Katherine Mary 'Kate' Humble (born 12 December 1968 in Wimbledon, London), is a UK television presenter. She works mainly for the BBC, specialising in wildlife and science programmes, and is also an active participant in many environmental and conservation campaigns. She is also the current President of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
Born to Nick Humble and Diana Carter, Kate grew up in Bray in Berkshire and attended the Abbey School in Reading, Berkshire, where she admits she wasn't the best student the school had ever had.
"I was a very bad student. I had a fantastic Latin teacher which did mean I did Latin A Level but other than that my school career wasn't something to be proud of."
After leaving school she travelled through Africa from Cape Town to Cairo, doing various jobs including waitressing, driving safari trucks, working on a crocodile farm and performing as a magician's assistant - "I was the girl who got sawed in half". She has returned to Africa many times since. In 1994 she travelled around Madagascar, the subject of her first article for the Daily Telegraph travel section. Since then she has written articles about diving and cycling in Cuba, an 'exploding' lake in Cameroon, and hippopotamus conservation work in Ghana.
Kate started her television career as a researcher for the BBC, later transferring to presenting programmes such as Top Gear, Tomorrow's World and the 2001 series The Holiday Programme - You call the shots where the team travelled the world doing whatever viewers recommended using the then novel media of text messaging and emailing the team as they travelled.
Most recently, Kate has specialised in presenting wildlife programmes, including Animal Park, Springwatch with Bill Oddie, Wild in Africa and SeaWatch.
In 1990 she appeared for the first time as an actress in a TV production The Secret Life of Ian Fleming - and was credited as "Lauren Heston .... The redhead". This later led to some mild embarrassment for her, due to the nude love scenes included in this production.
Kate presented The Blue Planet Live! on the 2008 UK tour at Wembley Arena, St. David's Hall in Cardiff and at Symphony Hall in Birmingham.
Her latest BBC television series is The Hottest Place On Earth, a record of a month spent living with the Afar people in Ethiopia's hostile Danakil Depression.
She occasionally performs on the lecture circuit with a show based on her experiences with wildlife, titled Harassed by Hippos and Battered by Cod: A Humble Way to Make a Living.
On 16 February 2009 she debuted in Countdown's Dictionary Corner.
She founded the web site Stuff Your Rucksack that helps organisations around the world find the items they need by matching them with travellers.
From 2000 to 2005, she presented a BBC series called Rough Science, in which a number of scientists were set various challenges to be solved using just basic tools and supplies.
On 29 July 2009, she was the subject for the programme Who Do You Think You Are?, where she discovered that she had family connections to the Hartley Colliery Disaster. Her paternal grandfather, Bill Humble, was a test pilot who tested the Hawker Tempest and her maternal grandfather, Stan Carter, served as an officer in the RAF and after being shot-down was held as a prisoner of war in Stalag Luft III at the time of The Great Escape.
Kate is married to television producer Ludo Graham. They first met when she was aged 16, married in Newbury, Berkshire on September 12 1992, when she was 23, and have two sons, Bertie (born 1994) and Lawrence (born 1996). They have recently (2007) moved from Chiswick, West London to the Wye Valley, where they have wanted to live for 'A very long time'.
In an interview in 2007, Kate revealed her enjoyment of public nudity -
"One of life's great joys is dancing naked in the sun. It makes me feel so good. Even now, there are all sorts of places in the world where you can take your clothes off and not be seen."
- Holidays Out (1997)
- Holiday (TV series) (1998-2000)
- The Essential Guide to Rocks (1998)
- Holiday: Fasten Your Seat Belt '98 (1998)
- Top Gear Waterworld (1998)
- Holiday Snaps (1999-2001)
- Webwise (1999)
- Top Gear (1999-2000)
- Holiday on a Shoestring (2000-2001)
- Esc@ape (2000)
- Chef SOS (2000)
- Shipwrecked (2000)
- Countryfile (2000-2004)
- Animal Park (2000-
- Rough Science (2000-2005)
- Holiday: You Call The Shots (2001-2003)
- Ever Wondered: Colour - Blissfully Blue (2001)
- Ever Wondered: Extremes - Surviving Antarctica (2001)
- Rolf's Amazing World of Animals (2001)
- City Hospital (2001-2004)
- Tomorrow's World (2002)
- The Abyss: Live (2002-2003)
- Restoration (Series 1 final) (2003)
- The Murder Game (2003)
- Wild In Your Garden (2003)
- Test Your Pet (2004)
- Britain Goes Wild with Bill Oddie (2004)
- Amazon Abyss (2005)
- Animal Park - Wild in Africa (2005-2006)
- Springwatch (2005-2009)
- Best of Springwatch with Bill Oddie (2005)
- Autumnwatch (2006-2008)
- Seawatch (TV series) (2006)
- The One Show (2006)
- Springwatch Special (2006)
- Climate Change: Britain Under Threat (2007)
- Animal Park - Wild on the West Coast (2007)
- Pacific Abyss (2007)
- Ultimate Caving (2007)
- Britain's Lost World (2007)
- One Man and His Dog (2008)
- The Hottest Place on Earth (2008)
- Who Do You Think You Are? (2009)
- Her childhood nickname was "Rabbit", which she got because she was "quite a good nose twitcher".
- Her wedding ring, an antique 18-carat gold band, is an old family heirloom that originally belonged to her great-grandmother.
- Although Kate is often referred to as a keen beekeeper, she has since confirmed that while interested in bees she does not yet own any.
- Kate is a fully qualified Scuba diver, and her diving skills often feature in her TV appearances.
- Has two pet dogs called Badger and Bella.
- She's twice appeared on the cover of the BBC's Radio Times TV listing's magazine.
