'I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be right now and that feels incredible' – Cassie Stokes on life after Xposé

The idea of change is daunting.

But for former Xposé presenter Cassie Stokes, the ability to navigate through life’s twists and turns means change is simply a means to an end for her – the end being a serene, happy place that she is persistent in reaching.

In September, Virgin Media announced the show wasn’t returning after 12 years on air and Cassie, who worked as an anchor on the programme for over three years, has moved into a video production role with a digital media company, while her colleagues like Karen Koster and Glenda Gilson have moved into positions on Ireland AM.

“When I was let go from Xposé I was in a positive state of mind as in, I looked at my circumstances. I don’t owe any money, I don’t have kids, I don’t own a house,” she said, “I’d been there three-and-a-half years, and as brilliant as it was, and it’s opened so many opportunities for me, it introduced me to so many people…I just felt that I’m not scared of change. But that’s only from experience.

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“It is an industry that is ever-changing so it should be something that we should become accustomed to but realistically, I think people, in general, find it hard to get used to change. I mean there’s some people who are pregnant and at the end of all that a baby comes out and some people miss their old lives, and some become accustomed to it.

“It’s just the way life is, we have to move with the changes and sometimes it can just be a bit difficult.”

At 32 years old, Cassie has built up an impressive CV: while in college, she worked both behind-the-scenes in production and did voice-overs, as well as presenting news show, FYI on 3e, and regularly appeared on Tonight With Vincent Browne. She then moved overseas Canada in 2012, where she did some reporting work for Entertainment Tonight. She returned to Ireland four years later, after being asked to cover Koster’s maternity leave on Xposé – a gig she had always hoped for.

It’s been a year of change for Cassie, who split with her long-term girlfriend Kathleen in January of this year; which has taught her to appreciate the highs and lows – and irony, of life.

Speaking to Independent.ie at the launch of the Just Eat National Takeaway Awards, she said: “Trust that it’s going to be okay and it’s weird and it’s so hard sometimes because I know when things get tough it is so hard to be like everything is going to be okay.

“I remember last year when I was crying my face off, I was going through a really hard break up and I was just like I know this is going to be okay, and I can’t wait to feel happy again. This is just something I have to go through right now.”

She continued: “I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be right now and that feels incredible. And you’ll know it when it feels right, and it’s going to feel wrong so many times – don’t get me wrong. For the last year, I’ve kind of been like what’s going on? My whole life has changed. This time last year I was in such a totally different place and it’s a really nice thing to know.

“Sometimes, happiness just feels so much better when you’ve been through a tough time. I literally only say that’s what I’m going through right now.”

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