Amanda Holden

Amanda Louise Holden (born 16 February 1971)[2] is an English media personality, actress, television presenter, singer and author. She has judged on the television talent show competition Britain's Got Talent since the show began in 2007 on ITV. As an actress, Holden played the role of Mel in Kiss Me Kate (1998–2000), Mia Bevan in Cutting It (2002–2004), Sarah Trevanion in Wild at Heart (2006–2008), Lizzie, the Ring Mistress, in Big Top (2009), and the title role in Thoroughly Modern Millie, for which she was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award.

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

(1971-02-16) 16 February 1971[2]
Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, UK
ResidenceSurrey, UK
EducationMountview Academy of Theatre Arts
  • Media personality
  • actress
  • television presenter
  • singer
  • author
Years active1991–present
AgentJames Grant[3]
Les Dennis
(m. 1995; div. 2003)

Chris Hughes (m. 2008)
RelativesJan Holden (great aunt)

More recently, Holden has presented various television shows for ITV including The Sun Military Awards (2009–2014), The Door (2010), Superstar (2012), This Morning (2014–2015, 2017–present), Text Santa (2015) and Give a Pet a Home (2015). In 2019, she became the co-host of the Heart Breakfast radio show with Jamie Theakston.

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 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]

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]

In 2019 she was awarded Rear of the Year by the Daily Mirror newspaper.[35]


Holden fronted Everton's breast cancer awareness campaign, sporting a limited edition baby pink club shirt, the colour of breast cancer awareness.[36] She is a patron of the football club's charity, Everton In the Community.[37] 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,[38] 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.[39]

In June 2018, Holden was photographed underwater by Zena Holloway.[40] She posed as a mermaid in an awareness campaign for PETA to highlight the 'disgusting treatment' of orcas at SeaWorld.[41]

Holden and Hughes live in Surrey.[42] Holden also owns a cottage in the Cotswolds which she has been renovating since 2017.[43]



Year Title Role Notes
1994 EastEnders Carmen 5 episodes
1997 We Know Where You Live Various characters 12 episodes
1998 Jonathan Creek Petra
1998–2001 Kiss Me Kate Mel
1999–2001 The Grimleys Geraldine Titley
2000–2001 Hearts and Bones Louise Slaney
2002–2004 Cutting It Mia Bevan Main Role
2002 Celeb Debs Bloke Main Role
2003 Greasemania Presenter
2003 Ready When You Are, Mr McGill Police officer
2004 Mad About Alice Alice
2004 Agatha Christie's Marple Lucy Eyelesbarrow Episode 4:50 From Paddington
2006–2008 Wild at Heart Sarah Trevanion
2007–present Britain's Got Talent Judge
2009 Out of My Depth Trainee midwife[44]
2009 Big Top Lizzie
2009–2014 A Night of Heroes: The Sun Military Awards Co-presenter
2010 The Door Co-presenter
2010 Amanda Holden's Fantasy Lives Presenter
2011 The Nation's Favourite Bee Gees Song Narrator
2012, 2016 Lorraine Guest presenter
2012 Superstar Presenter
2014 Dispatches: Exposing Hospital Heartache Presenter
2014–2015, 2017–present This Morning Relief presenter
2015 Give a Pet a Home[45] Presenter
2015 Text Santa Co-presenter
2016 I've Got Something To Tell You[46] Presenter
2017–2018 The Worst Witch Miss Pentangle[47]
2019 The Celebrity Apprentice Contestant
2019–present Britain's Got Talent: The Champions Judge
Guest appearances
Year Title Role Notes
1996 Intimate Relations Pamela
1999 Virtual Sexuality Shoe Shop Assistant 2013 One Chance Herself Uncredited
Television advertisements
Year Title Description Role
2010–2012 Tesco[48] Supermarket chain Herself
2012— Danone Oykos Low fat yoghurt Herself
2015— Alpen[49] Healthy Granola Herself


2019–Heart UK Breakfast with Jamie and AmandaHeart


  • No Holding Back (autobiography)
  • The Curious Tale of Fi-Rex (co-writer)


