Whilst undertaking these new editorial roles, Kate Thornton began a second career in television. In February 1997 Kate Thornton was given her first TV presenting job, on the ITV current affairs programme Straight Up. She was tasked with putting together a photo tribute with music for Princess Diana on the day of her death. In an interview in March 2011, Kate Thornton said: “…because it was a Sunday, the music library was shut and the only thing I had in my car, the only piece of music that was appropriate, was Candle in the Wind from Elton John’s greatest hits.” Colleagues attributed the subsequent airplay and then the re-recording of the song to this event. Kate Thornton is quoted as having been doubtful initially, but later having come to accept the possibility: “I never dared to assume for one minute that I was the link. But Nick Knowles [co-presenter on the show] has convinced me that whatever came as a result of it was all down to me.”
Kate Thornton has also presented Gravity Games for BBC Two, Women: The Naked Truth Honest for Channel 4 and Breasts Uncupped for Sky1.
Kate Thornton has presented a number of programmes for BBC Radio 2 since 2002. As well as presenting, Kate Thornton was also the writer of the radio documentary From Band to Brand in 2004, and the creator of the radio series Line of Enquiry, inviting an audience to put questions to a number of celebrities, which began in 2007. From 10 March until 28 April 2013, Kate Thornton presented The Boots Feel Good Forum, a radio show dedicated to health and fitness, which aired on Real Radio and Smooth Radio.
From 7 – 28 January 2014, Kate Thornton hosted Paper Cuts, a four-part series on BBC Radio 2, walking Craig Revel Horwood, Patsy Kensit, Pete Waterman and Sheila Hancock through their lives via their newspaper headlines. Further episodes of Paper Cuts aired in June 2014, walking Jennifer Saunders through her life via her newspaper headlines. A third series of Paper Cuts aired in January 2015, walking Cilla Black, Paul O’Grady, Les Dennis and Roger Moore through their lives via their newspaper headlines.