From Benefits Britain to The Eagle: Meet Our Katie.

Updated: Apr 3, 2020

Describe the eagle in three words

Family, home, love.

You had an unusual showbiz path to working here. Tell us about that.

Yes, in 2014 I was on Benefit Britain (still showing on Channel 5 until 2020!). I became unemployed from my previous job where I had been a nanny to three beautiful children. I'd never been out of work since I left school so off I went down the Jobcentre and I think the first two weeks going I actually got on the nerves of my caseworker as I kept hassling to see if there were any courses I could go on. Let's just say I was a bit more enthusiastic than he was used to!

Eventually I got put on to the security guard course.

On one of my visits to the Jobcentre Channel 5 approached me and asked if I would like to be on Benefit Britain. Of course loving a camera and a photo I said yes. I was followed for seven weeks in my home going to the Jobcentre and starting the security course right up until I passed. Someone I know who is also friends with Mark Oakley (Eagle owner) watched the program said they were looking for female security at Eagle London. He put us in touch, I had the interview and got the job. The rest is history.

Some criticise the show as exploitative ‘poverty porn’. What’s your view on that?

These types of programmes can paint you in a very negative light. I’m a very positive person and I made a point of being that on screen so that it would be more difficult to paint me positively.

One of the questions they asked me was why was I dressed up smart to sign on and I answered, 'Is there a dress code then?'. They were also fishing for my opinion on everyone else at the Jobcentre - I knew they were digging for a bit of gossip but my answer was I don’t have an opinion on anyone in there, everybody's circumstances are different so who am I to judge them?

We’re all about the music at The Eagle. Which three tracks never fail to get you on the dance floor?

There’s so many but these three never fail:

1. Wham! - Everything She Wants

2. Sister Sledge - He’s The Greatest Dancer

3. Gwen Guthrie - Ain’t Nothing Going On But The Rent

Sorry, have to had get Rozalla's Everybody’s Free in there too. I can really kick some moves to that one - mind you at my age I might end up breaking a hip!

Top, bottom or vers

Ooh-er! Well, all I can say to that is it's been a while either way!

Tell us one Katie out on the razz story.

Butlins is a good one. I’ve always loved music, dancing and a right good knees up. I have a big group of friends and family and once a year we would go to the Butlins adults only weekend.

There was always a theme fancy dress for the Saturday night and this particular weekend I took this guy with me who I had been dating (in my head I'm thinking blimey - top, bottom, all over the gaff - what happens in Butlins stays in Butlins...).

For the Saturday I dressed up as a cheerleader and this guy went as a Ninja. We were drinking, dancing and went into character where I did my cheerleading tricks, as you do. We were having a whale of a time and at some point we started to get a little bit amorous so I said, 'Come on babes, let’s go back to our room'. Ooh-er!

We arrived back at the room me in my cheerleading outfit and him ready to work those some Ninja moves on me (which I’ll add he was happy to do), and we were chucking each other all over the gaff getting rather steamy (might just add this guy was a bit shorter then me so it was quite easy to manoeuvre him about). Anyway, we ended up on the (single) bed on our knees facing each other and just it was getting rather heated and the deed was about to be done I got a bit carried away and pushed him a bit too hard... he fell off the end of the bed, banged his head on the chest of drawers and was knocked stone cold out. I'd had a few sherries so obviously this didn't stop me so I slapped him around a few times to get the show back on the road. After about 5 minutes he came round all dizzy and feeling sick so unfortunately we decided to call it a night.

The next day I had to get the paramedics to check him out and he was told to stay in bed as I’d given him concussion! We saw each other a couple of more times after that weekend but it just fizzled out shortly after. No idea why ....

You’ve been with us for six years now. Obviously a lot of memories but what’s stuck in your mind?

I hadn’t been on the door for very long when Mark came and told me that Sam Smith was on his way. I was initially full of excitement but time past and I assumed he wasn't coming. Anyway, a bit later two gentlemen turned up outside the venue, one was dancing all over the show and in my Croydon accent I said, 'You two coming in or what?' I went into security mode, gave them a little pat down and told them it was six quid and to pay the guy inside. Roy was like, 'Mark put him on the guest list Katie' and the penny dropped who it was.

When he left later that night he gave me a big hug and thanked me for letting him in and we always have a proper chinwag whenever he's come down since.

Your dream night out with four celebs (dead or alive) of your choosing.

1. Well, one of these I’ve already done (with Sam Smith, of course). I was on a night off and went to The Eagle after a party elsewhere and I dance the night away with him and my sister.

2. Clark Gable so he can kiss me like he kissed Vivien Leigh.

3. George Michael can take me Outside.

4. Michael Flatley as I love a bit of River Dance!

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