Vernon Kay: From modelling to one of Britain’s most recognisable broadcasters

Vernon Kay has become a familiar face and voice to the British public after fronting a variety of TV shows and radio programmes across his career.

The 48-year-old presenter will once again be heard by listeners across the country as he replaces Ken Bruce on his BBC Radio 2 mid-morning weekday show.

Brought up in Bolton, Greater Manchester, Kay started his career in the industry after he was scouted by a modelling agency while on a drunken night out with friends.

TRIC Awards 2021 – London
Vernon Kay presented his own BBC Radio 1 show between 2004 and 2012 (Ian West/PA)

The broadcaster had been working for his cousin in his DIY shop at the time when he was asked to do a catwalk by a scout while attending the BBC Clothes Show Live.

After he strutted for the agent, he was invited to London and did a number of magazine modelling gigs.

Kay later moved into presenting and has hosted TV shows for ITV including All Star Family Fortunes, Splash!, Just The Two Of Us, Beat The Star and 1,000 Heartbeats.

He also presented his own BBC Radio 1 show between 2004 and 2012, and another on Radio X between 2015 and 2017.

Kay previously filled in for other Radio 2 presenters including Zoe Ball and Scott Mills.

No Time To Die Royal World Premiere – London
Tess Daly and Vernon Kay are celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary this year (Jonathan Brady/PA)

He has also hosted coverage of Formula E motor racing and previously said he thinks sports presenting is more difficult than some of his previous jobs.

In 2020, he appeared on the 20th series of I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!, finishing in third place behind radio DJ Jordan North and podcaster and presenter Giovanna Fletcher, who was crowned Queen of the Jungle.

Kay has also led two all-male takeovers of Loose Women to celebrate International Men’s Day and Mental Health Awareness Week.

On the special editions, dubbed Loose Men, he discussed the importance of men speaking about their mental health alongside famous faces including rugby player Mike Tindall, radio presenter Roman Kemp and comedian Iain Stirling.

Kay has been married to Strictly Come Dancing host Tess Daly, 53, since 2003 and the couple have two daughters, Phoebe and Amber.