Inside Strictly's Tess Daly unbreakable marriage to 'soul mate' Vernon Kay – from working together to holidays in Ibiza | The Sun

TESS Daly has been dazzling on our screens as one half of the presenting duo on BBC'S Strictly Come Dancing.

But while the 53-year-old's chemistry with her 'work wife' and good friend Claudia Winkleman on-screen is clear to see, it's her 19-year marriage to husband Vernon Kay, 48, off-screen that's really worthy of a top score of 'ten.'



So, with their manic work schedules often tearing them apart, just how have one of the UK's best known TV couples managed to keep their spark alive?

NORTHERN ROOTS

Tess and Vernon, who have two teenage daughters together – Phoebe,1 17 and 13-year-old Amber – first set eyes on each other at BBC’s annual Christmas party in 1999.

They hit it off after bonding over the fact they were both Northerners – with Vernon born in Bolton and Tess from Stockport.

“She didn’t know anyone except me because we’d worked together that day – she spotted me in a crowd and we had a laugh," Vernon has since revealed.


“I was instantly attracted by how independent Tess was, and that’s not changed at all.”

And the feeling was mutual, with Tess also admitting there was an instant connection.

Speaking to Digital Spy, the TV presenter said: "It was all quite immediate, really, because we instantly had such a blast together.

"I couldn't imagine having more fun with anyone else. It was pretty explosive, I tell you."

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The couple went on to tie the knot in 2003 at St Mary’s Church in Horwich and now own a mansion in Buckinghamshire – complete with a gym and garden big enough for two Shetland ponies.

WORKING TOGETHER

And it's little surprise the couple were drawn to each other, with both following the same dream of one day making it in the showbiz world.

Like two peas in a pod, Tess and Vernon started off on the catwalk before breaking into TV – with Vernon presenting T4 on C4 and Tess hosting the Find Me a Model segment on The Big Breakfast.

Then in 2007, the two joined forces when they hosted celebrity singing show, Just the Two of Us, together.

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Sharing a throwback photo from the time on Instagram, Tess clearly enjoyed their time on screen together and quipped: “What a giggle that was (plus I love that you’ve now got pretty much the same hairdo Vern!)”

TESTING TIMES

But just like any couple, it hasn't always been plain-sailing for the pair – with Vernon admitting to exchanging secret steamy messages with glamour model Rhian Sugden in 2010.

Speaking on Radio One at the time, Vernon issued a public apology and commented: "You may or may not be aware that because of some foolish and stupid decisions I have made, I have disappointed and I have let down a lot of people. To my family and everybody, I am very sorry."

Then, speaking candidly to The Times, Tess admitted that after 15 years of marriage she and Vernon were still working on their relationship.

She confessed: "Marriage is a work in progress. Vernon and I are just people, at the end of the day."

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However, after "moving on" from the scandal, it seems the couple are more loved up than ever – with lockdown helping them to "reconnect."

HOME SWEET HOME

Vernon revealed that lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic helped to strengthen his marriage to Tess.

Speaking to The Mirror, he revealed that it gave him “the chance to really kind of re-connect and get to know each other, not better, but you really get under the skin of your relationship with your kids and your missus.”

In a podcast, Vernon added: “I did everything – repainted the gutters, realigned the gutters, jet-washed.'

“Tess even replastered a part of our conservatory, she learnt how to do it on YouTube, that’s how we filled our time.'

“Then we’d get to: ‘Let’s have a drink!’ Why not?”

SUPPORTIVE WIFE

When Vernon Kay stepped into the Welsh castle for ITV's I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here…a year later – it wasn't just millions of viewers at home who were cheering him on.

The former Family Fortunes host, who made it to the final alongside Giovanna Fletcher, also had the full support of his proud family – including his wife.

In one heartfelt message she declared “he’s a winner to me” and in another, enthused: "He's made us beyond proud!”

And Tess, who was apart from her beau for five weeks, realised just how much she missed her other half when several household appliances broke while he was away.

“The printer, the dishwasher, the dryer all broke," Tess told Women’s Health UK. "Basically everything you need when solo parenting.

“I was like, ‘Okay, Vern, I really do need you around the house’…we’re soulmates, me and Vernon.

“It’s been a ride. And I love him more than ever."

And family was evidently at the front of Vernon's mind while he was away, too.

In one emotional clip which left viewers in tears, Vernon, who came runner up, broke down as he paid an emotional tribute to his wife, telling the Strictly Come Dancing host: "I love you baby, you know I do."

He added: "Love you forever and ever. And girls – I hope I've made you so proud."

But the cold Gwrych Castle where the ITV show was filmed was a far cry away from the glamorous life Vernon and Tess are used to.

VOW RENEWAL

The jet-setting couple are particularly fond of France, which is where they decided to renew their vows six years ago.

Vernon recalled the special occasion during his time on ITV's I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! and explained: "We did it in France, about five years ago.

"I booked a weekend in our favourite hotel in the South of France and I spoke to her (Tess’) stylist at the time and I said I needed four dresses."

He added: "She didn’t know anything. I said I needed four dresses and I gave her a card and it said congratulations on your second wedding day and I said we’re going to renew our vows."

Speaking to Hello magazine, Tess revealed: "It was unbelievable because we had kept it quiet, and I was like, 'Oh my goodness.

"It was brilliant actually because it all came flooding back to me. It was one of the most amazing times of my life."

She added: "It was overwhelmingly special and memorable. He did very well there.

"I couldn't believe they were all there and this was really happening. It was very special and a wonderful way to mark ten years. What's he going to do when it's 20 years?"

MAKING MEMORIES

Despite their busy work schedules, the couple always make sure they have time for each other.

Their Instagram accounts are flooded with romantic posts – with a recent selfie showing the pair cuddling up together during a recent sun-soaked getaway in Ibiza.



Smiling for the camera, Vernon gushed: "A beautiful place with awesome people!"

As well as lavish breaks to the Maldives, the two have also jetted off to Lake Como and St Tropez in recent years, along with making the most of the British breaks on offer – including the ultra-lavish Chewton Glen Hotel.

Sharing a snap from a recent trip, Tess was seen relaxing in their own private hot tub.

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She captioned the post: "Hot tub heaven @treehouses_cg."

And there's no doubt the pair will "keeeeeep dancing" into the distance…

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