Strictly, Strictly Come Dancing, Tess Daly, Vernon Kay

Strictly, Strictly Come Dancing

Tess Daly can't stand watching herself on Strictly because of way her face looks

Tess Daly can't stand watching herself on #Strictly because of way her face looks

12/8/2019 10:49:00 AM

Tess Daly can't stand watching herself on Strictly because of way her face looks

Strictly Come Dancing presenter Tess Daly on life with Vernon Kay e - and how she would love to see the veteran pro dancing Anton Du Beke paired with show superfan Alan Carr

Having decided her first dress isn’t quite glitzy enough for Christmas, she emerges from the dressing room poured into sparkly purple bodycon.‘I look like a Quality Street,’ she laughs as we fling festive confetti in her direction. ‘That, by the way, is a very good thing,’ she adds.

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Speaking of chocolate, any chat with Tess involves a lot of sweet talk.‘I eat healthily 80% of the time, I always take my vitamins, but chocolate is love,’ she says, turning her nose up at the watery vegan cheesecake on offer for lunch and wondering if there’s a shop nearby to grab a bar of Green & Black’s.

‘I have a very sweet tooth, so I can’t wait for all the treats at Christmas – chocolate in stockings, pudding and brandy butter, mince pies… mmmm…’She trails off, leaving us pondering how she manages to look so fab in her party frock.We’re guessing she burns off plenty of energy this time of year, dashing between the Strictly studio, photoshoots (today she’s on set for Wellwoman supplements ), and balancing a busy home life in Buckinghamshire with husband Vernon Kay and their daughters Phoebe, 15, and Amber, 10.

And let’s not forget her favourite workout: extreme Christmas shopping.‘Finding the perfect gift is like a sport for me,’ she says.‘I love the challenge of the chase. If it was in the Olympics, I’d be a gold medal winner.’You go, girl!Tess, you clearly enjoy this time of year…

I love it, it makes me feel like a big kid. I’m that sad person who still gets excited about getting an advent calendar every year.Does Strictly put you in the festive spirit?We film the Christmas show in early December, it’s always OTT with a 100ft tree and all the gorgeous sparkly stuff.

So that gets me in the mood, it’s the first Christmassy thing I do all year.Actually, that’s a lie, because I always start Christmas shopping in October.That’s impressive – so you’re sorted already?I wish. I always end up panic-buying more in the last week before Christmas, thinking, ‘Oh, I’m not sure I’ve bought enough or it’s right.’

Does that mean you end up overspending?‘Yes’ is the short answer.Do you go wild in the shops and spoil your girls?I try not to. I’m very careful to make sure they’re aware of the value of money.They make lists every year and they’re never outrageous.But when can you spoil the people we love in our lives?

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It’s at Christmas, right? That’s the magic of it.What will you be doing on the big day?We’ll be at home, hosting. Last year we spent it in New Zealand with my sister, and it was quite strange being away for Christmas.I did enjoy the warmer weather, but nobody really has Christmas trees up, there are no fairy lights twinkling in windows.

We had a barbecue on the beach, which was pretty cool, but we’ll be going full-on traditional this year.Are you a good hostess?I have to make sure everyone has drinks and nibbles at every single moment.We start Christmas Day with a buffet brunch with bagels, pancakes and freshly squeezed orange juice and I might have a cheeky Buck’s Fizz – but if Santa came really early and the kids woke up at dawn, it’s strong cups of tea all round.

For lunch there’s turkey with all the trimmings, which is my favourite meal of the year, and I’ll do a pudding buffet later when we’ve made a tiny bit of room.What would you like for Christmas?Every year I say I want a house in the south of France, but that hasn’t happened yet!

Failing that, cashmere joggers and top would be lovely, because I love getting home, taking the day off, scraping my hair into a top knot, putting on my loungewear and just chilling out.Is it easy to buy for Vernon after so many years together?No, I’m rubbish at it. In the end I usually just buy him shirts and sneakers, or golf stuff, which is fine.

He’s quite happy with that. I know his taste and he always wears them.Will you be watching Strictly on Christmas Day ?No! I go off and do the buffet.My mum and the relatives watch it, but I don’t want to see myself – I’d end up shouting at the telly going, ‘Oh God, I can’t stand my side profile!’

I’d be looking at my broken nose and wishing it was straight.I get hyper critical seeing myself in 3D, it’s always a bit of a rude awakening!You’ve been on Strictly 15 years now, what keeps it fun?There’s a new cast each time, so I fall in love with it all over again every year.

