Nadia Sawalha

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Nadia Sawalha
Born (1964-11-18) 18 November 1964 (age 52)
Wandsworth, London, England
Other names Nadia Carina
Occupation Television presenter, actress, middle aged YouTube sensation
Years active 1986, 1992–present
Spouse(s) Justin Mildwater
(m. 1992; his death 1997)

Mark Adderley
(m. 2002)
Children 2
Parent(s) Nadim Sawalha
Roberta Lane
Relatives Julia Sawalha (sister)
Nabil Sawalha (paternal uncle)

Nadia Sawalha (born 18 November 1964) is an English actress and television presenter best known for her role as Annie Palmer in the BBC One soap opera EastEnders from 1997 to 1999. After winning the 2007 series of Celebrity MasterChef, Sawalha has continued to make appearances on cookery shows, not only as a presenter, but also as a chef. She currently appears on ITV Daytime show Loose Women and was one of the original presenters from its start in 1999. Nadia returned to the show in 2013 as a panelist after a presenter revamp.


After training at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, Sawalha began her career in theatre. From 1997 to 1999, she starred in EastEnders as businesswoman Annie Palmer. Her other acting television credits include Casualty, Which Way to the War and ITV police drama, The Bill. Sawalha has also appeared in the films Clockwise (1986), Which Way to the War (1994), Slave of Dreams (1995), The Vanishing Man (1996) and the BBC Victorian drama Station Jim (2001).

From 1999 to 2002, Sawalha was a regular panellist on the lunchtime chat show Loose Women. In October 2013, she later returned as a regular panellist.[1]

In 2001, Sawalha presented the short-lived ITV quiz show It's Not the Answer with Peter Dickinson as the announcer.

For the BBC, Sawalha has fronted four series of Passport to the Sun, the Total series, TV Mail, Heir Hunters, Perfect Partner and Family Exchange. She is also a co-host on the live documentary City Hospital. Sawalha has previously hosted the BBC One show Living in the Sun, about British expats living in Spain, made by Ricochet, and Wanted Down Under, which shows families who want to make the move Down Under (Australia, occasionally New Zealand) and what it would be like to live and work in those Antipodean nations. She can also be seen on Accidents Can Happen, a daytime BBC One programme produced by Twofour, which follows families as they try to rebuild their homes and their lives following disaster.

In 2005, Sawalha presented the BBC One programme Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre which followed learner drivers as they learnt to drive and took their driving tests with varying degrees of success. Sawalha was one of the learner drivers who ended up passing her driving test at the end of the second series. In the same year and on the same network, Sawalha also co-presented with Jeremy Milnes for the programme Keeping Up with the Joneses.

In the summer of 2006, Sawalha began co-presenting The One Show with Adrian Chiles. However, due to her pregnancy, she did not return to the show in the summer of 2007 and was replaced by Christine Bleakley.

After winning Celebrity MasterChef, Sawalha went on to co-present the children's version of the show Junior Masterchef, she was said to be 'delighted' to be given the chance to host the show.

In 2008, Sawalha returned to BBC One, to present the daytime programme, Wanted Down Under. She presented the 2009 programme Eating In The Sun,[2] produced by her husband Mark Adderley and has Sawalha challenged by celebrity chefs to cook in their favourite holiday restaurants.

From 15 February until 20 August 2010, Sawalha presented the short-lived reality series Instant Restaurant[3]for BBC Two.

In December 2010, Sawalha starred in a fitness DVD entitled Nadia Sawalha: Fat To Fab,[4] after losing three and a half stone.

In July 2011, Sawalha guest presented ITV Breakfast programme Lorraine and has since made regular appearances on the show, not only as a stand-in presenter but also as a resident chef.[5]

In January 2011, Sawalha starred in the sixth series of ITV's Dancing on Ice with Scottish professional Mark Hanretty, but was voted out in a double elimination in the first week along with Angela Rippon and her partner Sean Rice.

In April 2012, she began co-presenting Saturday Cookbook on ITV Breakfast with chef Mark Sargeant

In 2012, Sawalha presented the UKTV Home series Kitchen SOS.

From 27 October to 29 December 2013, Sawalha and Kaye Adams co-hosted one series of Sunday Scoop, a cookery show.[6]

From 7 January 2015, Sawalha took part in the fifteenth series of Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 5. She lasted 24 days in the house before being evicted.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Sawalha is the daughter of the Jordanian-born English actor Nadim Sawalha and his English wife Roberta Lane. She is the sister of television actress Julia Sawalha and has appeared on Lily Savage's Blankety Blank with her.[8] In 1997, the three starred together in Dearest Daddy... Darling Daughter at the Young Vic Theatre in South London.

