Celebrity supporter - Saira Khan | Action Medical Research

Touching Lives - March 2009

Celebrity supporter - Saira Khan

“Having a healthy baby is every parent’s dream,” says Saira, when asked her thoughts on the charity’s Touching Tiny Lives appeal. And it’s a dream that came true for Saira almost a year ago when she gave birth to son Zac. “Luckily for me Zac was a healthy baby boy, but I know that not all parents are so lucky. I just can’t begin to comprehend the anxiety of parents who go through premature birth or lose their babies. That’s why research is vital – no parent should have to lose their little one.”

It’s clear that issues concerning pregnancy and babies are close to Saira’s heart, but her current presenting role on CBBC’s Beat the Boss has made her a household name for a slightly older audience, pitting budding school-age entrepreneurs against adult professionals to develop products that will appeal to kids. “I am always amazed at the children’s ideas, confidence and knowledge of the business world. We should never underestimate the capabilities of our children or limit their opportunities.”

Saira first shot to fame as a contestant on the first series of The Apprentice in 2005. “It was an amazing experience and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was very hard work – I had to put a lot of physical and mental energy into it, but it paid off as I was runner up and I was very pleased with that.” But what about facing Sir Alan Sugar in the Boardroom? “Sir Alan is scary, but when you get to know him he’s just a big cuddly bear – like Paddington!”

The energy and determination with which Saira tackled Sir Alan’s tasks is now channelled into her own growing enterprise – skincare products for babies. And her renowned business acumen means she is often called upon for media comment. “It is a lot to juggle but it’s all about having great people around who can help.”

So why add Action Medical Research to an already hectic schedule? “I feel there are so many wonderful people out there who have great ideas or are carrying out amazing research. All ideas need support and money to get off the ground and I think it’s great that an organisation like Action Medical Research is there at the forefront, playing a vital role to help these ideas become a reality.”

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