- Although she has had a piercing in the upper cartilage of her left ear since her late teens, she didn't have her earlobes pierced until December 2008, when she had them pierced the day after her 40th birthday.
- Since having had her ears pierced, she's rarely seen without a pair of her favorite medium-sized gold hoop earrings.
- When she provided the voice of the computer for the series Time Commanders, which was produced by her husband, she was credited under her married name of Kate Graham, and not as Kate Humble.
- Having had her ears pierced for her 40th birthday, she celebrated her 41st birthday in 2009 by having her belly-button pierced.
- "I'm not an academic or a specialist, but I do love learning new things and asking questions – I'm never afraid to ask."
- (On working with Bill Oddie on Springwatch) "I never, ever get bored. Bill ranges from being unpredictable to downright difficult, but he's passionate about his subject and has made an awful lot of other people so, too. You can't knock that. Sometimes I could cheerfully throttle him, and we have some heated (unprintable) exchanges. But the bottom line is I'm terribly fond of the old sod."
- "I'd actually been thinking about getting my ears pierced for a while, but what really decided it for me was when one of my friends forgot I didn't already have them done and gave me a pair of really expensive diamond studs for my 40th birthday. Of course, because they were for pierced ears, there was no way I could wear them so, the very next day, I went out and had them done. I've only had them pierced for a few weeks now, so it still feels a bit strange and I'm still getting used to them, but I like how they look and definitely wish I'd got them pierced ages ago instead of waiting until now."
- "From a celeb perspective I'm quite dull. I live in Wales, I've been married forever, I've got two very normal teenage sons, I have a dog – I'm not going to suddenly start going to parties and shopping in Gucci."
- "We got together when I was 20 and I remember thinking Ludo was going to get very bored of me very quickly, so I didn't consciously play hard to get. I had no idea that we'd still be together 24 years later and have two really wonderful sons."
- (Speaking about how many people view women on TV) "It is irritating that people assume if you haven't got a degree and you don't look like the back end of a bus that you must be daft with it."
- (On finally having her ears pierced) "It does feel a bit strange to have them done after all this time. I forget all about them for ages, and then I see myself in the mirror, see the studs there, and think to myself 'oh yeah, I've got holes in my earlobes now!' But I do like having them done, and I'm looking forward to having loads of fun trying different kinds of earrings to see which I like the best."
- "It's not fashionable but I like Marmite on apples. A friend of my grandmother's was a vegetarian back in the days when no one was, and it was her favourite snack. She introduced it to me and I became obsessed."
- "The most unusual job I've ever had? When I was 18, I spent a few months in South Africa working as a magician's assistant. I'd be there all dressed up in the spangly costumes, jumping in and out of various boxes which he then stuck swords through and that sort of thing. And then, at the end of the show, he'd saw me in half. It was hard work, but a lot of fun - Especially being sawed in half. It was always an interesting experience to feel the saw go through me, and then look over and see the box with my bottom half in it fifteen feet away on the other side of the stage!"
- "I'm not a big drinker. I'm quite square. I hate the feeling of being drunk, so I try to avoid it. It's lovely to have the occasional gin and tonic, and I love sharing a good bottle of wine with Ludo, but I have to get up so early most days I can't drink loads."
- "When I was about 19 I thought I wanted to work in TV, so I got a job helping a casting director. One film we did was a drama, Spymaker – The Secret Life Of Ian Fleming. But when it came to casting a girl to play the house mistress' daughter at Eton, the director became really picky. Basically, Ian had been caught in flagrante with this girl, so it was just one scene, but the director wanted to film it 'over the hip' and naked. Eventually after days of castings, my boss asked me to go along to boost numbers. I ended up getting it. Hysterical. Jason Connery ,who played Ian, was delightful, as I confessed I had no idea about acting. And yes the director got his 'over the hip' shot, closed set and everything. Basically, it was a very funny day, never to be repeated."
- "I don't wear lots of jewellery, and never have. For years, all I ever wore was my wedding ring and a watch, and that was it. Now my ears are pierced, I'll usually wear earrings as well, although I do sometimes forget to put them in or think 'to hell with it, I just can't be bothered today!' And I did go a bit crazy on my last birthday and get my belly button pierced, so I've got that too. But that's usually all the jewellery I wear, because I just don't feel comfortable wearing anything more."
- "I'm lucky I met the person I'm still with when I was young, so I wasn't scrutinised about who I was going out with, whether I was snogging a footballer or falling out of a nightclub drunk."
- "It was exciting living in a big city. I was 19, based in a squat and living on crisps, air and illegal drugs."
- "I have a theory, backed up by nothing scientific whatsoever, that if your roots are in the country, if your childhood was like mine, one that involved making camps, climbing trees, horses, bike rides with Marmite sandwiches... it is that sense of space, of freedom, that inevitably draws you back."
- "When I was five I didn't want to wear dresses and my mother used to battle to get me out of filthy boy clothes. And I was still a real tomboy through my teens. All my friends at school were busy experimenting with make-up and fashion and couldn't wait to get their ears pierced, while I didn't bother with make-up, had no interest in the latest fashions, and couldn't see the point of letting someone punch holes in my earlobes. After my best friend had her ears pierced, she kept trying to persuade me to have mine done too, telling me how it didn't hurt and how great I'd look with them done, but I just wasn't bothered - And it actually took me until I was 40 before I finally listened to her, had them done and found out she was right on both counts!"
- "Without a bit of dirt, our immune systems become inert. I'm pretty mucky most of the time and I'm pretty healthy. I'm sure, too that we'd all be a lot healthier without that ridiculous antibacterial hand-gel stuff."
- (When asked if she'd ever consider having plastic surgery) "I hate the pressure on women to look a certain way and have tits a certain size. It's madness. Can I just say I'll never wake up and think, 'Sh*t, gravity's taken hold!' I can't imagine it."