Steph McGovern: Packed Lunch host hits out at public misconception ‘Everyone assumes’

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Steph McGovern, 38, confessed on the Out With Suzi Ruffell podcast that she was not, as many first believed, originally from Middlesbrough. The former BBC Breakfast host shared that she was officially born in “Newcastle” which will come as a “mega” shock to her legion of fans from the north east of England.

I never correct anyone

Steph McGovern

Suzi asked Steph: “You grew up in Middlesbrough is that right? Were you born in Middlesbrough?”

Steph responded: “You’re the first person to actually ask me where I was born, because everyone always assumes I’m from Middlesbrough, and I wasn’t.

“And it always gets announced and I never correct anyone on that.

“I was actually born in Newcastle, but I grew up in Middlesbrough, that might not sound like much to you, but in north east land, that is mega.

“There will be people now who always assumed I was born in Middlesbrough, who will be screaming at whatever device they’re listening to, and going, ‘What! She’s not a real smoggie.’ 

“Which is what you call a person from Middlesbrough, but I grew up there from when I was little, I was just born in Newcastle,” she explained.

Also on the podcast, Steph made the revelation that growing up in Middlesbrough showed her the financial benefits of working in male-dominated industries.

The BBC presenter admitted that at school she was always driven by “money”, after considering a job in engineering to pay the bills.

Steph said of her school days: “We were sponsored by industry, so even though it was a tough school, we had really amazing facilities.

“We were constantly taken out to businesses to be shown how the world of work actually works.

“So that for me was amazing because I could see jobs and I thought, ‘Oh I really like engineering’ because there is a lot of industry in Middlesbrough, and there’s lots of money you can make out of it because not many women do it and just things like that. 

“So I was always kind of following the money, and following where I saw opportunity,” she added.

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The TV star admitted that although she had high ambitions, she struggled with exams.

Steph continued: “I love science and maths, and things at school but I wasn’t naturally good at it.

“I had to really graft like, my physics A level was probably the worst thing ever in my life.”

Before joining BBC Breakfast back in 1998, at the start of her sixth form studies, Steph won an Arkwright Engineering Scholarship for her potential to be a future leader in the engineering industry. 

At the age of just 19 years old, Steph was awarded ‘Young Engineer for Britain’, and became a junior team member for Black & Decker, saving them £150,000 a year after improving production techniques used on their Leaf Hog product.

She then went on to attend the prestigious University College London, where she studied Science Communication and Policy in the Department of Science and Technology Studies.

In 2013 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Teesside University.

Since the beginning of this year, she has presented The Steph Show, which has now been renamed Steph’s Packed Lunch and airs on Channel 4 weekdays at 12.30pm.

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