Trinny Woodall

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Trinny Woodall
Trinny Woodall Press.png
Portrait of Trinny Woodall
Sarah-Jane Duncanson Woodall

(1964-02-08) 8 February 1964 (age 58)
Marylebone, London, England
OccupationFashion and make-over expert, television presenter, author, businesswoman
Years active1994–present
Notable credit(s)
What Not to Wear
Trinny & Susannah Undress...
Trinny & Susannah Undress the Nation
Johnny Elichaoff
(m. 1999; div. 2009)
Children1[citation needed]

Sarah-Jane Duncanson "Trinny" Woodall (born 8 February 1964)[1] is an English fashion and makeover expert, television presenter and author. In 1994, after ten years working in marketing, Woodall met Susannah Constantine, whom she teamed up with to write a weekly fashion column for The Daily Telegraph. This led to the launch of their own internet fashion-advice business and the release of their first fashion-advice book.

They were commissioned by the BBC to host What Not to Wear in 2001. The following year Woodall and Constantine released their second book, What Not to Wear, which gained them a British Book Award[2] and sold over 670,000 copies. The pair co-wrote 11 fashion advice books, several of which became best-sellers in the United Kingdom and the United States, and have now sold over 3 million copies worldwide.[3] In 2003 they launched their shapewear range Trinny & Susannah's Original Magic Knickers, which are sold in 30 countries around the world.

After co-hosting What Not to Wear for five series and appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show as style and makeover advisors, Woodall and Constantine moved to ITV to host Trinny & Susannah Undress... in 2006, and Undress the Nation. After becoming the faces of Littlewoods Direct, they released their own Littlewoods clothing range along with their 5th fashion advice book, The Body Shape Bible, in 2007. In 2009, they launched their International Makeover Mission series.


Woodall is the youngest of six children, including three half-siblings from her father's first marriage. Her father was a banker, while her maternal grandfather was Sir John Duncanson, controller of the British steel industry in the last two years of the war, who went on to become managing director of the British Iron and Steel Federation (BISF) in August 1945 and then managing director of Lithgows in 1949.[4][5]

When Woodall was five years old, she was sent home from school after cutting off another pupil's plait. A family friend, Ronald Searle, who created the St Trinian cartoons that inspired the later films,[6] likened her to a mischievous St Trinian girl, and the name Trinny stuck from then onwards. Woodall was educated at boarding schools from the age of six, which included Queen's Gate School in Queen's Gate, South Kensington, London. She also attended Baston School for Girls.[5] She has described one of the boarding schools as "cruel" and "sadistic".[5] She has connected a fear of being naked with the time she was made to stand totally unclothed in front of the other pupils as a punishment for having a water fight.[6] Woodall also attended boarding schools in France and Germany between the ages of twelve and fifteen.[4] During her school years, she felt overshadowed by her older sister who was the "star of the school", which prompted pupils to use Woodall to get to her sister.[4]

Media career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Woodall and Susannah Constantine first collaborated in 1996 on Ready to Wear, a weekly style guide for The Daily Telegraph which ran for seven years.[7] The style guide highlighted affordable high-street fashion, with the pair using themselves to demonstrate clothing that suited different figures.[5] Woodall assumed the role of stylist and made the duo's business decisions.[8]

Woodall's first chance to work on television came about when Granada Sky Broadcasting signed her and Constantine to host a daytime shopping show, also called Ready to Wear. Soon after their television debut, they were given a recurring makeover slot on Richard & Judy. This gained them crucial exposure and attention from Jane Root, controller of BBC Two, who signed them to the channel encouraged by their tenacity and their book and internet business.[7]


Woodall came to prominence as co-host and fashion advisor for five series of the BBC television series What Not to Wear. She and Constantine worked on the show from 2001 to 2005, combining their knowledge of fashion to improve the dress sense of the candidates selected for the show. What Not to Wear made Woodall a household name, and she and Constantine became jointly known as Trinny and Susannah. They became infamous for their straight-talking advice. The New York Times wrote "Trinny Woodall, one of the upper-crusty and scathingly blunt hosts of What Not to Wear, a hugely popular fashion makeover show on the BBC, does not mince words."[9] Woodall has been spoofed on many comedy-themed television shows, including Big Impression, on which impressionist Alistair McGowan took to spoofing her presenting techniques on What Not to Wear.[10][11]

In 2002, Woodall and Constantine won a Royal Television Society Award for their work on What Not to Wear, in the category of best factual presenter.[12] The show itself was nominated for the Features Award at the BAFTAS in both 2002 and 2003.[13] The pair have given makeovers to various celebrities in What Not to Wear specials, including Jeremy Clarkson in 2002,[14] who later commented "I'd rather eat my own hair than shop with these two again".[8] After success with viewing figures on BBC Two, the show was promoted to the more mainstream BBC One in 2004.[15] The show has also been broadcast internationally in over 20 countries.

