As she con­tin­ues to host the new se­ries of Strictly Come Danc­ing (6.35pm, BBC1), here are some things you might not know about the pop­u­lar pre­sen­ter…

Daily Mail Weekend Magazine - - 7 OCTOBER SATURDAY -

Tess is not her real name. She was born He­len El­iz­a­beth Daly in Stock­port on April 27, 1969.

She start­ing work­ing as a model when she was 17 af­ter be­ing scouted out­side a McDon­ald’s res­tau­rant while wait­ing for her sis­ter in Manch­ester. Her first job was in Tokyo, and she was based in Paris for five years and then New York for five more.

In 1990, she ap­peared in two mu­sic videos for pop band Du­ran Du­ran – Vi­o­lence Of Sum­mer and Se­ri­ous.

While liv­ing in New York, she bought a video cam­era and started in­ter­view­ing celebri­ties at red car­pet events. In 2000, she sent a showreel of her in­ter­views to the pro­duc­ers of Chan­nel 4’s The Big Break­fast, who signed her up to host the Find Me A Model com­pe­ti­tion. She went on to present the MTV dat­ing show Sin­gled Out, SMTV Live and Smash Hits TV. She has an acute fear of fly­ing. ‘I get ter­ri­fied in the air now to the point where I’ve had to see a spe­cial­ist to deal with my fear of fly­ing,’ she said.

She has been mar­ried to fel­low pre­sen­ter Vernon Kay for 14 years. They started dat­ing in 2001, with Kay ad­mit­ting it was love at first sight. ‘The spark be­tween us was in­stant,’ he re­vealed. They have two daugh­ters, Phoebe and Am­ber. Ac­cord­ing to the BBC, she is paid be­tween £350,000 and £399,000 a year to host Strictly.

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