Strictly’s Tess Daly reflects on first pregnancy as she marks huge milestone

Strictly Come Dancing host Tess Daly has made a rare comment about her pregnancy with her eldest daughter Phoebe.

Taking to Instagram on Wednesday to mark two decades since the first Strictly episode aired, Tess, 55, penned: “HAPPY BIRTHDAY @bbcstrictly It’s 20 years ago today since the first episode aired in 2004 with the legend Sir Bruce Forsyth (and I was pregnant with Phoebe my eldest!).”

She continued: “We had no idea at that time it would go on for another two decades (and counting) and become a global hit in so many overseas territories (where the show is known as Dancing with The Stars).”

The presenter finished by adding: “Forever grateful to be a part of a show that feels so joyful and magical and to share that with the absolute GIFT that is @claudiawinkle #keepdancing.”

Tess Daly and Vernon Kay attending the BAFTA TV Awards 2024, at the Royal Festival Hall in London.© Getty Images
Tess joined Strictly as a host in 2004

Fans and friends flocked to the comments section to share their thoughts, with one writing: “THE best show on tv without question and I cannot wait for the new series”, while a second chimed in: “I’ve watched it from day one – love it and can’t wait for the new series.”

The beloved BBC show first aired in May 2004. Since its inception, it has continued to attract a loyal fanbase, with the show later taking home the gong in the Best Entertainment category at the BAFTA TV Awards on three separate occasions.

Tess shares Phoebe, 19, and youngest daughter Amber, 14, with her husband Vernon Kay. The lovebirds tied the knot in 2003 at St Mary’s Church in Horwich, Vernon’s hometown, before hosting their reception at nearby Rivington Hall Barn.

 Tess Daly and Vernon Kay© Getty Images
The couple tied the knot in 2003

The couple welcomed their eldest on 17 October in 2004 at a London hospital. In her book, The Baby Diaries: Memories, Milestones and Misadventures, Tess opened up about her labour, explaining how she had a caesarean birth.

Tess recalled: “The sensation of having a caesarean, of the doctor feeling around to pull our baby into the world, was like having a builder with huge boots on inside me, pulling at random bits from the wall of my womb as he stomped about.”

Tess Daly and Vernon Kay with their daughter Phoebe© Instagram
Tess Daly and Vernon Kay posing with their daughter Phoebe

She went on to say: “Phoebe was brought to my room over an hour after I had her. I was so happy to finally have my baby in my arms and to be able to cradle and hold her next to my skin. Having her here just felt like the most natural thing in the world.”

Meanwhile, Amber Isabella Kay was born on 30 May 2009, also in a London hospital. Amber weighed 7lb 15oz, with Vernon telling the Sunday Mirror at the time: “She is absolutely beautiful and I am thrilled.”

While the sister duo rarely enter the spotlight alongside their famous parents, Phoebe has joined her father on the red carpet on a number of occasions, including at the Vanity Fair EE Rising Star Party and at a film screening at Cineworld Leicester Square.

Tess and Vernon are conscious of raising their daughters to be independent, telling Mail Online: “We let them be independent when it comes to their futures because it’s important that you allow them to find themselves, which is character building and personality development.”

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