With What Not to Wear proving popular on BBC America, Woodall worked frequently as a makeover and fashion expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show with Constantine, where they gave fashion advice and tips on how to improve overall appearance, often using themselves to illustrate the guidelines.[16][17] They appeared on NBC's The Today Show in 2006,[18] and returned to America in late 2007 appearing on Good Morning America to perform makeovers on different shaped women.[19] They also reported for Good Morning America on the fashion at the 80th Academy Awards' red carpet event in February 2008.[20] In 2009 they went on to make a series in the US for TLC called "Making over America".[21]

After What Not to Wear, Woodall and Constantine transferred from the BBC to ITV for a deal worth £1.2 million.[citation needed] Woodall and Constantine began their new television show, Trinny & Susannah Undress..., in 2006. The first two series saw them helping couples who were experiencing difficulties in their marriages, by giving advice and a fashion makeover to increase confidence.[22] In 2007, the third series on ITV took a different format, tackling the main fashion issues present in Britain, under the new name of Trinny & Susannah Undress The Nation.[23]

Woodall and Constantine have revealed that they have dressed in excess of 5,000 women over the course of their career.[24] They have adopted the attitude that dressing to complement body shape is important, on which subject Woodall has commented "If you want to make the best of yourself you don't necessarily need to diet – you need to wear the right stuff."[25]

Guest appearances[edit]

During the BBC's 2002 Children in Need appeal, Woodall and Constantine sang their own version of Madonna's "Vogue" in front of celebrity backing singers.[26] Children in Need 2004 saw them giving EastEnders characters Little Mo and Mo Harris a makeover à la What Not to Wear.[27] Also in 2005, Woodall voiced a robot version of herself in the well-known science fiction series Doctor Who, in episode "Bad Wolf".

In 2007, Woodall appeared on Comic Relief Does The Apprentice in order to raise money for Comic Relief.[28] The show required celebrities to sell tickets to a fun fair they had organised, with Woodall selling a ticket to a friend for £150,000.[29] The Times wrote "Trinny Woodall is a prime-time star, but is proper posh with mighty connections, as demonstrated by the six-figure sums she blagged from richer friends on Comic Relief does the Apprentice."[30]

Woodall and Constantine have appeared on Parkinson three times together. Their first appearance in 2003 coincided with the host's now infamous interview with Meg Ryan. Parkinson said that he felt Ryan's behaviour towards his fellow guests, Woodall and Constantine – whom Ryan turned her back on – was "unforgivable".[31] Woodall has made appearances on numerous other chat shows and on Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car, a recurring segment on the BBC Two motoring programme Top Gear.

Books and merchandise[edit]

Woodall and Constantine have co-written numerous fashion advice books, which have sold over 3 million copies worldwide.[3] Their style advice books have proceeded to become number one bestsellers in Britain and the United States, have been translated throughout the world,[32] and have placed them number one on both The Sunday Times best-seller list[33] and The New York Times best-seller list.[34]

Their first major book, What Not to Wear, was published in 2002.[35] It gained them a British Book Award in 2003 for The TV & Film Book of the Year.[2] The book outsold popular television chefs Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson when sale figures reached a total of 670,000 copies,[36][37] selling 300,000 copies in just fifteen weeks. It was also selling 45,000 copies a week at one point,[38] and had sold 250,000 copies before the peak book selling season had even begun.[37] What Not to Wear made sales worth £8.7 million[35] which led to a £2 million book deal to produce more of their fashion books.[39]

In 2006, Woodall and Constantine launched their own underwear range "Trinny and Susannah Magic Pants" which are made from nylon to flatten the tummy, buttocks and thighs, in order to make the areas appear slimmer.[40][failed verification] The fashion duo launched their own clothing range exclusively for Littlewoods Direct on 20 September 2007.

Their ninth book, The Body Shape Bible, was published in 2007.[5] Prior to writing The Body Shape Bible, Woodall and Constantine conducted a survey on women that helped them to identify the twelve most common body shapes.[41] The book aims to help women decide which their body shape, or "work out whether you're 'cornet', 'apple', 'skittle' or 'goblet', according to Barbara Ellen, and advises on fashion accordingly.[42][43]

In 2012 Woodall and Constantine launched a range of Bodyshape Clothing for QVC UK.[44] In 2017, Woodall launched the digital-first global beauty brand Trinny London.

