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Fearne Cotton

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Fearne Cotton
Cotton in 2014
Born (1981-09-03) 3 September 1981 (age 42)
Other namesFearne Wood
EducationHaydon School
  • Broadcaster
  • author
Years active1996–present
(m. 2014)
RelativesRonnie Wood (father-in-law)
Billy Cotton (great-granduncle)
Sir Bill Cotton, CBE (first cousin, twice removed)

Fearne Wood[1] (née Cotton; born 3 September 1981)[2] is an English broadcaster and author. She began her career in the late 1990s as a children’s television presenter for GMTV, CITV and CBBC. She went on to present various television shows, including Top of the Pops (2004–2020), Love Island (2006), The Xtra Factor (2007), and Interior Design Masters (2019), as well as the Children in Need (2005–2017) and Red Nose Day (2007, 2009, 2011) telethons. From 2008 to 2018, Cotton was a team captain on the ITV2 comedy panel show Celebrity Juice.

In 2007, Cotton became the first regular female presenter of the Radio 1 Chart Show, which she co-presented with Reggie Yates for two years. She went on to present her own Radio 1 show, airing every weekday morning from 2009 to 2015. She joined BBC Radio 2 in 2016.

In 2018, Cotton began presenting Happy Place, a podcast focusing on wellbeing and mental health, available to online streaming platforms.[citation needed] She has also released eight self-help books, two children's books, and four books on healthy eating.[3]

Early life[edit]

Cotton was born in Northwood, London Borough of Hillingdon, to Mick and Lyn Cotton; she has a younger brother, Jamie Cotton. Her father was a signwriter for events such as Live Aid, and her mother worked in alternative therapy.[citation needed] She grew up in nearby Eastcote, and was educated at Haydon School. She is a pescetarian and an animal lover.[4] She has participated in several half marathons for charity.[5] Former BBC executive Sir Bill Cotton (1928–2008) was her paternal grandfather's cousin.[6] He was the son of the well-known entertainer and band leader Billy Cotton. In August 2017, Cotton's ancestry was explored in the BBC TV series Who Do You Think You Are?

Cotton studied art at A-level, a skill she used whilst presenting the series Draw Your Own Toons.[7]



Cotton began her presenting career in 1996, at the age of 15,[8] with early-morning GMTV children's programme The Disney Club, after winning a competition for young talent to present the show.[9] Cotton later continued with the show and with its replacement Diggit. She left in 2000, to concentrate on her other projects with CITV, including Draw Your Own Toons and Mouse, aimed at encouraging children to use computers.[citation needed]

Cotton joined CBBC in 2001 to present children's science programme Eureka TV. From 2001 until 2003, she presented Finger Tips, an arts and crafts programme for children, which she co-presented with Stephen Mulhern. She later co-presented on CBBC's Sunday morning show, Smile and on The Saturday Show. She has also made appearances in the CBBC show Only in America, alongside her good friend and fellow presenter Reggie Yates. Cotton returned to children's television in 2015 by voicing one of the Voice Trumpets in the reboot of the classic British children's television series Teletubbies.[citation needed]


In 2006, Cotton presented the second series of ITV's Love Island with Patrick Kielty.[citation needed]

In 2007, she took over from Ben Shephard as host of The X Factor spin-off programme The Xtra Factor on ITV2, presenting the programme for one series before resigning to work in America; she was replaced in the following series by Holly Willoughby.[citation needed]

Starting on 5 September 2007, Cotton co-hosted with Holly Willoughby the ITV2 dating programme Holly & Fearne Go Dating, which saw the pair try to find dates for lonely singletons.[citation needed]

Beginning in 2008, Cotton appeared as a team captain on the ITV2 comedy panel show Celebrity Juice alongside host Keith Lemon and fellow team captain Holly Willoughby. Cotton took a short break from the programme in 2013 whilst on maternity leave, and Kelly Brook stood in for her during the ninth series. She quit the series in 2018.[citation needed]

Cotton has also presented the Isle of Wight Festival 2009 on ITV2 alongside Rufus Hound.[citation needed]

Since 2009, Cotton has hosted Fearne and... on ITV2. In 2012, Cotton hosted The Nation's Favourite Number One Single, a three-part series, revealing Britain's Favourite No. 1 single. Since 2016, Cotton has co-presented Fearne & Gok: Off The Rails, alongside Gok Wan for ITVBe.[10] In March 2017, Cotton guest presented five episodes of ITV Breakfast's Lorraine programme.[11]


