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24 September 2014
Look North

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Christa Ackroyd
Christa Ackroyd joined Look North as co-presenter where she can be found working next to her old friend, Harry Gration. Previously, she was with Yorkshire Television for over a decade as presenter of its nightly programme, ‘Calendar’."Both Harry and I are passionate about Yorkshire and we try to bring this passion to the programme", Christa says.
"We know the area inside and out and we want to ask the questions that people want answered. I’m not always that impressed with politicians or experts - what interests me, and what I think news is all about, is talking to ordinary people who’ve found themselves in extraordinary situations."
Christa Ackroyd
Christa with Harry GrationBorn and educated in Bradford, Christa is a Yorkshire lass through and through. The daughter of a policeman, she decided she wanted to be a journalist at the age of nine. On leaving school she started work at the Halifax Courier where she stayed for four years. After that she moved into radio - first Pennine Radio, then Radio Aire where she became the country’s first female radio news editor.
   

Christa has a fascination with the law and crime and it was while at Radio Aire that she was put in charge of reporting on the Yorkshire Ripper case. She provided bulletins for network radio, worked around the clock and often found herself interviewing prostitutes on the streets at 2am. "Luckily I can survive on very little sleep but at one stage I don’t think I saw my husband for three and a half weeks!"

"I fought hard to get the big stories - women reporters in those days didn’t get to do things like crime and war, we’d just get the ‘fluffy’ stuff. Thankfully, things have moved on but I think it’s very important that women on television reflect real viewers - it shouldn’t matter whether you’re a size 8 or a size 16. After making her name at Radio Aire, a telephone call from Yorkshire Television gave her the opportunity for her next career move. "I still think that once people see you on television, they assume you walk into the studio at about 5.30pm, pick up a script and sit down. It’s not like that at all - I’m still going to be out reporting - chasing fire engines if necessary - and when you see me at 6.30pm, that’s just the end of a day’s work."

Christa has never been tempted to move out of Yorkshire and lives up on the moors. She has three horses, two dogs, two cats, three children and a husband. "And that’s usually the order I feed them in!" she says.

 

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Editor: Jake Fowler
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