Editor of BBC Radio Manchester, Kate Squire came to the city in 2012 from Nottingham. She’s mum to three grown up children, has a fab partner, loves her job and can’t believe she’s recently got into gardening!
When the kids were young she was a single mum who always worked full time so she understands the juggling act life can be.
Kate loves travelling and hopes in later life to do lots more with her partner. This year she managed to squeeze in South Africa and Iceland before Covid hit, but now it’s crazy gardening with strange vegetables, and a constant desire to take up yoga which never seems to quite happen.
Spending what time she can with her partner, friends and a good bottle of wine is a big favourite pastime.
1. What has been your Best Life Project to date?
Well it sounds a bit cheesy but honestly my children have been the “best life project” I’ve ever undertaken. I had three under four years old at one point whilst working full time as a TV presenter on the BBC regional news programme in Nottingham. Looking back I loved it when they were all at home and little. Two sons and a daughter, we had such a lot of fun, it was hard work but I loved it. Our lives were challenging sometimes but I wouldn’t have changed it. As teenagers it was a minefield of first drinks, fall outs, partners and heartaches…and some great holidays. They’re all off and running now but they’re still my kids who check in for reassurance, a few pointers, a natter and sometimes financial help! The next stage of possible life partners and grandkids will be fun too …but not quite yet I hope!
2. The unknown … what challenges did you have to overcome?
I came out when I was 38, I was married with three young children, and in my job at the BBC. It was a bit of a shock all round, including for me! But it was the right thing to do, I am now myself and very happy with my partner. That was 20 years ago and everyone is fine. My kids are wonderful, well-rounded young people, but it was pretty traumatic with court cases and upset. I had to dig deep and trust myself, but I was well supported. You can imagine the first day I had to walk into work when the news broke, but people are kind and things worked out very well in the long run.
3. In hindsight, what would you do differently?
I would have pushed the boundaries a bit earlier in life and broken a few rules. I was a “good girl” and I wish I’d thought about the kind of life I wanted to lead earlier on. But in reality I don’t think I would have done anything differently. I’m only who I am because of the things I’ve done up to now. I’ve known some amazing people and apart from upset I’ve caused people I love, I don’t regret anything.
4. Next steps?
Well, a lot to do at work as the BBC moves forward in increasingly challenging times. I’m thoroughly enjoying life with my partner Sarah, hopefully we can travel together if Covid permits. I really want to see the world more now I can financially and with my time – that’s my big passion, so I hope a vaccine is on offer soon. I’d also like to get involved in other organisations in the future if I can.
5. What lifestyle changes has lockdown made you consider?
It’s made me consider my mental health more. I’m a fairly happy and contented person most of the time, but lockdown made me very anxious, I guess as I’m not in control. But knowing you can’t control everything has been good for me, if a bit difficult! I have been growing a lot of vegetables in my garden, trying to develop a love of yoga, and really appreciating friends and family when I have seen them. I ring my elderly parents pretty much every day now which I didn’t previously. Oh, and we joined the local golf club in Chorlton which is beautiful. The golf is poor but getting out in nature, with beautiful trees is really good for me and my soul!
6. Kissing frogs …. is there an unexpected person who has helped you and, if so, how did they do it?
That’s hard….as so many people have helped me, but I always remember when I was going through a very difficult time just before going to court over custody of my kids, when a friend of a friend told me something at St Pancras station. He’d been through very difficult times, and he said, this too will pass, and even though now you can’t feel it, one day you will look back at this and know it was a bad time but you will have moved on. A valuable lesson – everything passes, whatever it is – you will come through it..
7. My Inspiration ….who or what inspires you?
I’m always inspired by people who stand up for their beliefs and convictions and show incredible bravery in changing things throughout history and in the present day certain people effect change. I’d like to be more like them. So from Rosa Parks to Emmeline Pankhurst, from Greta Thurnberg to Jacinda Ardern….exceptional incredible women who do things differently.
8. How do you relax or do you struggle to relax?
I think it’s been harder in lockdown, as I’ve felt a low level worry about everything, kids, parents, work, recession, illness, unfairness etc etc etc, but for me it’s always been a good film and a bottle of wine. I love cinema as it takes me somewhere else in my head. I’ve also enjoyed a good boxset to binge, loved “Little Fires Everywhere” on Amazon. I also love playing cards or any board game really, as that includes banter and fun with people I love. I like to laugh. Outside of Covid I love a Comedy club.
9. Guilty secret pleasure?
How many do you want? A Greggs vegetable pasty, getting a bit drunk and dancing in the kitchen to anthems I love, a bacon sandwich (I’m vegetarian), daytime drinking on holiday. And Rod Stewart, I’m a big fan, but not guilty about that!
10. Words of wisdom
Be true to yourself always, don’t worry about what others will think. You get one life, so get on with it and extract every bit of fun and laughter along the way. Be kind and loving and make every day the best it can possibly be. If you do that, you’re going to have a pretty good life.