In 2003, Cotton moved over to mainstream broadcasting. She along with Simon Grant (her co-presenter from The Saturday Show) presented the spin-off show Top of the Pops: Saturday (later renamed Top of the Pops: Reloaded) that year. In 2004, she moved up to work alongside Reggie Yates on the main programme, Top of the Pops (the then flagship chartshow for the BBC) becoming one of the last regular presenters for that programme, which ended in July 2006. Due to other commitments, she was unable to present the final show itself, appearing instead in a short film shown at the head of that show, in which she made her personal farewells. Cotton and Yates presented the one-off Christmas and New Year specials in both 2008 and 2009, as well as the Comic Relief special in 2009.

She has hosted parts of the Red Nose Day telethon for Comic Relief (2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011) presenting several strands alongside Jonathan Ross and Lenny Henry.

Cotton has also presented many charity telethons for both Comic Relief and Children in Need on BBC One and BBC Two. In July 2005 she co-presented the BBC's coverage of Live 8 in Hyde Park. During the event, British pop star and former Take That member Robbie Williams flirted with her in front of the cameras, causing much speculation in the media at the time, but which was later repudiated by the pair.[citation needed] In 2008, she hosted a Strictly Come Dancing special as part of Children in Need.

In June 2012, Cotton was one of the BBC's presenters for its coverage of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. Following more than 4,000 complaints made about the BBC's coverage of the Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and in particular criticism of Cotton's role, she responded on Twitter by stating, "Grown men who slag me off in articles/online are huge bullies. I love my job and wouldn't be doing it if I wasn't any good at it."[12]

Cotton guest presented The One Show on BBC One for two nights in November 2013, two nights in February 2014, one night in March 2014 and one night in March 2016.[citation needed]

Other channels[edit]

She also presented the Friday night live eviction programme that year for the Channel 5 reality television series Make Me a Supermodel.[citation needed]

Cotton hosted Sky1's talent search Must Be The Music for one series in 2010.[13]


Cotton is the voice over of the Tesco Mobile adverts since late 2020. She also became the voice over of the On the Beach radio adverts in 2022.

United States[edit]

In 2008, Cotton moved to the US to host The Guinness Book of Records – Live.[14] Cotton later co-hosted the NBC reality show Last Comic Standing.[15]

Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

Cotton has presented parts of the BBC's coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest.[citation needed]

On 20 May 2006, she read the United Kingdom's votes at the Eurovision Song Contest 2006, held in Athens, Greece.[citation needed]

On 17 March 2007, she, along with Terry Wogan, hosted Making Your Mind Up 2007,[16] the show to decide which song the UK sent to the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 in Helsinki, Finland. On the night, after the final "sing-off" between the two remaining acts, Wogan and Cotton simultaneously announced different winners. Since Wogan was the more experienced presenter, it was assumed that he was right. In fact, Wogan had accidentally announced the wrong artist, Cyndi, as the winner. Cotton had to persist in repeating the correct name until the confusion was resolved.[17] The group Scooch was quickly proclaimed as the correct winner, but came only second-to-last in the main competition.[citation needed] Cotton also presented the United Kingdom's votes at the show itself, held in Helsinki, Finland, on 12 May 2007.[citation needed]


BBC Radio 1[edit]

In September 2005, she joined BBC Radio 1 to present the Friday early morning slot with Reggie Yates,[18] with whom she had previously worked on CBBC, Only in America and Top of the Pops. Since 14 October 2007, Cotton and Yates presented BBC Radio 1's Chart Show, taking over from JK & Joel, who had left the station.[19] Cotton then became the first ever permanent female presenter of a BBC radio chart show. (Jo Whiley had preceded her as the first female presenter of The Official UK Top 40, as it was then called, but presented it only once, on 24 November 2002.)