Sawalha has suffered from psoriasis and has used homeopathy rather than conventional treatment.[9]

On 25 December 1997, Sawalha's first husband Justin Mildwater committed suicide.[10] They had been married for five years, but had split up a few months before.[11][12][13][14]

On 6 June 2002, she married her second husband, television producer Mark Adderley. They have two daughters, Maddy (born 25 December 2002) and Kiki-Bee (born August 2007). She home schools both children and does not follow the national curriculum with them. Sawalha has stated that she wanted them to gain only the bare minimum of formal qualifications as "they'll never be doctors." These comments attracted backlash.[15]

Sawalha is an atheist.[16]

Sawalha now resides in South London and her daughters were both brought up in Croydon, Surrey. Sawalha's daughters are home educated.

Sawalha is best friends with Loose Women panellist Kaye Adams they have their own YouTube account, Instagram account and Facebook page where they do weekly vlogs, cooking videos, film and TV programme reviews. They also focus on daily normal family routines as well. Nadia and her husband Mark talk about serious topics such as depression and anxiety, from which Mark suffers. Sawalha's dogs, Chi-Chi and Toffee also feature regularly.[17]


Year Title Channel Role Notes
1997–1999 EastEnders BBC One Annie Palmer
2001 It's Not the Answer ITV Presenter
1999–2002, 2013— Loose Women Regular panellist Stand-in anchor (2016)
2005 Mirror, Signal, Manoeuvre BBC One Presenter
Keeping Up with the Joneses Co-presenter With Jeremy Milnes
2006 The One Show Co-presenter Replaced by Christine Bleakley
2007 Celebrity MasterChef Winner
2007–2009 Wanted Down Under Presenter Replaced by Nicki Chapman
2009 Eating in the Sun Presenter
2010 Junior MasterChef CBBC Co-presenter
Instant Restaurant BBC Two Presenter
2011–2012, 2014 Lorraine ITV Stand-in presenter
2011 Dancing on Ice Competitor Eliminated in the first week
2012 Kitchen SOS UKTV Home Presenter
Saturday Cookbook ITV Co-presenter With Mark Sargeant
2013 Sunday Scoop Co-presenter With Kaye Adams
2015 Celebrity Big Brother Channel 5 Celebrity housemate Series 15
24 days
Benidorm ITV Melanie Series 7, episode 6
Guest appearances


  1. ^ "Loose Women presenters: Nadia Sawalha". ITV. 
  2. ^ "Eating in the Sun". BBC One. 
  3. ^ "BBC Two Instant Restaurant". BBC Two. 
  4. ^ "Nadia Sawalha: Fat to Fab". Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Nadia Sawalha: Celebs on the Run The Running Bug, 16 March 2012
  6. ^ "Sunday presenters: Nadia Sawalha". ITV. 
  7. ^ "Nadia Sawalha". Celebrity Big Brother. 
  8. ^ Lily Savage's Blankety Blank. 4 March 2001. ITV. 
  9. ^ Dana Ullman, The Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People and Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy, page 147 (California: North Atlantic Books, 2007). ISBN 978-1-55643-671-0
  10. ^ "TV Nadia in tears as she tells of hubby's suicide.". Free Online Library. Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  11. ^ "How could you do this, Nadia; Suicide husband's sister hits out at EastEnder Annie for her 'callous' affair with star.". Free Online Library. Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "Priest in 'stop the suicides' plea over EastEnder Nadia's husband.". Free Online Library. Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  13. ^ "Hanged On Christmas Day; Heartbroken dad says: My son Justin died a lonely man.". Free Online Library. Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  14. ^ "'I feel suicidal ...I'm losing the wife I adore' Tragic Last Words Of Eastender Nadia's Husband Before He Was Found Hanged.". Free Online Library. Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  15. ^ Gritt, Emma. "Nadia Sawalha: ‘My home-schooled daughters only need two GCSEs… they’ll never be doctors’". The Sun. Retrieved 8 August 2016. 
  16. ^ "Loose Women: Should The Niqab Be Allowed In Court?". Retrieved 1 November 2012 – via YouTube. 
  17. ^ "Nadia and Kaye". 
  18. ^ "Draw it! on Channel 4 at 4:30pm May 5th, 2014". GipsyMedia Limited. 
  19. ^ "Celebrity Squares Episode 3". ITV. 
  20. ^ "The Chase: Celebrity Special Episode 8". ITV. 

External links[edit]