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Amanda Holden

Amanda Holden

Amanda Louise Holden (born 16 February 1971)[2] is an English television presenter and talent competition judge, actress, singer, author and media personality.

Holden has judged on the TV talent show competition Britain's Got Talent since the show began in 2007 on ITV. As an actress, she played the role of Mia Bevan in Cutting It (2002–2004), Sarah Trevanion in Wild at Heart (2006–2008), Lizzie, the Ring Mistress, in the BBC sitcom Big Top (2009), 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 The Sun Military Awards (2009-2014), Superstar (2012), This Morning (2014–present), Text Santa (2015) and Give a Pet a Home (2015).

In 2019, Holden became the co-host of Heart Breakfast with Jamie Theakston.

Amanda Holden
Amanda Louise Holden[1]

(1971-02-16)16 February 1971[2]
Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, UK
ResidenceSurrey, UK
EducationMountview Academy of Theatre Arts
  • Actress
  • television talent competition judge
  • television presenter
  • singer
  • author
  • media personality
Years active1991–present
AgentJames Grant[3]
  • Wild at Heart
  • Britain's Got Talent
  • A Night of Heroes: The Sun Military Awards
  • Superstar
  • This Morning
  • Text Santa
Les Dennis
(m. 1995;div. 2003)

Chris Hughes (m. 2008)
RelativesJan Holden (great aunt)
Websiteofficialamandaholden.com [51]

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]



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.

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.

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.

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]

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 WhatsOnStage.com 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, Amanda 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]

In 2019, Holden signed a recording contract with Virgin EMI Records.[21]


It was announced in April 2019 that Holden would replace Emma Bunton, as the co-host of Heart Breakfast with Jamie Theakston, at the same time as it went national on 3 June.

Personal life

Holden has been vegetarian since she was thirteen.[22]

She married comedian Les Dennis in June 1995. They separated temporarily in 2000 after Holden's affair with actor Neil Morrissey[23] 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.[24]

On 20 January 2006, Holden gave birth to her first child with her fiancé, record producer Chris Hughes.[25] She married Hughes at Babington House,[26] 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.[27] On 23 January 2012, despite medical complications, she gave birth to their second daughter.[28]

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.[29]

In December 2016 Holden's ancestry was the subject of a BBC programme in the Who Do You Think You Are? series.[30] 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.[31] In addition, it transpired that her grandfather Frank Holden, a psychiatric nurse, was aboard the RMS Lancastria, when it was bombed by the German Luftwaffe in June 1940 outside the port of Saint-Nazaire and sank with the loss of thousands of lives.[32] Frank Holden committed suicide in his 70s.[33]

Holden has been a long-standing fan of English Premier League Football Club Everton, attending home and away games when her schedule allows.[34]


Holden fronted Everton's breast cancer awareness campaign, sporting a limited edition baby pink club shirt, the colour of breast cancer awareness.[35] She is a patron of the football club's charity, Everton In the Community.[36] In September 2011, Holden was sponsored to bake a cake for every child in the Great Ormond Street Hospital.

On 13 April 2008, Holden ran the London Marathon in 4 hours and 13 minutes, in the name of the Born Free Foundation,[37] having collected public and celebrity sponsors online. Since 2013, Holden has presented the RSPCA's Animal Hero Awards [52] .

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.[38]

In June 2018, Holden was photographed underwater by Zena Holloway.[39] She posed as a mermaid in an awareness campaign for PETA to highlight the 'disgusting treatment' of orcas at SeaWorld.[40]

Holden and Hughes live in Surrey.[41] Holden also owns a cottage in the Cotswolds which she has been renovating since 2017.[42]



1994EastEndersCarmen5 episodes
1997We Know Where You LiveVarious characters12 episodes
1998Jonathan CreekPetra
1998–2001Kiss Me KateMel
1999–2001The GrimleysGeraldine Titley
2000–2001Hearts and BonesLouise Slaney
2002–2004Cutting ItMia BevanMain Role
2002CelebDebs BlokeMain Role
2003Ready When You Are, Mr McGillPolice officer
2004Mad About AliceAlice
2004Agatha Christie's MarpleLucy EyelesbarrowEpisode 4:50 From Paddington
2006–2008Wild at HeartSarah Trevanion
2007–presentBritain's Got TalentJudge
2009Out of My DepthTrainee midwife[43]
2009Big TopLizzie
2009–2014A Night of Heroes: The Sun Military AwardsCo-presenter
2010The DoorCo-presenter
2010Amanda Holden's Fantasy LivesPresenter
2011The Nation's Favourite Bee Gees SongNarrator
2012, 2016LorraineGuest presenter
2014Dispatches: Exposing Hospital HeartachePresenter
2014–2015, 2017–presentThis MorningRelief presenter
2015Give a Pet a Home[44]Presenter
2015Text SantaCo-presenter
2016I've Got Something To Tell You[45]Presenter
2017–2018The Worst WitchMiss Pentangle[46]
2019The Celebrity ApprenticeContestant
2019–presentBritain's Got Talent: The ChampionsJudge
Guest appearances
  • Blind Date (1991)

