Helen Elizabeth "Tess" Daly (born 27 April 1969) is an English model and television presenter, best known for co-presenting the BBC One celebrity talent show Strictly Come Dancing. She is married to fellow presenter Vernon Kay.


 [hide*1 Early life

Early life[edit]Edit

Daly was born in Derbyshire to Vivian (1932–2003), who died of emphysema, and Sylvia Daly [2] and grew up in Birch Vale near New Mills, Derbyshire. She attended Hayfield Primary School and New Mills Secondary School. She has a younger sister, Karen.



Scouted outside a McDonald's restaurant while waiting for her sister in Manchester, six weeks after she turned 18 she undertook her first professional modelling job in Tokyo.[3] After a series of work assignments across Asia and Europe while based in London, she was based in Paris for five years. She then returned to London for six months, before moving to New York for work for five years.[3] In 1990, Daly appeared in two Duran Duran videos for the songs "Serious" and "Violence of Summer (Love's Taking Over)", both from the album Liberty. She also appeared in the video for The Beloved's 1993 song "Sweet Harmony".[4]

She was later the face of lingerie company La Senza in the UK, and appeared in their Steal the Show Christmas 2009 campaign.[5]


Whilst living on the Lower East Side, a friend who arranged red carpet events suggested that she interview the celebrities who attended the events. After buying a video camera, Daly's first interview was with New York-based Quentin Crisp, author of The Naked Civil Servant, who became a lifelong friend until his death.[3] After a few red carpet interviews, in 2000 she sent a show reel to the producers of Channel 4's The Big Breakfast,[3] who immediately contracted her to host the Find Me a Model competition. Since then, she has presented shows including Get Your Kit OffSingled OutSmash Hits TVSMTV LiveBack To Reality, the first series of Make Me a Supermodel (with Dave Berry) and Strictly Come Dancing, which she has co-hosted withBruce Forsyth in all ten series to date. Daly missed a couple of episodes in the second series because she was pregnant with her first daughter. Natasha Kaplinsky, the first series winner, took her place. Daly has also hosted This Time Tomorrow, the National Lottery show broadcast on BBC One. On 14 November 2008, she presented Children in Need with Terry Wogan and Fearne Cotton. Daly won the special version of Strictly Come Dancing against Wogan, where she was partnered with Anton du Beke. She co-hosted the Royal Variety Performance 2008 on 11 December, broadcast on 17 December 2008.

On 13 November 2013, Daly guest presented The One Show for the first time, alongside Matt Baker.


Her first novel, The Camera Never Lies, a tale of love behind the scenes, was published by Coronet, an imprint of Hodder & Stoughton in 2011. It's Up to You New York, Daly's second book will be released in 2013.

Personal life[edit]Edit

Daly married Vernon Kay on 12 September 2003, at St Mary's Catholic Church in Horwich, near Bolton.[6] The couple have two children, Phoebe Elizabeth Kay, who was born in Westminster, London, on 17 October 2004, and Amber Isabella Kay, born on 30 May 2009, also in London. In January 2007, Kay and Daly co-presented the second series of Just the Two of Us on BBC One. They live in FulmerBuckinghamshire.

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