TV presenter Lorraine Kelly has urged women to “inspire the next generation” as she accepted a surprise award celebrating her 35 years in broadcasting.
She was invited on stage at the Women of the Year awards lunch in London on Monday, where she told attendees including Theresa May to “pass it on”.
Kelly, 59, said it was a good thing women no longer “put up the ladder” when they became successful, and that they had begun to help other women rise up in their professions.
The Daybreak presenter said: “I have been so lucky. For 35 years I have been doing a job I adore. I absolutely adore it. I never take it for granted.
“What I think is really important is that you have got to pass that on.
“Now we are getting a little better. We actually don’t put up the ladder anymore and I think as women that is really important.
Kelly became a familiar face hosting STV, GMTV, ITV Breakfast and Daybreak and now her eponymous ITV morning programme Lorraine.
She added: “We have got to inspire the next generation and make it easier for them. Easier, certainly, than it was for me. “Like I said, it’s quite scary out there just now. It’s quite toxic and it’s divisive and I guess we try and be optimistic and to try and shine a light on things maybe people should talk about a little bit more.
“That’s why I am so pleased about our wonderful, wonderful women and all the work they do. As far as I am concerned, all winners.”