The on-screen chemistry between the 53-year-old and her “work wife” and close friend Claudia Winkleman is evident but off-screen, the actual “ten” is her 19-year marriage to husband Vernon Kay, 48.
How then has one of the most well-known TV couples in the UK managed to maintain their spark despite their hectic work schedules frequently ripping them apart?
At the BBC’s annual Christmas party in 1999, Tess and Vernon, who have two teenage daughters Phoebe, 17, and Amber, 13, first laid eyes on one another.
They bonded over the fact that they were both from the North; Vernon was born in Bolton and Tess was from Stockport.
Vernon has since remarked, “She didn’t know anyone except me because we had worked together that day – she saw me in a crowd and we had a giggle.
Tess’s independence drew me right away, and it hasn’t changed at all.
Tess acknowledged that there was an immediate connection, proving that the sensation was reciprocal.
The TV host said to Digital Spy that everything happened fairly quickly because we hit it off right away.
“I can’t think of anyone else with whom I would have more fun. I tell you, it was very explosive.
The couple later were married at St Mary’s Church in Horwich in 2003, and they currently reside in a home in Buckinghamshire with a gym and a garden large enough for two Shetland ponies.
With both of them pursuing the same aim of one day breaking into the entertainment industry, it should come as no surprise that the couple was attracted to one another.
Like two peas in a pod, Tess and Vernon began their careers on the catwalk before transitioning to television, with Tess anchoring the Find Me a Model feature on The Big Breakfast and Vernon presenting T4 on C4.
The two then collaborated when they co-hosted the celebrity singing competition Just the Two of Us in 2007.
But like any marriage, their relationship hasn’t always been easy. Vernon has admitted to secretly exchanging romantic chats with beauty model Rhian Sugden in 2010.
At the time, Vernon apologized publicly and said, in a Radio One interview: “You may or may not be aware that I have let down and disappointed many people as a result of certain silly and stupid mistakes I have made. I sincerely apologize to my family and to everyone.”
Then, in an open interview with The Times, Tess revealed that she and Vernon were still attempting to improve their marriage after 15 years.
She acknowledged: “A work in progress, marriage. At the end of the day, Vernon and I are just two humans.”
However, it appears that the pair is more in love than ever after “getting over” the incident, with lockdown aiding in their “reconnection.”
Home Sweet Home
Vernon admitted that being under lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic had improved his relationship with Tess.
It offered him “the chance to really kind of re-connect and get to know each other, not better, but you really get under the skin of your connection with your kids and your missus,” he said in an interview with The Mirror.
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Vernon stated in a podcast: “I did everything, including repainting the gutters, realigning the gutters, and jet-washing.
As a way to pass the time, Tess even replastered a section of our conservatory using instructions she found on YouTube.
“After that, we would say, ‘Let’s have a drink!'” When not?
A year later, when Vernon Kay entered the Welsh castle for ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here…, it wasn’t simply the millions of home viewers who were supporting him.
Along with Giovanna Fletcher, the former Family Fortunes host advanced to the final and enjoyed the unwavering support of his wife and proud family.
She enthusiastically exclaimed: “He’s made us beyond proud!” in one passionate letter and “he’s a winner to me” in another.
And after five weeks of separation from her boyfriend, Tess realized how much she missed him when many household items malfunctioned.
According to Tess, “the printer, the dishwasher, and the dryer all broke.” Basically everything you require while raising children alone.
“Okay, Vern, I really need you around the house,” I said.
We are soul mates, Vernon and me.
It was quite the ride. And I cherish him even more today.
Additionally, Vernon’s thoughts while away from home were obviously focused on his family.
Vernon, the runner-up, broke down as he paid an emotional homage to his wife in one touching moment that had fans in tears, saying to the Strictly Come Dancing host: “I love you, baby, you know I do.”
I will always love you, he continued. And to the girls: I hope I’ve made you all very happy.
The glitzy lifestyle Vernon and Tess are used to is a far cry from the chilly Gwrych Castle where the ITV drama was filmed.
Repeal of Vow
The world-traveling pair chose to rekindle their vows in France six years ago because they had a special affection for the country.
While appearing on ITV’s “I’m A Celebrity,” Vernon recalled the momentous occasion. and said: “We did it in France, about five years ago. Get Me Out of Here!”
“I spoke to her (Tess’) stylist at the time and I told I needed four gowns for a weekend at our favorite hotel in the South of France.”
She knew nothing, he continued. We’re going to rekindle our vows, I said as I handed her a card that said “Congratulations on your second wedding day.” I also stated I needed four gowns.