On 16 July 2009, it was announced that Cotton would become the new presenter of BBC Radio 1's weekday mid-morning show, taking over from Jo Whiley (who moved to weekends). Her new programme began on 21 September 2009.[20][21]

On 27 February 2015, she announced that she was pregnant with her second child and that she would be leaving BBC Radio 1.[22] Clara Amfo replaced Cotton on 25 May 2015, taking over the mid-morning show. Cotton's final show was broadcast on 22 May 2015.[23]

BBC Radio 2[edit]

Cotton joined BBC Radio 2 in July 2016 standing in for Graham Norton with former Spandau Ballet bassist Martin Kemp on Saturday mornings (10 am–1 pm) while Norton took his annual summer break.[24] Fearne covered for Ken Bruce 24–28 October 2016, in 2017 on 13–17 February, 3–7 and 10–14 April, 11 May, 29 May–2 June and 23–27 October, and in 2018 on 14–16 February. Fearne has also covered for Chris Evans on the Breakfast Show from 9–13 April 2018. In late 2018, Cotton sat in for Claudia Winkleman on Sundays.[25]

In 2019, Cotton was the cover host for Zoe Ball during the holidays. On 19 March 2020 Cotton launched BBC Radio 2's fourth music decades show, Sounds of the 90s.

Other work[edit]

In August 2017, Cotton collaborated with Mini Club, a children's clothing company that sells through Boots stores and their website, to produce her own clothing range. She publicised the range across her various social media accounts, posting pictures of herself and her daughter wearing lines from the collection.[citation needed] She also has clothing and homeware ranges with online retailer Very.

In 2018, Cotton began presenting Happy Place, a podcast available to streaming platforms.[26] The podcast features Cotton interviewing different celebrities.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Cotton said on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross that she has eleven tattoos over her body, the most notable of which is a fern leaf, covering her right hip up to her rib cage.[28]

Cotton lived at Chestnut Cottage, Petersham, Richmond-upon-Thames, from 2004 to 2008.[29]

Cotton is married to Jesse Wood, the son of Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood. On 8 August 2012, Cotton announced she was pregnant with her first child.[30] On 21 February 2013, she announced on Twitter that she had given birth that morning to a son, Rex Rayne Wood.[31] Wood and Cotton were married in July 2014. On 27 February 2015, Cotton announced that she was expecting her second child as part of her announcement that she was leaving BBC Radio 1.[citation needed] On 9 September 2015, she announced on Twitter that she had given birth that morning to a daughter, Honey Krissy Wood.[32]

Cotton is a friend of fellow TV presenter Holly Willoughby, with whom she has co-presented several shows.[33] Cotton and Sarah Cawood acted as two of the bridesmaids at Willoughby's wedding to Dan Baldwin on 4 August 2007.[34]

Cotton is a pescatarian.[35][36] She is not vegan, but in 2019, she authored a vegan cookbook.[37]


Cotton supports a number of charities including CoppaFeel!, Post Pals, Macmillan Cancer Support, Children in Need and Red Nose Day.[citation needed]

In 2009, she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, alongside Ben Shephard, Gary Barlow, Alesha Dixon, Ronan Keating, Denise Van Outen and Chris Moyles, and Girls Aloud members Cheryl Cole and Kimberley Walsh. Cotton and others collapsed from altitude sickness during the five-day climb. She was in the first group (with Van Outen, Shephard and Cole) to reach the summit and helped raise £3.3m.[38] Cotton filmed a video piece for Comic Relief about malaria. She visited a children's hospital in Uganda where she witnessed a young child in pain, suffering from malaria. Cotton had to walk out of the room and collapsed as she did so but was able to continue shortly after. The child died later. Cotton also recorded her voice for the BT Speaking Clock to raise funds for Comic Relief.[39]



