KATY Ashworth has just made the day of several hundred children who queued expectantly to meet her in person after her latest show.

“I think everyone in the theatre must have been waiting for me,” said Katy, who is bringing her Meet, Greet, Sing and Play show to Burnley Mechanics.

“But that’s great. I’m exhausted now but I did get a nice lot of hugs.”

As a Cbeebies presenter and through her show I Can Cook, Katy is one of the most popular faces on children’s television.

Conventional showbiz wisdom has it that along with animals, children are something you should steer well clear of.

“I love working with children. It’s something I have done since I was 15 when I got a job as an entertainer in a theme park,” said Katy.

“I suppose it was while I was there I realised I could connect with them.

“Kids are very discerning and you get a great raw response from them. You have to be equally open and honest with them and they will then appreciate that.”

Katy’s show features songs, jokes and a huge amount of audience interaction.

“I’d say it was mainly aimed at the under sevens,” she said.

“But I’ve deliberately got things in there for mums and dads to enjoy too.”

The show has been getting a phenomenal response in theatres around the country and the final show will be in Burnley.

“It’s really tiring and I’m exhausted at the end of a show,” said Katy.

“I think I look like death at the moment but that all changes once I start working with the children.

“You have to give of yourself. You can’t hide from children, which is what is so great about them.”

Once the tour comes to an end Katie will take a quick holiday before moving on to pantomime and then next year working more with CBeebies including a final series of I Can Cook.

“I think that would be a good time to stop that particular show,” she said, “but there’s so much more that I want to do.”

Having studied performing arts, does she harbour a secret desire to turn to Shakespeare?

“Oh goodness no,” she said. “I’ve never been really serious, I’ve always liked to do comedy. I’d like to do another show for children that inspires them.”

Katy Ashworth, Burnley Mechanics, Saturday, November 26. Details from the box office on 01282 664400