Catherine Elizabeth "Cat" Deeley (born 23 October 1976) is an English television presenter, actress, singer and model. Since 2006, Deeley has been the host of So You Think You Can Dance in the United States, for which she received three nominations for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program.
Deeley was born in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, England. She attended Grove Vale Junior School in Great Barr, Sandwell, followed by Dartmouth High School in Great Barr, where she played the clarinet in the Sandwell Youth Concert Band. She then joined the sixth form at Bishop Vesey's Grammar School in Sutton Coldfield.
At age 14, Deeley entered a regional edition of a BBC competition for The Clothes Show, in which she reached the national finals. Spotted by an agent for Stormmodeling agency at age 16, she was quickly signed as a model under her nickname of Cat to make it easier for clients to re-book her.
Deeley became a full-time fashion model. She left full-time modelling in 1997, following changes in her contract with Storm. She moved on to co-present the MTV chart show, Hitlist UK, with close friend Edith Bowman. From 1998 until 2002, she was co-host with Ant & Dec on the Saturday morning children's programme SMTV Live and hosted its spin-off programmes CD:UK (1998–2005) and CD:UK Hotshots. On SM:TV Live she often acted as an apparently slightly unwilling assistant whenever the show featured a guest appearance by a magician. During her time with the show, she regularly found herself appearing and disappearing, and being crushed, stretched, levitated, impaled and guillotined. However, by far the most common illusion was for her to be sawed in half, an illusion she participated in several times in its various forms. In one performance of this illusion, she became the first British celebrity to participate in the Clearly Impossible version of the illusion, where she was divided in two inside a clear-sided box that allowed her entire body to be seen at all times during the sawing-through and separation. In 2001, she won a Children's BAFTA award and appeared in an episode of the BBC's Happiness. In 2002, Deeley appeared in a television advert for Marks and Spencer. Other programmes she hosted include The Record of the Year, Fame Academy, The 2004 BRIT Awards and Stars in Their Eyes, as well as a weekly broadcast on London's Capital FM and BBC Choice series Roadtripping, both with former MTV colleague Edith Bowman. In 2005 she played herself in an episode of Little Britain and provided the voice of "Loretta Geargrinder" in the UK version of the film Robots, replacing Natasha Lyonne.
In 2006, she began hosting the second season of American reality show So You Think You Can Dance, replacing Lauren Sánchez, who was pregnant. Deeley interviewed Kylie Minogue for a television special which was broadcast in the United Kingdom on Sky One on 16 July 2006, in Australia on Channel Nine on 17 July 2006 and BBC America on 9 September 2006. Deeley was a guest reporter on NBC's The Tonight Show. She presented Fox's New Year's Eve special from Times Square in 2006 and 2007.
In 2007, Cat Deeley said she and her friends had ambitions to be models. She filmed segments and interviews with guests and eliminated contestants for British audiences that were shown just before and after advertising breaks. However, this was not popular with viewers who saw Deeley's role as "unnecessary". She did not return for the seventh season of American Idol in 2008. Deeley was the face ofShape Water and a number of Garnier Fructis products, appearing in print and television advertising in the UK and Ireland.
On 1 July 2007, Deeley was one of many speakers at the Concert for Diana. The event, watched by an estimated 500 million people, was at the new Wembley Stadium. In September 2007, Deeley presentedSoundtrack to My Life, a music series produced by Hamma & Glamma Productions for ITV London that looks at the work and influences of an eclectic band of musicians. In January 2006, a new season of So You Think You Can Dance started its auditions, with Deeley in the role of host. She has been the host of the show ever since. In 2011, Deeley was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Programme.
Other projects of Deeley's include presenting the third season of Soundtrack to My Life, playing herself as host of Peter Kay's Peter Kay's Britain's Got the Pop Factor... and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice, guest hosting the United States syndicated version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (for Meredith Vieira), and appearing on BBC America's broadcast of Gordon Ramsay's F Word. In 2009, Deeley added hosting duties for the television version of the electronic game 20Q for GSN. In January and February 2010, Deeley hosted So You Think You Can Dance in UK. Also, in February 2010, Cat filled in for a holidaying Meredith Vieira as host on the morning TV show Today. On 31 March 2010, Deeley filled in for Kelly Ripa on the morning talk show Live with Regis and Kelly.
In April 2011, Deeley appeared on CNN's Icon and spoke to Nancy Cartwright. Together they did The Bartman. In the same month, she also co-hosted the CNN coverage of the wedding of Prince William andKate Middleton.
In June 2011, Deeley launched her own "behind-the-scenes" web series, produced by Deeley, Yahoo! and Collective Digital Studio. A 20-episode twice-weekly short form series entitled "In the Dressing Room", the show follows Cat as she shares her inspiration for her "look" and gets ready before she goes live on So You Think You Can Dance. The show is promoted on OMG! and throughout the Yahoo! network.
On 18 August 2011, she appeared on Live with Regis and Kelly, as a fill in for Kelly.
Deeley also appeared as a guest star in the 6th episode of Life's Too Short, playing herself. She also appeared in the second episode of House of Lies as herself on 15 January 2012. On 26 January 2012 she co-hosted Live! with Kelly with Kelly Ripa. On 14 March 2012 she appeared as a guest judge of Tyra Banks' show America's Next Top Model (Cycle 18).
Beginning in 2014, Deeley stars as Camomile White in Deadbeat, an original comedy series produced and featured exclusively by Hulu. She is cast as a supernatural medium and rival to the show's main character, Kevin Pacalioglu, played by Tyler Labine, who sees and interacts with dead people.
Since 2003, Deeley has been a patron of Great Ormond Street Hospital. She is also an active supporter of UNICEF. In 2007, she took part in a UNICEF benefit show in Los Angeles during which magician David Copperfield sawed her in half using his antique Buzz Saw illusion. In 2008, she visited a number of UNICEF projects in the Philippines, including their Soccer Aid 2 project in Manila. In December 2009 she was made a UNICEF UK ambassador.
Between 2001 and 2006, Deeley dated businessman Mark Whelan. She was then romantically linked to a number of fellow celebrities, including actors Leonardo DiCaprio, which she later dispelled as a rumour, and Jack Huston, with whom she had a two-year relationship. In 2011, she had a brief relationship with True Blood actor Michael McMillian, which ended after four months.