Katie Thisleton joined the CBBC Office presenting team in January of this year, being the first female member of the team since 2011 when comedian London Hughes left after the move from London to Salford.
Katie had been working for CBBC since 2011 where she was personal assistant to the controllers of CBBC and younger children channel CBeebies. Then in autumn last year, she got a job as a researcher or CBeebies radio.
But when new CBBC boss Cheryl Taylor took over in late 2012 she asked Katie if she wanted to do a screen test for the channel.
Speaking to BBC Ariel in March, Katie said: “I hadn’t ever done a screen test and I just thought, Oh God, that’s terrifying. It’s something that was a dream job, obviously. But I just thought it was a bit too unreachable because it’s hard enough getting a researcher job at the BBC, never mind becoming a presenter.”
The website notes that since moving to Salford all of the CBBC continuity presenters have been male (Iain, Chris, Ben) and even dogs Hacker & Dodge are male.
Annie Dixon, executive producer said: “We’d been looking for a new female presenter at CBBC for 18 months and more. Cheryl and [previous CBBC boss] Damian Kavanagh said Katie had something special. So we did the screen test and we all thought, Eh, you’re not bad.”
Katie, who has a journalism qualification and an English and creative writing degree, said her ambition was to work behind the scenes at CBBC. So didn’t want to give up the CBeebies radio production role.
In January, she started both roles – working four days a week with the CBeebies radio team and Thursday’s at CBBC recording the weekend continuity.
Katie continues: “I sit in brainstorms with the CBBC production team as a presenter, but I’m used to being in CBeebies meetings as a researcher.”
She said she still gets annoyed at mistakes, such as forgetting her lines!
“I think I’ll get used to it because the other guys have done it for so long that, when they forget, they joke about it and move on. If anything, it makes it funnier but I’m still at that stage where I panic about it.”