Year Title Role Notes
1996 The Disney Club Presenter
1998 Mouse
1998–2001 Draw Your Own Toons
1999–2000 Pump It Up Co-presenter With Andy Collins
2001 Petswap With Dave Benson Phillips
Record Breakers Presenter
Eureka TV
2001–2003 Finger Tips Co-presenter With Stephen Mulhern
2002 Top of the Pops Saturday With Simon Grant
CBBC Prom in the Park Presenter TV special
2002–2003 The Saturday Show
2002–2004 Smile
2003 Antiques Roadshow Guest Presenter 1 episode
2003–2005 Top of the Pops Reloaded Presenter
2003–2007 Serious Narrator
2004 EastEnders Revealed
2004–2020 Top of the Pops Co-presenter With Reggie Yates
2005 Live 8 With Jonathan Ross, Jo Whiley and Graham Norton
Only in America With Reggie Yates
Byker Grove Herself 1 episode
2005–2015 Children in Need Co-presenter
2005–2018 Britain's Next Top Model Narrator
2006 Love Island Co-presenter With Patrick Kielty
All Star Family Fortunes Herself Team captain, 1 episode
Make Me a Supermodel Presenter
2006, 2016, 2020 Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway Herself / Guest Announcer 3 episodes
2007 The Xtra Factor Presenter
Making Your Mind Up Co-presenter With Terry Wogan
Holly & Fearne Go Dating Herself Co-star with Holly Willoughby
2007, 2009, 2011 Comic Relief Co-presenter
2008 Coleen's Real Women Narrator 8 episodes
Guilty Pleasures Presenter TV special
Everybody Dance Now!
Guinness World Records Smashed
Last Comic Standing Co-presenter Season 6 with Bill Bellamy
2008–2010 Greek Uncovered Narrator
2008–2018 Celebrity Juice Panellist Team captain
2009 The Truth About… Presenter Documentary
2009–2010, 2014 Fearne and....
2009–2017 Children in Need Rocks
2010 Must Be The Music
2011 The Royal Wedding TV special
2012 The Nation's Favourite Number 1 Hit Single Narrator 3 episodes
Unzipped Herself 2 episodes
Lemon La Vida Loca
2013, 2014, 2016 The One Show Guest Presenter 3 episodes
2014 Sweat the Small Stuff Panellist
2014, 2016 Through the Keyhole 2 episodes
2015 The Keith Lemon Sketch Show Herself 4 episodes
2015–2018 Teletubbies Voice Trumpet Voice role
2016 Fearne & Gok: Off The Rails Co-presenter With Gok Wan
Jamie & Jimmy's Friday Night Feast Herself 1 episode
2017 Lorraine Guest Presenter 3 episodes
Who Do You Think You Are? Herself 1 episode
2019 Interior Design Masters Presenter
2020 Portrait Artist of the Year Herself 1 episode
2022–2024 Celebrity Gogglebox 7 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
2012 Keith Lemon: The Film Herself Cameo



  • The Best Friends' Guide to Life (14 October 2010) – with Holly Willoughby[40]
  • Cook Happy, Cook Healthy (2 June 2016)
  • Happy: Finding joy in every day and letting go of perfect (9 February 2017)
  • Yoga Babies (31 May 2017)
  • Cook. Eat. Love (1 June 2017)
  • Calm: Working through life's daily stresses to find a peaceful centre (28 December 2017)
  • Hungry Babies (6 September 2018)
  • Quiet: Silencing The brain chatter and believing you are good enough (13 December 2018)
  • Happy Vegan: Easy plant-based recipes to make the whole family happy (3 October 2019)
  • Speak your Truth (7 January 2021)
  • Bigger Than Us: The power of finding meaning in a messy world (20 January 2022)[41]



