The real name of Tess Daly from Strictly, which even her husband Vernon Kay does not call her

Tess Daly has been the head of Strictly Come Dancing for almost 20 years, but fans were blown away when they realized she kept her real name out of the spotlight

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This Morning: Vernon Kay Jokes About Tess Daly

Strictly Come Dancing host Tess Daly has kept her real name a secret for decades.

The 52-year-old has always used the name Tess and has presented the hit BBC One show under the moniker since 2004.

But fans were shocked to find the mom-of-two has a completely different name on her birth certificate.

Even her husband Vernon Kay doesn’t call her by her real name, and her mother Sylvia is the only one who calls her that.

In a new interview, Tess confessed that she actually named herself Helen Elizabeth Daly and didn’t officially change her name out of respect for her parents.

The stunner Strictly kept her real name a secret

When she started her modeling career at the age of 17, there was already someone called “Helen Davies” at the agency, so Tess was told to change it because her name was considered too similar.

“My mom is really the only person who still calls me Helen, and it’s not often,” she told Weekend.

“She tends to call me ‘love’, so when she says ‘Helen’ it can take me a while to respond,” laughed Tess.

She has been the head of the BBC One show since 2004

Tess said she was forced to change her name when she started modeling as a teenager



The TV star said she got the name because her agent at the time was “obsessed” with actress Nastassja Kinski who starred in a 1979 film called Tess.

“So it was Tess. I was gullible and impressionable. Notice, two weeks later I was in Japan and then I traveled the world. Paris, Milan, New York,” she explained, adding that her agent thought she looked like German actress Nastassja.

“I never changed it by deed or anything because I think it would be disrespectful to my parents,” she said.

She exchanged vows with Vernon in 2003 using her real name



Even her husband doesn’t call her by her birth name


Dave Benet/Getty Images)

Even though Vernon doesn’t call her Helen, she married the TV hunk under her real name when they exchanged vows in 2003.

And Tess isn’t the only TV star to keep her real name a secret.

Dermot O’Leary, presenter of This Morning and The X Factor, isn’t actually called Dermot and has used his middle name as a professional nickname for decades.

The 48-year-old, who has both British and Irish nationality despite being born in Essex, is actually Sean Dermot Fintan O’Leary Jr.

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