Amanda Holden

Last updated

Amanda Holden
Holden in October 2014
Amanda Louise Holden [1]

(1971-02-16) 16 February 1971 (age 48) [2]
Residence Surrey, UK
EducationMountview Academy of Theatre Arts
OccupationActress, presenter, singer, talent show judge
Years active1991–present
AgentJames Grant [3]
Les Dennis
(m. 1995;div. 2003)

Chris Hughes(m. 2008)
Relatives Jan Holden (great aunt)

Amanda Louise Holden (born 16 February 1971) [2] is an English television presenter, actress, singer and media personality who has appeared as a judge on ITV's Britain's Got Talent since the show began in 2007. Holden played the role of Sarah Trevanion in Wild at Heart (2006–2008) and the title role in Thoroughly Modern Millie , for which she was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award. More recently she has presented various television shows for ITV including Superstar (2012), This Morning (2014–2015, 2017–) and Give a Pet a Home (2015).

<i>Britains Got Talent</i> British television talent show

Britain's Got Talent is a televised British talent show competition, and part of the global Got Talent franchise created by Simon Cowell. Presented by Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, it is produced by both Thames and Syco Entertainment, distributed by Fremantle, and broadcast on ITV every year in late Spring to early Summer. The show premiered on 9 June 2007, after its initially planned premiere in 2005 was scrapped and production suspended, following a dispute between the broadcaster and Paul O'Grady, the originally planned host for the programme.

<i>Wild at Heart</i> (UK TV series) British TV series

Wild at Heart is an ITV television drama series created by Ashley Pharoah about a veterinary surgeon and his family, who emigrate from Bristol, England to South Africa, where they attempt to rehabilitate a game reserve for wild animals and establish a veterinary surgery and animal hospital. The show ran for seven series beginning on 29 January 2006 and ending on 30 December 2012.

<i>Thoroughly Modern Millie</i> (musical) musical

Thoroughly Modern Millie is a musical with music by Jeanine Tesori, lyrics by Dick Scanlan, and a book by Richard Morris and Scanlan. It is based on the 1967 film of the same name, which itself was based on the British musical Chrysanthemum, which opened in London in 1956. Thoroughly Modern Millie tells the story of a small-town girl, Millie Dillmount, who comes to New York City to marry for money instead of love – a thoroughly modern aim in 1922, when women were just entering the workforce. Millie soon begins to take delight in the flapper lifestyle, but problems arise when she checks into a hotel owned by the leader of a white slavery ring in China. The style of the musical is comic pastiche. Like the film on which it is based, it interpolates new tunes with some previously written songs.


Early life

Although born in Portsmouth, Holden spent much of her childhood in Bishop's Waltham and aged 9 she joined Bishop’s Waltham Little Theatre Company. She attended Swanmore Secondary School (now Swanmore College), where a teacher recalled that she had a natural talent on stage. At 16 she moved to Bournemouth, [4] [5] and then attended Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. [6]

Portsmouth City & unitary authority area in England

Portsmouth is a port city in Hampshire, England, with a total population of 205,400 residents. The city of Portsmouth is nicknamed Pompey and is mainly built on Portsea Island, a flat, low-lying island measuring 24 square kilometres in area, just off the south-east coast of Hampshire. Uniquely, Portsmouth is the only island city in the United Kingdom, and is the only city whose population density exceeds that of London.

Bishops Waltham town

Bishop's Waltham is a medieval market town situated at the source of the River Hamble in Hampshire, England. It has a foot in the South Downs National Park and is located at the midpoint of a long-established route between Winchester and Portsmouth. It is home to the ruins of Bishop's Waltham Palace, a Scheduled Ancient Monument under English Heritage management, and a well-preserved high street with many listed buildings which now house independent shops.

Swanmore village in the United Kingdom

Swanmore is a rural village and civil parish situated in the Meon Valley, Hampshire, England. It is very near to Bishop's Waltham.



Holden's first television appearance was as a contestant on the game show Blind Date in 1991. From 2006 to 2008, Holden appeared as Sarah Trevanian in three series of ITV's Wild at Heart co-starring Stephen Tompkinson.

Stephen Tompkinson English actor

Stephen Phillip Tompkinson is an English actor, known for his television roles as Marcus in Chancer (1990), Damien Day in Drop the Dead Donkey (1990–98), Father Peter Clifford in Ballykissangel (1996–98), Trevor Purvis in Grafters (1998–99), Danny Trevanion in Wild at Heart (2006–13) and Alan Banks in DCI Banks (2010–16). He won the 1994 British Comedy Award for Best TV Comedy Actor. He also starred in the films Brassed Off (1996) and Hotel Splendide (2000).

