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…
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.