Who is Vernon Kay, what does he do and how long has he been married to Tess Daly?

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  • Vernon Kay is one of the contestants taking part in I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here 2020. But who exactly is Vernon Kay, what does he do and how long has he been married to Tess Daly?

    I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here 2020 returns on Sunday 15 November, and we can’t wait! The new series takes place in Gwrych Castle in Abergele, North Wales, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    And Wales is confirmed as the location for next years’ I’m A Celebrity 2021 too.

    If you’ve seen the line-up, you might have a few questions about those taking part, including Vernon Kay. Here is everything you need to know.

    Who is Vernon Kay?

    Vernon Kay is an English TV presenter and radio DJ who was born in Bolton in 1974, he is 46 years old.

    He rose to fame in 2003 when he co-hosted the  Channel 4 gameshow Boys and Girls, which was cancelled after one series. He’s since presented a host of hit shows and is married to Strictly presenter Tess Daly. Together they have two children, Phoebe and Amber.

    Vernon even received an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton in July 2009 for his services to entertainment.  The presenter attended St Joseph’s RC High School in Horwich, near Bolton. He later graduated in environmental science at Manchester Polytechnic, which is now Manchester Metropolitan University.

    Vernon is thought to be earning a whopping £250,000 for taking part in the jungle this year. Speaking about the show, Vernon said: “Mainly I am doing it for my daughters, Phoebe and Amber. It’s a show they watch on a regular basis and they get behind the people in the camp. I think the fact I am involved in it will make it even more fun for them. And now it is approaching, they are so excited. Every time I talk about it, I get a double fist pump from them and they are thrilled to be involved.”

    He added that he’s happy to show his emotional side, too. He said: “One hundred percent I will cry. But I’m excited about doing I’m A Celebrity… The physical and mental challenges will be really interesting. I’m scared of confined spaces and being claustrophobic in water is a big one. The coffin Trial? I’m 6 foot 4 so it’s going to take a heck of a lot of water to get to my nose!”

    He added: “I’m looking forward to finding out who my Campmates are and building relationships with those guys – finding out who they are and what makes them who they are. People will get fed up and bored and I hope I can try and keep everything positive.”

    What did Vernon Kay do before I’m A Celebrity 2020?

    Vernon Kay has had many presenting roles over the years, but he actually first appeared on TV back in 1980.

    He was part of the Sutton-in-Ashfield Boy Scouts who wrote in to the late disgraced presenter Jimmy Savile in 1980, asking to eat their packed lunches somewhere unusual. The programme sent them to ride Blackpool’s Revolution rollercoaster, where viewers saw them attempt to eat sandwiches while upside down. After hosting Boys and Girls, Vernon presented the third series of Celebrities Under Pressure on ITV.

    From 2006 until 2015, Vernon presented the hit game show All Star Family Fortunes, making him a household name. He also presented Vernon Kay’s Gameshow Marathon in 2007, taking over from Ant & Dec who hosted the first series. Vernon also hosted two series of gameshow Beat the Star in 2008 and 2009.

    In 2013 and 2014, Vernon co-hosted Splash! alongside Tom Daley and Gabby Logan, in which celebrities were taught Olympic diving. But the programme was axed after just two series. In November 2017, it was announced that he would host Channel 5’s coverage of the 2017–18 Formula E motor racing season. He co-presented the FIA’s coverage of the 2018–19 season.

    Vernon has also done radio work. In January 2004, Kay joined BBC Radio 1 and presented an entertainment show every Sunday. He also frequently filled in for Chris Moyles between 2009 and 2012, before leaving the radio station to spend more time with his family. From September 2015 until March 2017, he presented his own show on Radio X.

    He’s even a film star! In 2004, Vernon made a cameo appearance in Shaun of the Dead and he also appeared in the 2012 film Keith Lemon: The Film.

    Who is Vernon Kay’s wife Tess Daly and how long have they been married?

    Tess Daly has been married to Vernon Kay since 2003, when they tied the knot at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Horwich, near Bolton. They welcomed their eldest daughter, Phoebe, born on 17 October 2004, and then Amber on 30 May 2009. The family live in Buckinghamshire.

    Tess, real name Helen, was born in March 1969 in Cheshire, making her 51 years old. She attended Hayfield Primary School and then New Mills Secondary School, where she achieved nine O-levels. While she’s a TV presenter now, Tess actually started out as a model. She was scouted outside a McDonald’s restaurant while waiting for her sister in Manchester.

    When she started her modelling career, there was already a model named Helen so she was asked to change her name. Her agent at the time liked Nastassja Kinski from the film Tess and suggested she change her name to Tess. Tess has said that she has not officially changed her name by deed poll because she thinks it would be “disrespectful to her parents.”

    In 1990, Tess appeared in two Duran Duran videos for the songs “Serious” and “Violence of Summer (Love’s Taking Over).” She was also the face of Danone Shape yogurt and the lingerie company La Senza in the UK.

    After carrying out some red carpet interviews, in 2000, she sent a showreel to the producers of Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast, who quickly contracted her to host the Find Me a Model competition. In 2003, Tess replaced Ulrika Jonsson as presenter of ITV makeover show Home On Their Own, a show where children made their choice of alterations to their house during the course of a weekend, while their parents went on holiday.

    Tess has co-presented BBC One’s hit show Strictly Come Dancing since the first series began in 2004.

    She’s also co-hosted BBC’s Children in Need since 2008, though she announced in summer this year that she won’t be returning.