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It’s so unpredictable who’s going to do well, it never gets old for me.I feel so privileged working on a show that people always want to talk to me about.They come up to me in the street and tell me how they love Kelvin’s muscly arms or whatever they’re enjoying.

Do you get contestants sobbing on your shoulder?I do a bit of hand-holding. I’ve seen over 200 celebrities take part in the show and I see how they all get sucked into the Strictly bubble, so I’m always there to give them a word of advice or a bit of a hug.

What’s your funniest moment this year?When Anton dressed as Austin Powers and Craig said he was distracted by his wig and fake teeth.I was like, ‘Um… they’re his real teeth.’I don’t think I’ve ever lost it laughing on live TV like that.In 15 years, I’ve never heard Craig be horrified by his own words or apologise for anything, so I really enjoyed that.

It just shows we’re live. Strictly is so slick, usually.Nobody drops anyone on their head – although never say never!Do you have a plan if it did go wrong?I’ve got contingency cards for every routine, just in case.My heart is always in my mouth when I’m watching those lifts and I’m poised side of stage, ready to run.

Why do you think you and Claudia make such a good double act?People can tell if you’re faking it – I can definitely tell when people are faking it on TV – and Clauds and I are really lucky, because we have a genuine friendship.It’s a real treat to hang out with her all day on a Saturday.

We’ve gone through so much together, it just feels right standing next to her. And she makes me die laughing.We’re always the last to leave on a Saturday night, because we’re still chatting about the show, sitting cross-legged on the dressing room floor, eating pizza.

How has new judge Motsi fitted into your girl gang?She’s fitted in seamlessly, hasn’t she? She’s so warm, she wears her heart on her sleeve, which I love.Strictly is rumoured to be introducing same-sex couples . Who would be your dream pairing?If it happened, Alan Carr would be my number one choice.

He’s hysterical, he loves the show and he’d be brilliant.Alan and Anton. Bring it on!How do you look after yourself when you’re so busy working?I’m very northern, I was brought up on three meals a day, so I’d never skip eating.I always take my Wellwoman supplements because I know I’m getting the essentials, even when I have a hectic week.

I’m obsessed with the Wellwoman energy tablets , they go everywhere with me.They’re a great pick-me-up when life gets busy.You turned 50 this year, how did you celebrate?I went to the Maldives with my family. It was awesome waking up in paradise on my birthday.

We swam in the ocean and went on a dolphin cruise.It was the most perfect day and I felt so grateful to be there.Read More Sunday Magazines Were you looking forward to that milestone?I’m very much of the mindset that I’m here to celebrate every birthday I’ve got on this earth.

I’m not going to beat myself up about a few more wrinkles, because I’m grateful for this precious life.When you lose a parent [Tess’s dad died in 2003] that teaches you a lot about mortality.We all think we’re here forever and we’re not.So that’s taught me to enjoy the ride.

No midlife crisis then?[Laughs] Erm, not yet, but there’s still time! Read more: Mirror Celeb »

DailyMirror A lot of people can't face hearing or watching themselves back.... Nothing wrong with that, Tess. DailyMirror Nowt wrong with it she is drop dead sexy DailyMirror Not surprised DailyMirror nah, she's beautiful!

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly look super glam for Saturday's Strictly live show Strictly hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman's Strictly outfits for Saturday 7th December 2019. Tess wowed in a bespoke Suzanne Neville dress, Sophia Webster shoes and Lark & Berry earrings. Claudia wore a Galvan ann-in-one tux suit and Otimberg necklaces.

Take a look at Strictly Come Dancing's Tess Daly and Vernon Kay's sweetest moments in their relationship: their hobbies, wedding and childrenThe Strictly Come Dancing host and her TV presenter husband have been married for sixteen years and seem happier than ever. Here are there sweetest moments…

Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly look super glam for Saturday's Strictly live show Strictly hosts Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman's Strictly outfits for Saturday 7th December 2019. Tess wowed in a bespoke Suzanne Neville dress, Sophia Webster shoes and Lark & Berry earrings. Claudia wore a Galvan ann-in-one tux suit and Otimberg necklaces.

Take a look at Strictly Come Dancing's Tess Daly and Vernon Kay's sweetest moments in their relationship: their hobbies, wedding and childrenThe Strictly Come Dancing host and her TV presenter husband have been married for sixteen years and seem happier than ever. Here are there sweetest moments…

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