  • Goodness Gracious Me (1998)

  • Don't Go Breaking My Heart (1998)

  • Smack the Pony (1999)

  • The Nearly Complete and Utter History of Everything (2000)

  • Happy Birthday Shakespeare (2000)

  • Loose Women (2000, 2002, 2013)

  • Now You See Her (2001)

  • Alan Carr: Chatty Man (2009, 2012, 2013, 2014)

  • The Paul O'Grady Show (2009, 2013)

  • The One Show (2009, 2013)

  • Ant & Dec's Christmas Show (2009)

  • Magic Numbers (2010)

  • The Graham Norton Show (2010, 2013, 2014, 2015)

  • The Alan Titchmarsh Show (2011, 2013)

  • Paul O'Grady Live (2011)

  • The Talent Show Story (2012)

  • Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway (2013, 2018)

  • Compost Corner: Christmas Special (2013)

  • The One and Only Cilla Black (2013)

  • Up Late with Rylan (2016)

  • Who Do You Think You Are? (2016)

  • Alan Carr's Happy Hour (2016)

  • The Keith & Paddy Picture Show (2018)

  • This Morning (2018)

1996Intimate RelationsPamela
1999Virtual SexualityShoe Shop Assistant2013One ChanceHerselfUncredited
Television advertisements
2010–2012Tesco[47]Supermarket chainHerself
2012—Danone OykosLow fat yoghurtHerself
2015—Alpen[48]Healthy GranolaHerself


2019–Heart UK Breakfast with Jamie and AmandaHeart


Citation Linkwww.officialamandaholden.com"Official Amanda Holden Website". www.officialamandaholden.com. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
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Citation Linkwww.theguardian.com"College Days". The Guardian. 1 May 2001. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
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Citation Linkwww.jamesgrant.com"Amanda Holden – James Grant Group". Jamesgrant.com. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
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Citation Linkwww.dailyecho.co.uk"Britain's Got Talent star Amanda Holden comes home (From Daily Echo)". Daily Echo. Southampton. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
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Citation Linkwww.dailyecho.co.uk"Plaque Honour for Amanda Holden's Old Home (From Daily Echo)". Daily Echo. Southampton. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
Sep 26, 2019, 3:23 AM
Citation Linkwww.mountview.org.ukMountview Academy alumni. Retrieved 26 May 2016
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Citation Linkwww.officialamandaholden.com"Amanda Holden Biography". Officialamandaholden.com. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
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Citation Linkwww.itv.com"Christine Bleakley and Amanda Holden return to ITV's This Morning to co-host with Phillip Schofield in 2015 | press-centre". Itv.com. 10 December 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
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Citation Linkwww.itv.com"ITV joins forces with the RSPCA for a brand new show, Give A Pet A Home, hosted by Amanda Holden". ITV Press Centre.
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Citation Linkwww.whatsontv.co.uk"Amanda Holden has something to tell you about her new show: 'I love eavesdropping!'". Whatsontv.com. 30 September 2016.
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Citation Linkwww.digitalspy.com"Amanda Holden to host I've Got Something to Tell You". Digitalspy.com. 1 March 2016.
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Citation Linkwww.whatsonstage.com"Thoroughly Modern Millie Posts Closing Notices". Whatsonstage.com. 3 June 2004. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
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Citation Linkwww.whatsonstage.com"Modern Millie Cast Defends Holden???". Whatsonstage.com. 10 June 2004. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
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Citation Linkwww.bbc.co.uk"Amanda Holden to star in Shrek musical". BBC News. 30 July 2010.
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Citation Linkwww.whatsonstage.com"Full List: 2012 Whatsonstage.com Award winners". Whatsonstage.com. 19 February 2012. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
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Citation Linkwww.whatsonstage.com"Amanda Holden to lead the cast of Stepping Out". Whatsonstage.com. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
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Citation Linkwww.boxoffice.co.uk"Amanda Holden and Tamzin Outhwaite in Stepping Out at the Vaudeville Theatre". Boxoffice.co.uk. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
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Citation Linkwww.theguardian.comHyde, Marina (7 July 2011). "Did the News of the World target Amanda Holden before giving her a job?". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
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Citation Linkwww.huffingtonpost.co.uk"WATCH: Amanda Doesn't Hold Back". HuffPost UK. 7 November 2013.
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Citation Linkwww.alpenmornings.co.uk"Welcome to Brighter Mornings with". alpenmornings. Archived from the original on 27 May 2015.
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