Holden's other TV credits include three series of the comedy Kiss Me Kate with Caroline Quentin and Chris Langham, three series of the ITV's The Grimleys , Celeb with Harry Enfield, BBC series Hearts and Bones with Damian Lewis, the Jonathan Creek episode "The Problem at Gallowes Gate" and a Boxing Day special Marple opposite Geraldine McEwan and John Hannah. She also co-starred with Bill Nighy and Tom Courtenay in Ready When You Are, Mr McGill , Jack Rosenthal's comedy drama.

<i>Kiss Me Kate</i> (TV series) television series

Kiss Me Kate is a British sitcom that ran from 1998 until 2000. It followed the everyday life of a counsellor, Kate, who must not only manage her clients' problems, but must also help her neighbours and unsuccessful business partner, Douglas, played by Chris Langham. Amanda Holden played Mel, the receptionist. Darren Boyd played the idiotic Craig, the travel agent downstairs.

Caroline Quentin British actress

Caroline Quentin is an English actress. Quentin became known for her television appearances: portraying Dorothy in Men Behaving Badly (1992–1998), Maddie Magellan in Jonathan Creek (1997–2000), and DCI Janine Lewis in Blue Murder (2003–2009).

Christopher Langham is an English writer, actor, and comedian. He is known for playing the cabinet minister Hugh Abbot in the BBC Four sitcom The Thick of It, and as presenter Roy Mallard in People Like Us, first on BBC Radio 4 and later on its transfer to television on BBC Two, where Mallard is almost entirely an unseen character. He subsequently created several spoof adverts in the same vein. He also played similar unseen interviewers in an episode of the television series Happy Families and in the film The Big Tease. He is also known for his roles in the TV series Not the Nine O'Clock News, Help, Kiss Me Kate, and as the gatehouse guard in Chelmsford 123. In 2006, he won BAFTA awards for The Thick of It and Help.

Holden is currently a judge on Britain's Got Talent along with Simon Cowell, David Walliams, and Alesha Dixon. She joined the show in 2007.

Simon Cowell English reality television judge, television producer and music executive

Simon Phillip Cowell is an English television music and talent show competition judge, A&R executive, entrepreneur, entertainment manager and consultant, television producer, and critic. He has judged on the British TV talent competition series Pop Idol, The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, and the American TV talent competition shows American Idol, The X Factor and America's Got Talent. Cowell is the principal founder and chief executive of the British entertainment company Syco.

David Walliams English comedian, writer and actor

David Edward Williams,, known professionally as David Walliams, is a British actor, comedian, author, talent show judge and television presenter. He is best known for his partnership with Matt Lucas on the BBC One sketch comedy shows Little Britain and Come Fly With Me. Since 2012, he has been a judge on the ITV talent show Britain's Got Talent. He is also a writer of children's books, having sold more than 25 million copies worldwide.

Alesha Dixon English singer, dancer, rapper, model and television presenter

Alesha Anjanette Dixon is a British singer, dancer, rapper, model, television presenter and talent show judge. She found fame in 2001 as a member of all-female R&B/garage trio Mis-Teeq. The group disbanded in 2005 and Dixon pursued a music career as a solo artist, signing to Polydor Records. She began recording her debut solo album, Fired Up, in 2006, but due to poor record sales of her first two singles, "Lipstick" and "Knockdown", she was dropped from Polydor.

She has appeared on various British series such as Smack the Pony , EastEnders , Hearts and Bones , Cutting It and with Harry Enfield in comedy series Celeb. [7]

<i>Smack the Pony</i> television series

Smack the Pony is a British sketch comedy show that ran from 1999 until 2003 on Channel 4. The main performers on the show were Fiona Allen, Doon Mackichan and Sally Phillips. There were also regular appearances from Sarah Alexander, Darren Boyd and Cavan Clerkin. The show's popular theme tune was Dusty Springfield's song "In the Middle of Nowhere", sung by Jackie Clune. As well as the three principal cast members, the show was written by a large number of writers, the core of which went on to write Green Wing and Campus. In Germany, the first transmission of the show aired on ProSieben, where the theme tune was changed to Texas' 2001 version of "I Don't Want a Lover", and featured a different title sequence.

