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Look: FIVE STAR; Jane Woodhead speaks to the woman making headlines on TV.

Byline: Jane Woodhead

SHE'S risked life and limb to bring the BBC news to our TV screens, reporting from the scene of erupting volcanoes and earthquakes.

And she's set to marry the man who had his own brush with fate as the boss of the much-maligned Millenium Dome.

Now Formby's Kate Sanderson is taking yet another step into the unknown - as the new face of Five News.

Most viewers will recognise Kate from the Beeb's Newsround, but now she's leaving the BBC - where she has worked since 1997 - to return to her reporting roots on Channel Five.

She joins Five News just weeks before it is taken over by Sky on January 1.

Kate, 36, who, next year is due to marry her partner, Pierre Yves known as P. Y. Gerbeau, the former chief executive of the Millennium Experience, now has to balance a hectic work schedule with love and romance - which, she admits, is an important part of her life.

``P. Y. and myself try to make as much time as we possibly can for each other. We both have very lively lives so our time together is very precious. We don't go out with other people as much as we used to. We try to keep the time which we have together to just chill and relax. ''

P. Y. is a also keen golfer - a sport she has started to learn. ``At least this is one way in which we can try to spend more time together, '' she says Kate and P. Y. , 39, have been engaged for a year. He proposed to her on a beach in Dubai; something she describes as ``a complete fairy tale romance''.

The couple met at a conference in France at which P. Y. was speaking. Kate was the host.

She says: ``The wedding was originally going to take place in France, but our life is now mainly based in London and we thought that would be the best place to get married. ''

Although precise details of the wedding are something Kate prefers to keep to herself, she did say that she had already been to a wedding show in London where she saw a dress she loved.

She says: ``I made an appointment to try it on - and I thought it made me look like a sack of potatoes.

``My mum said I looked great but, if I am honest, it was too small for me. So I am now going to a dressmaker who literally lives around the corner from me and I am designing the dress myself. ''

With a wedding approaching and a new career, where does it all stop for Kate?

This week she is in Egypt working on a new television documentary about the ancient traditions of the country.

``My attitude has always been - and will continue to be - to take life one step at a time.

``I believe you get a gut feeling when something is right.

I have always believed that as long as you feel like you are learning and being pushed and going to the next level of experiences and challenges, then it has got to be right.

``I never thought, one month ago, I would be going to Egypt on a job. That opportunity came up completely out of the blue and purely by chance. That is one of the reasons I was keen to come to Five News because I wanted to do different types of programmes and take on new challenges. ''

Although Kate now lives in London - when her job is not taking her around the world - she does return to Formby with P. Y. as often as she can.

She is, however, sorry that she will not be home for Christmas: ``We just cannot make it this year, but I really do try to get back as often as I possibly can.

Kate's family remains in Formby, with her younger brother having recently bought his own house in the area.

Kate has worked for the BBC since 1997 when she first joined to front the UK's longest running children's news programme, Newsround.

During her seven years she has been seen on numerous and varied projects - one minute reporting from the scene of an erupting volcano in Monserrat, next at the scene of an earthquake in India.

Her work on the plight of children in Russian orphanages, where she filmed under cover, earned her a BAFTA in 2000.

We have also seen Kate wing walking across the English Channel on Record Breakers and interviewing George Benson on BBC's Heaven and Earth show about his door to door evangelizing as a Jehova's Witness.

She will carry on doing the show when her new job starts on December 21.

Hers has been a golden career so far - so what of the future?

This is a question even she cannot answer, but she does say: ``If it feels right and it is a new challenge then go for it - that is what I always say. ''


KATE: A golden career so far
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Copyright 2004 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 8, 2004
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