factor.
She’d already enjoyed a glittering career in both journalism (she was the youngest ever editor of Smash Hits magazine aged just 22) and TV, having hosted Top of the Pops, Don’t Try This at Home and Pop Idol: Extra.
The X Factor was the next logical step for the super-talented Thornton, but it was, sadly, the start of the downfall of her TV presenting career.
The X Factor
Kate was an assured host of the show which - as the unconvincing stints of Olly Murs and Caroline Flack proved - is one of the hardest gigs on TV.
Yet in 2007, three years into her run on The X Factor, she was sensationally sacked by show boss Simon Cowell.
She was replaced by Dermot O'Leary who we now know went on to be a huge success as host and is returning this year.
Kate insisted at the time she would never speak to the music mogul ever again because she had no warning about getting the boot.
She told Closer magazine: “I’ll never talk to Simon again. He fired me to create headlines without even telling me beforehand, when we had been good friends.
"I wouldn’t watch the show now because it would be like seeing your ex-boyfriend with his new girlfriend.”
But she has since had a change of heart.
Speaking to Telegraph’s Lifestyle magazine in January 2016, she said: “That terrible moment of seeing on News At Ten that I’d been sacked was particularly bruising, but the fear of it was worse than the reality.
"It had been speculated about for a year, so when it actually happened, it was like, ‘There you go. Onwards.’
"Simon and I were friends, and I won’t pretend we are friends now, but if I saw him, I’d shake his hand and ask if he had any pictures of his son.”
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After The X Factor, Kate gave birth to son Ben in 2008 and hosted the likes of Hello Goodbye and Elton’s New Year’s Eve Party before landing a slot on Loose Women as co-anchor in 2009.
But just two years later, she was sadly axed along with panellist Zoe Tyler after ratings dwindled.
A source told the Daily Mirror at the time: “With a show like Loose Women, it’s important to keep refreshing the feel of the programme to keep viewers interested.
"Over the last few months there has been a bit of a downwards trend with ratings, and it’s important to address that issue as quickly as possible - we’re hoping some big new stars could excite viewers.”
Shortly before Kate left the show the star revealed live on air that she had split from her then-fiance Darren, saying: “I separated from Darren some time ago and we have worked through this together.
"There is an overwhelming emotion of sadness but it doesn’t make me want to scream and shout. It makes me want to learn from it.”
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'Hitting The Kerb’
Following Loose Women, Kate landed roles as relief presenter on This Morning and as a guest presenter on Lorraine but she later turned to higher education and admitted her career had “hit the kerb”.
In 2012, the star enrolled on a three-year course training to be a therapist and said it was making her a “better human being”.
She told The Sun: “I’ve gone back to college one day a week doing a course in counselling skills
with a view to becoming a qualified therapist and I’m learning a lot about myself. It makes you take a long, hard look at yourself so it’s been quite tough at times.
"I’ve hit the kerb a few times in my career but I think that helps when doing a course like this. Even if nothing comes of it professionally, it’s making me a better journalist, broadcaster and human being.”
In September 2012, Kate was mugged in front of her then-four-year-old son Ben in a south London park by two “scumbags”.
She wrote on Twitter: “I was mugged today in the park in front of my 4yr old son and his friend. I hope the 2 lowlife scumbags who did it reap what they sow (sic)”
Fortunately, the star wasn’t injured but had her iPhone 4 stolen
She added: “Bit shaken and furious, but aside from that all good.
"Thanks for all your lovely tweets. Me and the kids are fine and the police were amazing. Just hope they catch the scumbags who did it x (sic)”
What Is She Up To Now?
While her TV presenting career has been fairly quiet since 2012, she now presents BBC Radio 2 show Paper Cuts and has done since 2014.
Since she started hosting the programme, on which celebs relive their headline-making lives and careers, Kate has interviewed many a big name, including Cilla Black, Sir Roger Moore, and Louis Walsh.
What’s more, in January 2016, Kate launched a new business - cashback website tbseen.com, specifically aimed at women.
The idea is to save people money when they are shopping for clothes as when someone purchases a product through the site they receive around five to 15 per cent cashback.
She said at the time: “We reckon the average family could save between £750 and £800 a year.”
As well as doing some radio presenting work, Kate is clearly looking to the future to make her money.
She said: “I hate the idea of being in my 50s and not knowing how to make a living any more, now everything is about tech.”