Tess Daly's agent changed her name when she was 16

Natalie Cornish
·1-min read
Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images
Photo credit: Karwai Tang - Getty Images

From Red Online

Tess Daly has revealed that her agent changed her name early on in her modelling career – and only her mum calls her by her real moniker.

The Strictly presenter and former model was born Helen Elizabeth Day. But there was already a model with a similar name (Helen Davies) on the agency books when she signed to them as a teenager. So her agent insisted she go by 'Tess' professionally instead.

She told Weekend magazine: 'My agent was obsessed with [the actress] Nastassja Kinski at the time, who was in the film Tess, and thought I looked like her.

'So Tess it was. I was gullible and impressionable. Mind you, two weeks later, I was in Japan then travelled the world. Paris, Milan, New York.'

Daly added that everyone now calls her Tess, including her husband Vernon Kay. But her mum, Sylvie, still refers to her as Helen. That's part of the reason why she's never officially changed her name.

'I've never changed it by deed poll or anything because I think it would be disrespectful to my parents,' she added. 'My mum's really the only person who still calls me Helen, and that's not often. She tends to call me "love", so when she does say "Helen" it can take me a while to respond.'

Tess was back on our screens last night to host Strictly Come Dancing, alongside co-presenter and good friend Claudia Winkleman.

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