REAL PEOPLE: WHY ARE THEY FAMOUS: Katie Derham

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Main claim

Youngest-ever ITN news presenter - started in the job as a baby of 27. Last month won Television and Radio Industries Club award as New TV Talent of the Year. Now a mature 28, she is currently leading from the front in the "Battle of the Newsgirls", a somewhat spurious rivalry whipped up by the tabloids. Katie, having supposedly dispatched Kirsty Young and Carol Barnes, trills over their bloodied corpses, "The whole thing's a bit of a hoot, isn't it?" Worth every penny of her pounds 72,000 salary, no doubt.

Looks

Elfin. Perky. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Saucer-eyed bush baby in a smart suit. Goody-goody school prefect who would catch you smoking behind the bike sheds but make you turn yourself in. Unfazed by compliments on her appearance: "I'd be more worried if they hated the way I looked," she says. "What an autocutie!", as the Sun so rightly quips.

Golden girl

Can do no wrong. Only blots on her career so far are falling asleep and missing a plane when chasing a story in Alabama (hey, it could happen to anyone); and referring to a news bulletin as being at "five to sex" rather than "five to six". "They said I blushed and giggled," says an indignant Katie. "I didn't blush, apologise or simper!" What a pro.

Whiter than white

One of the few famous natives of Wilmslow in Cheshire. Her parents, a top Fisons chemist and a French teacher, are "chuffed to bits" with her meteoric rise. A disappointingly scandal-free zone, she sang in the school choir, did jolly well in her exams, and was captain of the ladies' cricket team. She has a degree in economics, is engaged (marrying this autumn), and plays the piano, violin and viola (yawn). Loves skiing, walking, sailing.

Fame prospects

Newsreaders have a perplexingly high profile, so ought to do well, at least in the short term. To avoid the risk of being ousted by a 16-year- old rival, she needs to up the scandal factor. A torrid kiss-and-tell affair with Grant Bovey or Johnny Vaughan would do nicely.

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