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17 April 2014
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Inside Out: Surprising Stories, Familiar Places

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   Inside Out - South East: Presenter profile

Kaddy Lee-Preston

Kaddy Lee-Preston
Kaddy is delighted to be presenting Inside Out

First of all Kaddy isn't actually my real name. It's Kathryn. But 'Kaddy' came from the time when my family lived in Saudi Arabia.

We were out there for 12 years and every time we came back to England, when I met someone new, I called myself "Princess Kadina of the Middle East". So, it naturally got shortened to Kaddy.

This whole charade obviously only worked up to a certain age - there are only so many gullible 14-year-olds out there, but the name 'Kaddy' stuck with friends and now I'm used to it too!

A meteorological passion

I didn't start out as a presenter at all, in fact weather was my first love.

Moving around a lot as a child I developed a rather geeky love of the weather.

Weather map of southern England
Kaddy first appeared on our screens presenting the weather for South East Today

My dad was a fighter pilot and taught me about meteorology and the sky from when I was a wee whipper-snapper and I became hooked.

So I studied meteorology at Reading Uni for three years and then went on to do a year and a half extra study after my degree to become a fully qualified weather forecaster with the Met Office - studying for the hardest exams I've ever had to do in my life!

But I got through it and was then able to work out the best places to go for my weekends - very useful in this country!

I then went on to various forecasting jobs - forecasting for Harrier planes at an operational RAF base, forecasting for gas and electricity companies, football teams, horse/pigeon racing competitions and gritter lorries on icy nights.

Anyway, in September 2001, I got the job that I'd always wanted - doing the weather for the telly on South East Today - and I love it!

Inside Out and about in our region

"It's so surprising to find that so many weird and wacky things are going on right on our doorsteps!"
Kaddy Lee-Preston

My job here is primarily weather, but I've been very lucky at being able to do lifestyle, tourism and environmental stories as well and I soon wanted to expand into more of a presenting role.

Then came Inside Out.

Inside Out is a dream come true for me right now because it means I can spend the half of the week when I'm not doing the weather for South East Today filming stories that are important to our region.

I'm only on my first series but the variety is amazing!

The people I'm meeting are wonderful, the stories are really interesting and it's so surprising to find that so many weird and wacky things are going on right on our doorsteps!

And that's the programme's aim - to make these come to life in your living room.

Always up for a challenge

On a more personal level my hobbies involve cycling, hiking, exploring, science, wildlife, overseas travel and I'm also constantly trying to stay fit!

The Andes
The Andes - Stunning scenery but would you fancy cycling up those mountains?

I've got a yearning to improve my snowboarding skills, take up drum lessons and see the aurora borealis before we hit 2006!

I've also done a number of challenges for charities - some successful, some painful (don't mention Ecuador!) and tend to find the word 'No' is just something that involves being in an oyster bar.

I've cycled over 500km across the Andes, climbed a total of 28,000ft on my bike across Mexico from the Atlantic to Pacific coast (both for Macmillan Cancer Relief).

I've cycled to all 10 stadia for Euro 2004 across Portugal (covering a distance of 800km for Cystic Fibrosis) and burnt my toes walking across fire for a local hospice.

I have even done a 13,000ft freefall parachute jump (NB. NOT tandem!) just to prove that my vertigo wasn't going to beat me!

Catch Kaddy on Mondays, 7.30pm, BBC One.

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