Finally, Stephanie took a deep breath and announced her transition to becoming a woman on BBC Radio Five Live. She was taken off air while she went through her gender reassignment (which took place while her home extension was being done, much to the bemusement of the builders), but a year later the career she feared might be killed stone dead has never looked brighter.

As well as a weekly show on BBC Radio Manchester, she is a regular on ITV morning show Lorraine, helping viewers who want to make some sort of important change in their lives.

“People would say to me, ‘Oh, so it’s not kinky then? “They thought it was a sexual thing, that I got a thrill from putting the clothes on. I used to see women walking down the high street and feel envious of them.

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Simon is now Stephanie, the popular Yorkshire DJ having undergone a gender change after opening up about his inner torment live on national radio a year ago this month.

This new life hasn’t come easy, but in the end it was a straight choice between living as a woman or not living at all.“I was driving home from my radio show every morning and would quite easily have driven my car into the central reservation,” says the 40-year-old.

As a three-year-old she had asked her mother: “Why aren’t I a girl? Since going public, a friend of her late mother has told her that her mum discussed it with close colleagues at the factory where she worked, but it was never mentioned to her father.“That was parenting in the 1970s,” Stephanie shrugs. But I knew inside it wasn’t right and lived in fear of talking about it.”Her parents have both given her their blessing.

She told her mum what she was planning to do shortly before she died a couple of years ago.

“To take that first step and then be told it’s a three-year waiting list...

I know the NHS is stretched but there needs to be a will to do something about it.“People are now starting to put their hand up and say, yes, I feel like this too and I need to do something about it.

She borrowed a pair of rollerskates from a girl who lived around the corner and something just “clicked”.

But her feeling of unease went back much further than that.

Now it’s like I’ve got a blank piece of paper.”A year on, thoughts are turning to the prospect of a relationship as Stephanie, rather than Simon.“I went public on October 11 last year and I only realised the other day that’s my ex’s birthday.

I was with her for 13 years and we still speak occasionally, I still speak to all my exes bar one.“They all knew so they understood.

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