Personal life[edit]

Woodall married musician and company director Johnny Elichaoff in 1999, at the church her family attended, St Columba's, situated in Pont Street, Knightsbridge. The church was the venue for her parents' wedding and Woodall's christening, and her Scottish grandfather is buried there. The couple announced their separation and intention to divorce in 2008.[45] Elichaoff died in 2014.[46] Woodall is[when?] in a long-term relationship with Charles Saatchi.[47]

She stood as a trustee of a British charity helping those with alcohol and substance abuse issues (at the time called The Chemical Dependency Centre and later renamed Action on Addiction in 2007). Woodall has spoken openly about her own substance abuse problems, including addictions to cocaine and alcohol. She continued using for five years before making the final decision to quit.[48]


  • Ready 2 Dress: How to Have Style Without Following the Fashion, Weidenfeld Nicolson (14 February 2000) (ISBN 0-3043-5425-2)
  • What Not to Wear, Weidenfeld Nicolson (5 September 2002) (ISBN 0-2978-4331-1)
  • What Not to Wear: The Rules, Weidenfeld Nicolson (1 June 2004) (ISBN 1-8418-8249-6)
  • What Not to Wear: For the Every Occasion, Weidenfeld Nicolson (1 June 2004) (ISBN 1-8418-8236-4)
  • What You Wear Can Change Your Life, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (17 September 2004) (ISBN 0-2978-4356-7)
  • What Your Clothes Say About You, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (29 September 2005) (ISBN 0-2978-4357-5)
  • Trinny and Susannah: The Survival Guide, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, (20 September 2006) (ISBN 0-2978-4426-1)
  • Trinny & Susannah Take on America: What Your Clothes Say about You, HarperCollins Publishers (October 2006) (ISBN 0-0611-3744-8)
  • The Body Shape Bible, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (18 September 2007) (ISBN 0-2978-4454-7)
  • Who do you want to be today?, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (2011) (ISBN 978-0-297-85452-4)
  • How to Change your Life in 24 hours, (2012) (ISBN 978-83-7778-481-5)

Television credits[edit]

Year Programme Other notes
2001–2005 What Not to Wear Herself
2002 The Kumars at No. 42 Herself, interview
2003 What Not to Wear on the Red Carpet Herself
V Graham Norton Herself, interview
Parkinson Herself, interview
2004 The Terry and Gaby Show Herself, interview
Friday Night with Jonathan Ross Herself, interview
Children in Need Herself
Top Gear Herself, interview and racing
This Morning Herself, interview
2005 Comic Relief: Red Nose Night Live 05 Herself
Parkinson Herself, interview
This Morning Herself, interview
Doctor Who Episode "Bad Wolf", voice of Trine-e
2006 Parkinson Herself, interview
This Morning Herself, interview
Sport Relief Herself
Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway Herself, interview
The Sharon Osbourne Show Herself, interview
The View Herself, interview
The Today Show Herself
2006–2007 Trinny & Susannah Undress... Herself
2007 Richard & Judy Herself, interview
Comic Relief Does The Apprentice Herself, contestant
Friday Night with Jonathan Ross Herself, interview
GMTV; LK Today Herself, interview
Good Morning America Herself
This Morning Herself
2009 Making Over America Herself
Would I lie To You? Herself
7 days on the breadline Herself
2010 Trinny & Susannah: Missie Vlaanderen (channel Vitaya/Belgium) Herself
2011-2015 "Trinny & Susannah: Making Over Israel" (Channel 10, Israel) Herself
2011-2014 Trinny & Susannah: Stylar om Sverige (channel TV4 Plus Sweden) Herself
2011 My Life in Books BBC2 Herself, Interview
2011 Trinny & Susannah ubierają Polskę (channel TVN Style Poland) Herself
2011-2012 Trinny & Susannah: Missie Holland (channel RTL NL) Herself
2011-2015 Trinny & Susannah: Oppdrag Norge (channel FEM) Herself
2013 Trinny & Susannah's Makeover Mission India(TLC) Herself
2015 The Real Housewives of New York City Herself
2016 ITV This Morning Herself

