In early October 1984, Kelly joined TV-am as Scotland Correspondent. On the back of her coverage of the Pan Am Flight 103 disaster in Lockerbie, in July 1989, Kelly presented TV-am’s Summer Sunday programme with chief reporter Geoff Meade. In February 1990, she became a main presenter of Good Morning Britain alongside Mike Morris.
In January 1993, Kelly helped launch GMTV by presenting a range of programmes. Her first job was presenting the new Top of the Morning. In March, when Fiona Armstrong walked out of the main GMTV show, Kelly moved to the main breakfast show with Eamonn Holmes. In June 1994, Kelly went on maternity leave, but shortly afterwards she was sacked from the main presenting roles, Lorraine returned in November 94 to do a mum and baby slot. This led to her becoming the presenter of Nine O’Clock Live. The show proved so popular that it was moved to the earlier 08:35 slot, retitled Lorraine Live.
In Autumn 2000, as GMTV rebranded to GMTV Today, Kelly’s show changed its name to LK Today. As part of the later rebrand that took place in 2009, the show again changed its title to GMTV with Lorraine, to coincide with GMTV Today changing back to GMTV. Lorraine moved for the first time into the main GMTV studio, instead of having her own part of the studio to host from. In April 2010, to make GMTV’s programming more consistent, GMTV with Lorraine began airing all year round, instead of breaking during school holidays, with guest presenters.
According to the Sunday Mirror, in 2007, Kelly was prevented from appearing in an advertising campaign for Asda as GMTV managing director Clive Crouch felt that such a move would create more bad publicity for GMTV, which had recently been fined £2 million by broadcasting regulator Ofcom for its misuse of premium-rate phone lines.
In November 2009, ITV plc took full control of the broadcaster after purchasing The Walt Disney Company’s 25% share. On 9 July 2010, as well as the announcement that GMTV had been axed to make way for Daybreak, it was also revealed that Kelly’s new programme Lorraine would replace GMTV with Lorraine On 15 July 2010, Kelly presented her last show before leaving.
2010–present: Lorraine, Daybreak and other projects
On 6 September 2010, GMTV ended with ITV Breakfast taking over. Lorraine launched with a brand new look, alongside Daybreak.
In 2011, Kelly presented the ITV series Children’s Hospital, and was a guest presenter on the BBC Two series Never Mind the Buzzcocks in series 25. She provides voice-over and narration on the CBeebies show Raa Raa the Noisy Lion.
On 4 May 2012, it was confirmed that Kelly would take over from Christine Bleakley as presenter on Lorraine’s sister programme Daybreak. She debuted on 3 September 2012. She co-hosted the programme with Aled Jones from Monday to Thursday, with Kate Garraway co-hosting on Fridays.
In February 2014, Kelly announced that she would leave Daybreak to focus on Lorraine which she began hosting five days a week from 28 April 2014. Daybreak was replaced by Good Morning Britain in April 2014.
In 2014, Kelly made a cameo appearance in an episode of Birds of a Feather. On 19 September 2014, Kelly reported from Dundee on Good Morning Britain on the Scottish independence result. On 13 April 2016, Kelly guest presented an episode of This Morning with Rylan Clark-Neal.
Kelly presented a four-part series for Channel 5 called Penguin A&E with Lorraine Kelly. The series began airing on 10 May 2016. In 2018, Kelly co-presented Wedding Day Winners with Rob Beckett. The show aired on Saturday nights on BBC One.