Tess Daly

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Tess Daly
Tess Daly Cropped.jpg
Born Helen Elizabeth Daly
(1969-04-27) 27 April 1969 (age 45)
Stockport, Cheshire, England[1]
Ethnicity English
Education New Mills Secondary School
Years active 1990–present
Television Strictly Come Dancing
Spouse(s) Vernon Kay (m. 2003)
Children 2
Parent(s) Vivian Daly (deceased)
Sylvia Daly (née Bradley)
Official Twitter

Helen Elizabeth "Tess" Daly[2] is an English model and television presenter, best known for co-presenting the BBC One celebrity dancing show Strictly Come Dancing.

She is married to fellow presenter Vernon Kay.

Early life[edit]

Daly was born on 27 April 1969[3] in Stockport, Cheshire to Vivian (1932–2003), who died of emphysema, and Sylvia Daly [4] and grew up in Birch Vale near New Mills, Derbyshire. She attended Hayfield Primary School and New Mills Secondary School, where she gained 9 O Levels. She has a younger sister, Karen.



Scouted outside a McDonald's restaurant while waiting for her sister in Manchester, six weeks after she turned 18 she undertook her first professional modelling job in Tokyo.[5] After a series of work assignments across Asia and Europe while based in London, she was based in Paris for five years. She then returned to London for six months, before moving to New York for work for five years.[5] In 1990, Daly appeared in two Duran Duran videos for the songs "Serious" and "Violence of Summer (Love's Taking Over)", both from the album Liberty. She also appeared in the video for The Beloved's 1993 song "Sweet Harmony".[6]

She was later the face of lingerie company La Senza in the UK and appeared in their Steal the Show Christmas 2009 campaign.[7]


While living on the Lower East Side, a friend who arranged red carpet events suggested that she interview the celebrities who attended the events. After buying a video camera, Daly's first interview was with New York-based Quentin Crisp, author of The Naked Civil Servant, who became a lifelong friend until his death.[5] After a few red carpet interviews, in 2000, she sent a show reel to the producers of Channel 4's The Big Breakfast,[5] who immediately contracted her to host the Find Me a Model competition. Since then, she has presented shows including Get Your Kit Off, Singled Out, Smash Hits TV, SMTV Live, Back To Reality and the first series of Make Me a Supermodel with Dave Berry.

Daly is a co-presenter of BBC One's Strictly Come Dancing with Claudia Winkleman since 2014. Previously, she co-hosted the programme with Bruce Forsyth. Daly missed a couple of episodes in the second series because she was pregnant with her first daughter. Natasha Kaplinsky took her place for these episodes. Daly was joined for the eighth series result shows of Strictly Come Dancing by Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two presenter Claudia Winkleman while Bruce Forsyth took a break, with Daly filling Forsyth's role as main presenter and Winkleman filling Daly's role as co-presenter. The format remained like this for the ninth, tenth and eleventh series.

Daly has also hosted This Time Tomorrow and the National Lottery show broadcast on BBC One. Since 2008, Daly has presented the BBC telethon Children in Need with Terry Wogan and Fearne Cotton. She also won the special Children in Need version of Strictly Come Dancing against Terry Wogan, where she was partnered with Anton du Beke. On 17 December 2008, Daly co-hosted the Royal Variety Performance.

Since 13 November 2013, Daly has guest presented The One Show a number of times co-hosting opposite Matt Baker.


In 2011, Daly's first novel, The Camera Never Lies, a tale of love behind the scenes, was published by Coronet, an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton. It's Up to You New York. Daly's second book was released in 2013.

Personal life[edit]

Daly married DJ and TV presenter Vernon Kay on 12 September 2003, at St Mary's Catholic Church in Horwich, near Bolton.[8] The couple have two daughters, the first born in Westminster, London, on 17 October 2004, the second born on 30 May 2009, also in London. In January 2007, Kay and Daly co-presented the second series of Just the Two of Us on BBC One. They live in Fulmer, Buckinghamshire.[9]


  1. ^ Births 1761-2006
  2. ^ "Weekend birthdays". The Guardian. 26 April 2014. p. 49. 
  3. ^ "Tess Daly". Glamour Magazine. Retrieved 1 January 2015. 
  4. ^ mirror Administrator (25 February 2006). "I LAUGHED ON THE TV.. BUT INSIDE I WAS SO BROKEN UP". mirror. 
  5. ^ a b c d Elizabeth Day (26 September 2010). "Tess Daly: the interview". The Observer. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Nuts has closed". 
  7. ^ Tess Daly steals the show at La Senza, Bras.co.uk, 2 November 2009
  8. ^ "The sun shone, the bride wore white ....and so did the groom", Bolton Evening News, 13 September 2003
  9. ^ Stephen Adams (4 May 2008). "Perfect country life a short hop from the M25". Telegraph.co.uk. 

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