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  2. "College Days". The Guardian. 1 May 2001. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  3. "Amanda Holden – James Grant Group". Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  4. "Britain's Got Talent star Amanda Holden comes home (From Daily Echo)". Daily Echo. Southampton. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  5. "Plaque Honour for Amanda Holden's Old Home (From Daily Echo)". Daily Echo. Southampton. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  6. Mountview Academy alumni. Retrieved 26 May 2016
  7. "Amanda Holden Biography". Retrieved 10 May 2010.
  8. "Christine Bleakley and Amanda Holden return to ITV's This Morning to co-host with Phillip Schofield in 2015 | press-centre". 10 December 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  9. "ITV joins forces with the RSPCA for a brand new show, Give A Pet A Home, hosted by Amanda Holden". ITV Press Centre.
  10. "Amanda Holden has something to tell you about her new show: 'I love eavesdropping!'". 30 September 2016.
  11. "Amanda Holden to host I've Got Something to Tell You". 1 March 2016.
  12. "Thoroughly Modern Millie Posts Closing Notices". 3 June 2004. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
  13. "Modern Millie Cast Defends Holden???". 10 June 2004. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
  14. "Amanda Holden to star in Shrek musical". BBC News. 30 July 2010.
  15. "Full List: 2012 Award winners". 19 February 2012. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  16. "Amanda Holden to lead the cast of Stepping Out". Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  17. "Amanda Holden and Tamzin Outhwaite in Stepping Out at the Vaudeville Theatre". Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  18. Hyde, Marina (7 July 2011). "Did the News of the World target Amanda Holden before giving her a job?". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  19. "WATCH: Amanda Doesn't Hold Back". HuffPost UK. 7 November 2013.
  20. "Welcome to Brighter Mornings with". alpenmornings. Archived from the original on 27 May 2015.
  21. Ingate, Kathryn (14 July 2019). "Amanda Holden revealed she is 'thrilled' to launch music career with HUGE record deal". Retrieved 14 July 2019.
  22. Ruby Le Galle (26 May 2016). "Amanda Holden: 'The Best Thing You Can Do for Animals Is to Just Leave Them off Your Plate'". People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  23. "Holden and Katharine marriage ends". BBC News. 27 December 2002. Retrieved 16 July 2010.
  24. Brian Logan (15 October 2013). "Amanda Holden reveals sexual assault by 'famous comedian' | Stage". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  25. "Amanda's Baby Named Already". Sky Living. Sky (United Kingdom). 23 January 2006. Archived from the original on 24 January 2009. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  26. Sunday Times, 10 January 2010.
  27. Megan Conner. "This much I know: Amanda Holden". The Guardian.
  28. Amanda Holden 'Tricked' Husband Into Having Another Baby Following The Tragedy Of Losing Their Son Archived 15 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  29. Russell, Tara (4 November 2010). "Amanda Holden accused of double standards over Bishop's Waltham store plans". Southampton: Daily Echo. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  30. "Who Do You Think You Are? programme". BBC. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  31. "Feature article on". TheGenealogist. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  32. O'Donovan, Gerard (December 2016). "Who Do You Think You Are? Amanda Holden's French forebears had talent, too: review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  33. "Who do You Think You Are: Amanda Holden fans 'cry their hearts out' over grandad's suicide". 2 December 2016.
  34. Keegan, Simon (26 April 2015). "Everton's Got Talent as Amanda Holden proves to be the lucky charm". Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  36. "Pink Everton 07/08 Umbro charity football shirt". 7 October 2007. Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  37. "Charity: Amanda becomes Patron of Everton Charity – Official Amanda Holden Website".
  38. "Flora London Marathon – Amanda Holden Runs Wild for Born Free!!". Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  39. Hooper, Abi (13 September 2013). "Paul O'Grady and Amanda Holden team up in aid of rescue dog campaign with pedigree | Showbiz". Closer. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  41. "Amanda Holden becomes a mermaid as she fronts new PETA campaign | Metro News". 1 June 2018. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  42. "We Were Stunned At Amanda Holden's Stunning Surrey Home". 30 May 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  43. "Take a peek inside Amanda Holden's 2 incredible Surrey and Cotswolds homes". 13 June 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  44. "Last Night's Television – Life, BBC1; Out Of My Depth, ITV1". 15 December 2009. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  45. "Amanda Holden to host TV that will transform celebs into RSCPA volunteers". Reveal.
  46. Harry Fletcher (1 March 2016). "Amanda Holden will get big confessions out of ordinary people on I've Got Something to Tell You". Digital Spy.
  47. "Amanda Holden will appear in The Worst Witch remake". 4 August 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  48. "Tesco Christmas TV ad stars Amanda Holden". Retail Week.
  49. "Official Amanda Holden Website".
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