  1. ^ Bonet, Anna (6 October 2022). "Fearne Cotton: 'I really want to feel well'". Inews.co.uk. Archived from the original on 7 January 2023. Retrieved 7 January 2023. [Quoting Cotton:] 'I am Fearne Wood. It is just such a hassle to change, what with the books and everything over the years. If someone comes up to me saying, "Are you Fearne Cotton?" Jesse's like, "Wood!"' She laughs. 'But I like having the same surname as my kids and all that jazz.'
  2. ^ @fearnecotton (3 September 2017). "Thanks for having me planet earth" – via Instagram.
  3. ^ "Fearne Cotton". www.penguin.co.uk. Archived from the original on 12 October 2022. Retrieved 11 October 2022.
  4. ^ "The 5-Minute Interview: Fearne Cotton, TV presenter". The Independent. 21 February 2007. Archived from the original on 12 April 2009. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
  5. ^ "Run, walk or jog the adidas Women's 5K Challenge". healthandfitnessonline.co.uk. 16 July 2008. Archived from the original on 2 August 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2009.
  6. ^ "Fearne Cotton: Biography". TV.com. Archived from the original on 12 April 2009. Retrieved 14 March 2009.
  7. ^ "Whatever Happened To The 90s And 00s Presenters Of Kids' TV?". HuffPost UK. 22 August 2019. Archived from the original on 7 August 2022. Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  8. ^ "BBC Radio 1 – Fearne Cotton – Fearne Cotton Profile". BBC. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 16 November 2023.
  9. ^ Jarlath Regan (18 February 2017). "Craig Doyle". An Irishman Abroad (Podcast) (179 ed.). SoundCloud. 34 minutes in. Archived from the original on 20 April 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  10. ^ "Fearne & Gok: Off The Rails". Archived from the original on 4 January 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2023.
  11. ^ "Fearne Cotton is taking over ITV's Lorraine". Digital Spy. 9 March 2017. Archived from the original on 10 March 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2023.
  12. ^ "Fearne Cotton accuses BBC jubilee critics of being 'huge bullies'". The Guardian. London. 8 June 2012.
  13. ^ "Fearne Cotton Hosts Exciting Sky1 Show". Sky 1. 16 June 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  14. ^ "Fearne's Leaving Us". Sky News. 23 January 2008. Retrieved 23 January 2008.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ "Cotton quits 'X Factor' role for US". Digital Spy. 6 February 2008. Archived from the original on 9 February 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
  16. ^ Barry Viniker (24 February 2007). "UK Presenters announced". esctoday.com. Archived from the original on 24 March 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2007.
  17. ^ "Eurovision gaffe 'not technical'". BBC News. 19 March 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2007.
  18. ^ "TV presenter Cotton joins Radio 1". BBC News. 10 August 2005. Archived from the original on 9 March 2023. Retrieved 9 April 2007.
  19. ^ "All Change at Radio 1". BBC Radio 1. 6 September 2007. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2007.
  20. ^ Kadri, Anisa (16 July 2009). "Cotton to replace Whiley on Radio 1". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on 19 July 2009. Retrieved 20 July 2009.
  21. ^ Plunkett, John (16 July 2009). "Jo Whiley and Edith Bowman lose weekday BBC Radio 1 slots". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 July 2009.
  22. ^ Denham, Jess (27 February 2015). "Fearne Cotton quits Radio 1 after ten years for 'family and new adventures'". The Independent. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
  23. ^ "Coldplay - Gone But Not F. Cotton". BBC. Archived from the original on 27 July 2021. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  24. ^ "Fearne Cotton moves to BBC Radio 2". Archived from the original on 26 June 2016. Retrieved 16 November 2023.
  25. ^ "BBC Radio 2 – Claudia on Sunday – Episode guide". BBC. Archived from the original on 30 January 2019. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  26. ^ Cotton, Fearne. "Happy Place Podcast". Fearne Cotton. Archived from the original on 13 March 2019. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  27. ^ Slaney, Rowan; Verdier, Hannah; Davies, Hannah J. (16 March 2018). "Fearne Cotton tries to find her Happy Place – podcasts of the week". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  28. ^ "Fearne Cotton: 'I'm a tattoo addict'". Digital Spy. 7 July 2008. Archived from the original on 19 October 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
  29. ^ Pitcher, Greg (12 November 2023). "Happy Place: Richmond Cottage Fearne Cotton Lived In While Hosting Top Of The Pops Listed For £1m". Evening Standard. Retrieved 18 November 2023.
  30. ^ Fearne Cotton expecting first child with boyfriend Jesse Wood Archived 10 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine Paul Martinovic, Digital Spy, 8 August 2012
  31. ^ "Fearne Cotton announces birth of first child on Twitter". BBC News. 21 February 2013. Archived from the original on 24 December 2022. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  32. ^ "Fearne Cotton reveals she's had a baby girl". BBC News. 9 September 2015. Archived from the original on 24 December 2022. Retrieved 24 December 2022.
  33. ^ "Exclusive: Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby on men and marriage". Daily Mirror. 14 August 2006. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
  34. ^ Sarah Dale (24 September 2007). "'I do' followed by a bit of a do". Evening Gazette. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
  35. ^ "Fearne Cotton on why she's against clean eating and the advice she'd give her younger self". The Independent. 27 July 2017. Archived from the original on 11 November 2020. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  36. ^ "Fearne Cotton’s Cook Happy Cook Healthy" Archived 29 September 2020 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  37. ^ "Food: Fearne Cotton's new vegan cookbook". Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  38. ^ "Celebrity climbers reach summit". BBC. 7 March 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2009. [dead link]
  39. ^ "New voices on the BT speaking clock celebrities give the time of day to Comic Relief". BT press releases. 3 March 2009. Archived from the original on 10 February 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2009.
  40. ^ Willoughby, Holly; Cotton, Fearne (14 October 2010). The Best Friends' Guide to Life. Vermilion. ISBN 978-0-09-193540-5.
  41. ^ Bigger Than Us: The power of finding meaning in a messy world. ASIN 1529108667.
  42. ^ Steele, Francesca (1 June 2024). "Fearne Cotton's debut is not a novel ready for publication". inews.co.uk.

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by BBC Radio 1
chart show presenter

(with Reggie Yates)
14 October 2007 – 20 September 2009
Succeeded by