<i>EastEnders</i> British television soap opera

EastEnders is a British soap opera created by Julia Smith and Tony Holland which has been broadcast on BBC One since 1985. Set in Albert Square in the East End of London in the fictional Borough of Walford, the programme follows the stories of local residents and their families as they go about their daily lives. Initially there were two 30-minute episodes per week, later increasing to three, but since 2001 episodes have been broadcast every weekday apart from Wednesdays.

Hearts and Bones is television drama series, about a group of friends who move from Coventry to London, starring Damian Lewis, Dervla Kirwan, Sarah Parish and Andrew Scarborough which aired on BBC One in 2000. A second series followed in 2001. It featured the first screen appearance of Michael Fassbender.

In 2009, Holden appeared as Lizzie, the Ring Mistress in the BBC sitcom Big Top . In April 2009, it was reported that the US network CBS had offered Holden the job of the one-time guest presenter on The Early Show , a daytime talk show. On 1 June 2009, she appeared with regular presenters Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez. Holden has since signed up with CBS as a British correspondent for The Early Show.

From 2009 until 2014, Holden co-presented A Night of Heroes: The Sun Military Awards annually on ITV with Phillip Schofield. In January 2010, she presented her own four-part series, Amanda Holden's Fantasy Lives, in which she tried out four of her dream jobs including working as a showgirl in Paris and a magician's assistant in Las Vegas.

In 2010, Holden co-presented The Door with Chris Tarrant. In 2011, Holden narrated the documentary The Nation's Favourite Bee Gees Song on ITV. On 6 July 2012, Holden guest presented an episode of Lorraine , standing in for Lorraine Kelly. She returned to guest present six further episodes of the show from 4–8 April and 4 July 2016.

In 2012, Holden presented talent show Superstar on ITV. On 24 March 2014, she hosted an episode of the Channel 4 show Dispatches about the treatment for stillbirths and miscarriages.

From 22 September to 18 December 2014, Holden filled in as a co-host on This Morning with Phillip Schofield during Holly Willoughby's maternity leave. She took a short break in January and February 2015 to record the Britain's Got Talent auditions. Christine Lampard stood in for Holden during this time, before she returning to the show from 2 March until 17 July 2015. [8] She returned to This Morning in 2017, to co-present numerous episodes with Ben Shephard.

Holden presented a six-part factual series for ITV called Give a Pet a Home which worked alongside the RSPCA finding homes for animals. The series aired in April and May 2015. [9]

On 18 December 2015, Holden was part of the presenting team for ITV's Christmas telethon Text Santa . In 2016, she presented I've Got Something To Tell You , a factual series for W. [10] [11] She appeared as Miss Pentangle in CBBC's The Worst Witch in 2017.


Holden has appeared in several stage musicals and in 2004, was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in the West End production of Thoroughly Modern Millie , [7] which closed earlier than expected in June 2004. [12] [13]

Holden finished playing the role of Princess Fiona in the original West End production of Shrek the Musical , which began on 6 May 2011. The show opened at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 14 June 2011. [14] She starred with Nigel Lindsay, Richard Blackwood and Nigel Harman. Holden departed the show on 3 October 2011, ten weeks earlier than planned, to focus on her unborn child and was replaced by Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh. For this role, Holden won the Theatregoers' Choice Award for Best Actress in a Musical. [15] In 2016, Holden starred in a West End revival of Stepping Out [16] and reprised her role when it opened at the Vaudeville Theatre in March 2017. [17]


In 1996, Holden played Pamela in Intimate Relations . In 1999, she appeared as a shoe shop assistant in Virtual Sexuality . She was uncredited in the 2013 film One Chance .

Other work

In July 2009, Holden became a gossip columnist for the News of the World. [18]

From 2010 until 2012, Holden appeared in television commercial adverts for supermarket chain Tesco. Since 2012, she has appeared in the television commercial adverts for Danone Oykos low fat yoghurt.

In October 2013, Amanda released her autobiography called No Holding Back [19] which became a Sunday Times best-seller.

