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Lorraine Kelly was told Glasgow accent meant she would 'never make it in TV'

Lorraine Kelly tax

Lorraine Kelly has said she was told at the start of her career that she would not succeed in television – because of her Glaswegian accent.

The TV presenter, who is celebrating 35 years in broadcasting, said she was “very nervous” on her first day on TV at the age of 25.

She said: “I had been working as a researcher at BBC Scotland and been told by the big boss that I would never make it in TV because of my Glasgow accent.

“I went down to London to meet all of the TV-am team and see the show being broadcast, before taking over at the Glasgow office.

“I will never forget, Anne Diamond and Mike Morris were interviewing the icon that is Bette Davis that morning. I couldn’t believe that I was in the same room as a living legend. I knew this was where I wanted to be.”

Despite the early comment about her accent, Kelly, 59, went on to carve out a successful career on morning news TV over the years, after starting out as a local newspaper reporter in East Kilbride.

She progressed rapidly to national television, first becoming a Scottish correspondent for TV-am in 1984.

Over the years she has been a familiar face hosting GMTV, ITV Breakfast and Daybreak, and now her eponymous ITV morning programme Lorraine.

“I am still learning every day and I have the same enthusiasm and passion for the job as I did all those years ago,” she said, adding that it “feels like yesterday” that she started on TV-am.

Across the years, Kelly has reported on major breaking news events such as the Dunblane massacre in 1996, which she said has left a lasting impact on her.

“Covering Dunblane was very tough,” she said.

“I had no idea that many of the families whose children had been killed or wounded were watching our live show from Dunblane the day after the horrific killing of 16 children and their teacher.

“One of the mums, Pam Ross, whose five-year old-daughter Joanna was murdered, asked to see me privately and we ended up talking for hours at her house.

“It was all under the radar, I went to Joanna’s funeral and Pam and I have been friends ever since.”

Kelly will celebrate her 35-year career in a special anniversary show on Lorraine on Monday September 30.

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