Tess Daly reveals how Vernon Kay’s parenting style is “for the greater good” – and we're on the fence about it

The Strictly Come Dancing presenter says she and husband Vernon are “a good team”

 Tess Daly and Vernon Kay attend the British Academy Film Awards 2022 Gala Dinner
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tess Daly has shared a rare family insight into how she parents with husband Vernon Kay as they navigate raising two teenage girls together. 

Mums and dads will naturally have different parenting styles and, more often than not, one will be stricter than the other (we weren’t surprised to learn of Kate Middleton’s shock over being dubbed the ‘strict parent’ out of her and Prince William too!). 

The same goes for TV husband and wife duo Vernon Kay and Tess Daly. The couple share two daughters – Phoebe, 17 and Amber, 14 – and tend to keep their family life out of the public eye in general.

Recognising how quickly her girls are growing up, the Strictly Come Dancing presenter is determined to be the best mum she can. 

"As a mum, I just want to be as present as I can be. I pride myself on that," Tess told OK! 

"Teenagers don’t always want to talk to you, but even if you’re just physically there in the room with them… I'll plonk myself there quietly in the corner. You've got two little people who have become young adults. It’s amazing and constantly rewarding. I love being a mum – it's my most important job."

Although Tess revealed that she never does this one thing in front of her daughters, you might think that she’s the authoritarian parent, but in fact, it’s quite the opposite, she reveals: "Vernon is a great dad – he loves them to bits.

"I don’t know if there’s a good cop, bad cop, but maybe he’s a little stricter sometimes. But it’s for the greater good and we’re a good team."

She added, "I’m proud of how down to earth they are. That’s what you want – kids who are kind and who have a good work ethic and respect people. You just try to mould good humans."

Things haven't always been smooth sailing between Tess and the BBC Radio 2 presenter, after he was caught sending texts to a glamour model in 2010. The Strictly star was reportedly "devastated" by the scandal and has said their marriage will always be a work in progress, but with all of that in the past, the couple seem stronger than ever after celebrating a milestone wedding anniversary in September. 

A post shared by Tess Daly

A photo posted by tessdaly on

To mark the occasion, the mum-of-two posted a black and white photo of the pair on their wedding day on her Instagram profile, with friends’ comments pouring in to congratulate the two on reaching 20 years together.

Former contestant Fleur East commented: "Wow! Happy anniversary!" and relationship expert Anna Williamson said: "Congratulations to you both. What a brilliant milestone", while the second half of the Strictly double act Claudia Winkleman left a string of heart emojis.

In other family news, model Elle Macpherson reveals her top parenting tip for raising teenagers and discover why 'teen-ternity' leave is becoming increasingly popular option for parents with older kids.

Daniella Gray
Family News & Wellbeing Writer

From building healthy family relationships to self-care tips for mums and parenting trends - Daniella also covers postnatal workouts and exercises for kids. After gaining a Print Journalism BA Hons degree and NCTJ Diploma in Journalism at Nottingham Trent University, Daniella started writing for Health & Wellbeing and co-hosted the Walk to Wellbeing podcast. She has also written for Stylist, Natural Health, The Sun UK and Fit & Well. In her free time, Daniella loves to travel, try out new fitness classes and cook for family and friends.