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b "British Book Awards". British Book Awards. Archived from the original on 5 April 2007. Retrieved 22 February 2007.
  3. ^ a b "Trinny and Susannah Have Launched the Official Website". Press Release. 12 December 2006. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  4. ^ a b c Deveney, Catherine. "Deceiving appearances". The Scotsman. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 1 June 2007.
  5. ^ a b c d e Neill, Fiona (14 July 2007). "Retail therapists". The Times. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2007.
  6. ^ a b "Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine: In bed with the first ladies of fashion". The Independent. 21 January 2002. Archived from the original on 29 April 2008. Retrieved 25 February 2008.
  7. ^ a b Arlidge, John (22 December 2002). "Just a couple of swells". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 March 2007.
  8. ^ a b Allan, Vicky (8 September 2002). "Mammary mia!". The Sunday Herald. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 18 August 2007. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  9. ^ Colman, David (6 July 2003). "Possessed; A Ring as Blunt as Her Advice". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 September 2007.
  10. ^ Tweedie, Neil (21 December 2002). "No, seriously . . . does my cheque look big in this?". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 8 March 2007.
  11. ^ Barlow, Ann (20 December 2002). "McGowan's latest makeover". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 16 January 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2007.
  12. ^ "Royal Television Society". Royal Television Society. Archived from the original on 25 September 2006. Retrieved 14 February 2007.
  13. ^ "British Academy Film Awards – Nominations and Winners 2000 to present" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 25 March 2007.
  14. ^ "BBC One honours the best TV moments from 2002". BBC Press Office (Press Release). 1 February 2003. Retrieved 6 March 2007.
  15. ^ Deans, Jason (30 April 2004). "Makeover queens switch to BBC1". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 August 2007.
  16. ^ "The Oprah Winfrey Show, What Not to Wear this summer". Archived from the original on 17 March 2007. Retrieved 13 February 2007.
  17. ^ "The Oprah Winfrey Show – What Not to Wear". Archived from the original on 17 August 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
  18. ^ "The Today Show". MSN Video. Archived from the original on 9 November 2007. Retrieved 4 November 2007.
  19. ^ "Good Morning America". ABC News. Retrieved 6 November 2007.
  20. ^ "Trinny and Susannah hunt for disasters". Metro. 25 February 2008. Retrieved 25 February 2008.
  21. ^ "TLC Full Episodes - Watch Now for FREE!".
  22. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (30 September 2006). "Trinny & Susannah prefer to be nice". Digital Spy. Retrieved 27 June 2007.
  23. ^ Editors at Merry Media (24 March 2007). "ITV1 Undress the Nation". Merry Media. Archived from the original on 10 November 2007. Retrieved 5 August 2007. {{cite news}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  24. ^ O'Neil, Nicole. "Trinny and Susannah reveal all". MSN. Archived from the original on 3 November 2007. Retrieved 6 October 2007.
  25. ^ Johnson, Jessica (24 September 2007). "These Girls Could Save Your Marriage". Daily Express. Retrieved 27 September 2007.
  26. ^ Press Release. "The Big Night on BBC Television". BBC Press Release, 24 October 2002. Retrieved 18 August 2007.
  27. ^ Press Release. "Children In Need 2004". BBC Press Office, 9 November 2004. Retrieved 16 February 2007.
  28. ^ "The Big One, Comic Relief Does The Apprentice Archived 21 October 2010 at the Wayback Machine". BBC. Retrieved 16 February 2007.
  29. ^ Johns, Ian. "Last night's TV, Celebrity red noses to the grindstone". The Times, 16 March 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2007.
  30. ^ The Times. "High society". The Times, 15 September 2007. Retrieved 31 October 2007.
  31. ^ McGinty, Stephen. "Parky was a 'nut', says Meg Ryan Archived 11 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine". The Scotsman, 5 April 2006. Retrieved 26 January 2007.
  32. ^ "Trinny and Susannah Undress". Retrieved 26 January 2007.
  33. ^ "Search results for Trinny and Susannah bestsellers". The Times. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
  34. ^ "Search results for Trinny and Susannah bestsellers". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
  35. ^ a b Sherwood, James. "Trinny and Susannah: Frock; stars". Independent on Sunday, 22 December 2002. Retrieved from 20 October 2007.
  36. ^ "Parkinson Archived 6 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine". Retrieved 8 March 2007.
  37. ^ a b Cassy, John. "What Not To Wear is just what to buy". The Guardian, 14 December 2002. Retrieved 6 April 2007.
  38. ^ Macarthur, Brian. "Nothing succeeds like success". The Times, 30 December 2002. Retrieved 30 May 2007.
  39. ^ Woods, Richard. "The makeover millionaires" The Times, 22 December 2002. Retrieved 22 February 2007.
  40. ^ Press Release. "Meg Ryan talks to Parkinson". BBC Press Office, 24 October 2003. Retrieved 15 February 2007.
  41. ^ Moss, Caz. "Exclusive Trinny and Susannah Interview". Female First. Retrieved 20 September 2007.
  42. ^ Ellen, Barbara (16 September 2007). "God's gift to women". The Observer. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  43. ^ Walia, Nona (2 November 2013). "The Indian Body Shape Bible". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  44. ^ Walden, Celia (6 August 2012). "Trinny and Susannah: 'We don't look at women as pieces of meat'". The Daily Telegraph.
  45. ^ "Trinny Woodall To Divorce". MSN.[permanent dead link]
  46. ^ "Trinny free of husband's debts".
  47. ^ "Why Trinny Woodall has Charles Saatchi to thank for her return to fame". The Guardian. 21 October 2013.
  48. ^ "Trinny Woodall: My last binge with three friends, all now dead". The Independent. 23 October 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2021.

External links[edit]