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People are shocked to find out Tess Daly's name is not Tess

Lucy Devine

Published 
| Last updated 

People are shocked to find out Tess Daly's name is not Tess

Featured Image Credit: PA Images/Alamy

Did you know that Tess Daly was born with a totally different name?

People have been left surprised after only recently finding out that Tess' real name isn't actually Tess, having changed it at the start of her career.

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Tess, 53, is best known for presenting Strictly Come Dancing, which she has co-presented first with Bruce Forsyth and later with Claudia Winkleman for almost 20 years.

But before Tess started presenting the show, she had already carved out a successful modelling and telly career - under the name of Tess Daly.

But it turns out this isn't Tess' real name, and people can't believe it, after only recently finding out the star's true moniker.

Tess is best known for presenting Strictly Come Dancing. Credit: WENN Rights Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo
Tess is best known for presenting Strictly Come Dancing. Credit: WENN Rights Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo

Tess was born on 29 March 1969, as Helen Elizabeth Daly, and went on to change her name after realising there was another Helen Daly within the same industry.

On her agent's advice, Tess changed her name and later explained the name 'Tess' was chosen because her agent was inspired by the movie, Tess, starring Nastassja Kinski.

Tess later explained that despite being known by her stage name, she never officially changed it so not to be 'disrespectful' to her parents.

“My agent was obsessed with [the actress] Nastassja Kinski at the time, who was in the film Tess, and thought I looked like her," Tess told Weekend magazine back in 2020.

“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.

“I’ve never changed it by deed poll or anything because I think it would be disrespectful to my parents.”

Tess explained that these days, only her mum Sylvia really calls her by her true name.

“She tends to call me ‘love’, so when she does say ‘Helen’ it can take me a while to respond," she added.

Tess and husband Vernon Kay. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo
Tess and husband Vernon Kay. Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

People are shocked after discovering Tess' real name, with many only recently finding out.

One person wrote: "Tess Daly’s real name is Helen and your whole life is also a lie."

While another said: "Tess Daly's real name being Helen is both the most shocking celebrity fact but also the most believable too, because I can't really explain it other than she just gives off massive Helen vibes."

And a third added: "Just found out Tess Daly's real name is Helen."

Meanwhile a fourth commented: "Just my annual #Strictly reminder that Tess Daly’s real name is Helen."

Topics: Celebrity

Lucy Devine
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