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Tess Daly attends the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards© getty

Exclusive: Tess Daly opens up about eldest daughter Phoebe flying the nest and why being a mum comes first

The TV star spoke to HELLO! about family life, wellness and her beauty routine

Sophie Hamilton
Parenting Editor
6 days ago
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Tess Daly is known for her 20-year career as one of the UK’s best-loved TV presenters, as well as her marriage to Vernon Kay with whom she shares teenage daughters Phoebe, 19, and Amber, 15. 

Tess, 55, recently waved off their eldest when Phoebe left home to start university, and it hit her hard. "I remember silently sobbing all the way back down the motorway, because she’s my baby, my first-born. I’m her best friend, really. It broke my heart," she says.

Here, Tess opens up about her life on and off camera...

WATCH: Tess Daly and Vernon Kay's love story

Your daughter Phoebe is now at university. How has the transition been for you?

I remember when she first went, with all her bags and her first frying pan… a plate for one, knife and fork for one. I was heartbroken just dropping her off and waving goodbye.

But it was fine, because she was back after a couple of weeks, visiting. She comes back quite regularly.

The pair jetted off to the Dominican Republic© Instagram
Tess and Vernon

How have you found navigating the teenage years? Do you have any tips?

I’m lucky, as I’ve got two really good girls. You have to negotiate those teenage moods and hormones. They want to be in their bedroom, talking to their friends; they want to socialise, but that’s just part of the process.

I’m really hands-on because I just love it. For me, every step along the journey of parenting has been precious, because I know one day they’ll grow up and leave, and I’m not even ready to think about that yet.

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

At HELLO!, we’re creating a space to talk about women’s Second Act – a new confidence gained as we age. Have you experienced that?

What’s wonderful about getting older – or ‘growing up’, as I like to call it – is the fact that you know yourself more. I’m grateful for my family, for my good health.

My babies are now grown-up humans who I can enjoy doing different things with. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Can you tell us the secret to your happy marriage?

God, don’t ask me what the secret is – I have no idea. I guess it’s being completely comfortable together. We get along and it’s just easy. I haven’t got bored of his company yet, and he hasn’t of mine. He’s wonderful.

: Tess Daly and Vernon Kay attend the 2024 BAFTA Television Awards with P&O Cruises at The Royal Festival Hall © GETTY
Tess looking stunning in a white gown

You’re a UK advocate for Simple Skincare. Which are your favourite products?

I’ve been using Simple for my entire adult life. There are no nasties, no colours, no fragrances and no harsh chemicals, and I love that.

I was in Superdrug the other day with my youngest teenager and she said: "Mummy, can I please get a Simple cleanser?" I thought: "This is a full-circle moment."

There’s this gorgeous cream called 'Simple Repairing Rich Cream' that makes your skin feel deeply moisturised. It’s got the most divine texture.

  Simple face cream
Simple face cream

Tess is a Simple Skincare advocate for the new Simple Repairing Rich Cream Face Moisturiser. For more details, visit

Read the full interview in the latest issue of HELLO! on sale in the UK now. You can subscribe to HELLO! to get the magazine delivered free to your door every week or purchase the digital edition online via our Apple or Google apps.

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