In 2015, she was the new face of the Alpen Brighter Morning Challenge. [20]

Personal life

Holden has been vegetarian since she was thirteen. [21]

She married comedian Les Dennis in June 1995. They separated temporarily in 2000 after Holden's affair with actor Neil Morrissey [22] was exposed in the press, before separating permanently in December 2002 and divorcing in 2003. Around this time, she alleges that she was sexually assaulted by an "unnamed famous comedian" at a public event. [23]

On 20 January 2006, Holden gave birth to her first child with her fiancé, record producer Chris Hughes. [24] She married Hughes at Babington House, [25] Somerset, on 10 December 2008 with former Formula One racing driver David Coulthard acting as best man. After a miscarriage in 2010, she suffered their son being stillborn at seven months in 2011. [26] On 23 January 2012, despite medical complications, she gave birth to their second daughter. [27]

In 2010 Holden campaigned to keep a Sainsbury's supermarket out of Bishop's Waltham. Residents of her hometown later accused her of a double standard in November 2010 when she signed a deal to appear in advertisements for Tesco, the UK's largest supermarket chain. [28]

In December 2016 Holden's ancestry was the subject of a BBC programme in the Who Do You Think You Are? series. [29] The investigation discovered that her Cornish 5x great-grandfather Collin Thomas served a year's imprisonment, after breaking his apprenticeship as a cordwainer, by enlisting in the Royal Navy and leaving the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland aged 15. Ten years later, while serving in the British Army after the Peninsular War, he met and married a French woman and began a family near Bordeaux, France, before then moving his wife and eldest children back to Great Britain and Ireland. [30] In addition, it transpired that her grandfather Frank Holden, a psychiatric nurse, was aboard the RMS Lancastria, when it was bombed and sunk by the German Luftwaffe in June 1940 outside the port of Saint-Nazaire and sank with the loss of thousands of lives. He committed suicide at the age of 71. [31]

Holden has been a long-standing fan of English Premier League Football Club, Everton, attending home and away games when her schedule allows. [32]


Holden fronted Everton's breast cancer awareness campaign, sporting a limited edition baby pink club shirt, the colour of breast cancer awareness. [33] She is a patron of the football club's charity, Everton In the Community. [34] In September 2011, Holden was sponsored to bake a cake for every child in the Great Ormond Street Hospital.[ citation needed ]

On 13 April 2008, Holden ran the London Marathon in 4 hours and 13 minutes, in the name of the Born Free Foundation, [35] having collected public and celebrity sponsors online. Since 2013, Holden has presented the RSPCA's Animal Hero Awards.

In 2013, she became a celebrity ambassador for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, following her work with Pedigree's 'Buy One, Feed One' campaign that she, along with Paul O'Grady have been supporting together. O'Grady is also an ambassador for Battersea. [36]

In June 2018, Holden was photographed underwater by Zena Holloway. She posed as a mermaid in an awareness campaign for PETA to highlight the 'disgusting treatment' of orcas at SeaWorld.

Holden and Hughes live in a million-pound mansion in Surrey. [37] Holden also owns a cottage in the Cotswolds which she has been renovating since 2017. [38]


1994 EastEnders BBC One Carmen
1997We Know Where You LiveVarious characters
1998 Jonathan Creek BBC One Petra (2 episode)
1998–2000 Kiss Me Kate Mel
1999–2001 The Grimleys ITV Geraldine Titley
2000–2001 Hearts and Bones BBC One Louise Slaney
2002–2004 Cutting It Mia Bevan
2003Eternal Rectangle
Greasemania ITV Presenter
Ready When You Are, Mr McGill Police officer
2004 Mad About Alice BBC One Alice
Agatha Christie's Marple: 4:50 From PaddingtonLucy Eyelesbarrow
2006–2008 Wild at Heart ITV Sarah Trevanion
2007– Britain's Got Talent Judge
2009Out of My DepthTrainee midwife [39]
Big Top BBC One Lizzie
2009–2014 A Night of Heroes: The Sun Military Awards ITV Co-presenter
2010 The Door Co-presenter
Amanda Holden's Fantasy LivesPresenter
2011 The Nation's Favourite Bee Gees Song Narrator
2012, 2016 Lorraine Guest presenter
2012 Superstar Presenter
2014 Dispatches: Exposing Hospital Heartache Channel 4 Presenter
2014–2015, 2017— This Morning ITV Stand-in presenter
2015 Give a Pet a Home [40] Presenter
Text Santa Co-presenter
2016 I've Got Something To Tell You [41] W Presenter
2017, 2018 The Worst Witch CBBC Miss Pentangle [42]
Guest appearances
1996 Intimate Relations Pamela
1999 Virtual Sexuality Shoe Shop Assistant
2000 What Women Want Herself
2013 One Chance HerselfUncredited
Television advertisements
2010–2012 Tesco [43] Supermarket chainHerself
2012—Danone OykosLow fat yoghurtHerself
2015— Alpen [44] Healthy GranolaHerself

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