Children's TV favourite looking forward to food festival debut

CBeebies presenter Katy Ashworth will appear at Bolton Food and Drink Festival

CBeebies presenter Katy Ashworth will appear at Bolton Food and Drink Festival

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , Entertainment reporter

SHE is a children’s television star who dines with celebrity chefs in exotic corners of the world.

Now CBeebies presenter Katy Ashworth is looking forward to her first visit to Bolton to entertain young food fans at Bolton Food and Drink Festival.

She began her television career presenting I Can Cook in 2009, which sees her demonstrating how to prepare and cook simple dishes while entertaining with songs.

The 27-year-old, who was born in Surrey and grew up in Hampshire, said: “It's been on tele for about four years, coming up to five.

"It's teaching under sixes how to cook food in a simple and fun way, and a very imaginative way.

"We learn about where foods comes from, I visit farms.

"I have a herb and veg garden which I go to and pick the food from."

As well as encouraging children to cook, the show encompasses wider elements of food education which Katy thinks is vital for youngsters, especially when it comes to tackling childhood obesity.

Last year, new figures showed that 21.2 per cent of year six children in Bolton, measured by the National Child Measurement Programme, were obese.

She said: “It's incredibly important, having a basic ability to cook and being mindful about where our food comes from is very important.

"I Can Cook has done great things to teach younger generations, not just to be interested in food but getting them in the kitchen and doing it as well and being excited about doing it.”

When Katy visits the festival, being held from Friday, August 22 to Monday, August 25, she will perform half hour shows featuring singing, dancing and audience interaction.

She said: “I do them quite regularly, all over the country for different food festivals.

“I love them.

"It's always a good excuse to find and meet really great people who are involved in the food industry which I love anyway.

"I would go anyway, even if I wasn't performing at them.

"My favourite food festival is the Good Food & Wine Show in South Africa.

"It was fantastic, you go to dinner every night with celebrity chefs like James Martin and Antonio Carluccio.”

Like most of the parents watching I Can Cook, Katy juggles her career with motherhood after the birth of first child, Charlie, who is eight-and-a-half-months old.

She said: “He came to Cape Town.

"I got a lovely South African nanny who looked after him while we were working.

"She brought him to the show while I was performing.

"His dad works in the same industry so we worked over there together.

"Normally we have a nanny and I have lots of friends and family who are willing to help me out.”

Katy, who obtained a first-class degree in drama from the University of Exeter in 2009 and has appeared in many live shows, including Katy's Roadshow and a live version of I Can Cook at Butlins holiday resorts, has an unusual career ambition.

She said: “I do still do want to be an acrobat, that hasn't died.

"I wanted to be a presenter when I was younger and then that kind of died away as I got older and got more ideas.

"It was quite a co-incidence I ended up doing it.

"I would still like to do lots of different things, It’s a long life and hopefully I will get to do them.”

Tickets for Katy’s shows and for the celebrity chefs — Gino D’Acampo, John Torode and James Martin — are now available. Visit boltonfoodanddrinkfestival.com.

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