Amanda Holden Biography

English actress, singer and television personalityFor the British author, see Amanda Holden (writer).

Amanda Louise Holden (born 16 February 1971) is an English actress and media personality. Since 2007, she has judged on the television talent show competition Britain's Got Talent on ITV.

Holden played the title role in the musical stage show Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2004, for which she was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award. She went on to play the role of Sarah Trevanion in the ITV drama series Wild at Heart (2006–2008). Her other acting credits include The Grimleys (1998–2001), Kiss Me Kate (1999–2001), Cutting It (2002–2004), and Big Top (2009). Holden has also presented various television shows for ITV, including The Sun Military Awards (2009–2014), Superstar (2012), This Morning (2014–2018), Text Santa (2015), and Give a Pet a Home (2015).

In 2019, Holden became the co-host of the Heart Breakfast radio show with Jamie Theakston. The following year, she released her debut studio album, Songs from My Heart.


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Career
    • 2.1 Television
    • 2.2 Theatre
    • 2.3 Film
    • 2.4 Radio
    • 2.5 Music
    • 2.6 Other work
  • 3 Personal life
    • 3.1 Charity work
  • 4 Filmography
    • 4.1 Television
      • 4.1.1 Guest appearances
    • 4.2 Film
    • 4.3 Television advertisements
  • 5 Theatre credits
  • 6 Radio
  • 7 Discography
    • 7.1 Albums
    • 7.2 Singles
  • 8 Bibliography
  • 9 References
  • 10 External links

Early life

Born in Southampton, Holden spent much of her childhood in Bishop's Waltham, and aged nine she joined Bishop's Waltham Little Theatre Company. She attended Swanmore Secondary School (now Swanmore College). At 16 she moved to Bournemouth, before moving to South London to attend Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.



Holden's first television appearance was as a contestant on the game show Blind Date in 1991. From 2006 to 2008, Holden appeared as Sarah Trevanian in three series of ITV's Wild at Heart co-starring Stephen Tompkinson.

Holden's other TV credits include three series of the comedy Kiss Me Kate with Caroline Quentin and Chris Langham, three series of ITV's The Grimleys, Celeb with Harry Enfield, BBC series Hearts and Bones with Damian Lewis, the Jonathan Creek episode "The Problem at Gallowes Gate" and a Boxing Day special Agatha Christie's Marple episode "4.50 From Paddington" opposite Geraldine McEwan and John Hannah. She co-starred with Bill Nighy and Tom Courtenay in Ready When You Are, Mr. McGill, Jack Rosenthal's comedy drama. Holden is a judge on Britain's Got Talent along with Simon Cowell, David Walliams, and Alesha Dixon. She joined the show in 2006.

She has appeared on British series such as Smack the Pony, EastEnders, Hearts and Bones and Cutting It.

In 2009 Holden appeared as Lizzie, the Ring Mistress in BBC circus sitcom Big Top. In April 2009 it was reported the US network CBS had offered Holden a job as one-time guest presenter on The Early Show, a daytime talk show. On 1 June 2009 she appeared with regular presenters Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez. Holden has since signed up with CBS as a British correspondent for The Early Show.

From 2009 until 2014, Holden co-presented A Night of Heroes: The Sun Military Awards annually on ITV with Phillip Schofield. In January 2010, she presented her own four-part series, Amanda Holden's Fantasy Lives, in which she tried out four of her dream jobs, including working as a showgirl in Paris and a magician's assistant in Las Vegas.

In 2010, Holden co-presented The Door with Chris Tarrant. In 2011, Holden narrated the documentary The Nation's Favourite Bee Gees Song on ITV. On 6 July 2012, Holden guest presented an episode of Lorraine, standing in for Lorraine Kelly. She returned to guest present six further episodes of the show from 4 to 8 April and on 4 July 2016.

In 2012 Holden presented talent show Superstar on ITV. On 24 March 2014 she hosted an episode of the Channel 4 show Dispatches about the treatment for stillbirths and miscarriages.

Holden in 2012

From 22 September to 18 December 2014, Holden filled in as a co-host on This Morning with Phillip Schofield during Holly Willoughby's maternity leave. She took a short break in January and February 2015 to record the Britain's Got Talent auditions. Christine Lampard stood in for Holden during this time, before the latter returned to the show from 2 March until 17 July 2015. She returned to This Morning in 2017, to co-present numerous episodes with Ben Shephard.

Holden presented a six-part factual series for ITV called Give a Pet a Home, which worked alongside the RSPCA finding homes for animals. The series aired in April and May 2015.

On 18 December 2015 Holden was part of the presenting team for ITV's Christmas telethon Text Santa. In 2016 she presented I've Got Something To Tell You, a factual series for the W television channel. She appeared as Miss Pentangle in CBBC's The Worst Witch in 2017.


Holden has appeared in several stage musicals and in 2004 was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in the West End production of Thoroughly Modern Millie, which closed earlier than expected in June 2004.

Holden finished playing the role Princess Fiona in the original West End production of Shrek The Musical, which began on 6 May 2011. The show opened at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on 14 June 2011. She starred with Nigel Lindsay, Richard Blackwood and Nigel Harman. Holden departed the show on 3 October 2011, ten weeks earlier than planned, to focus on her unborn child and was replaced by Girls Aloud singer Kimberley Walsh. For this role, Holden won the Theatregoers' Choice Award for Best Actress in a Musical. In 2016, Holden starred in a West End revival of Stepping Out and reprised her role when it opened at the Vaudeville Theatre in March 2017.


In 1996 Holden played Pamela in Intimate Relations. In 1999 she appeared as a shoe-shop assistant in Virtual Sexuality. She was uncredited in the 2013 film One Chance.


In April 2019 it was announced Holden would replace Emma Bunton as co-host of Heart Breakfast with Jamie Theakston, at the same time as it went national on 3 June.


In 2020 Holden released her debut studio album, Songs from My Heart, through Universal Music. It reached number four on the UK Albums Chart.

Other work

In July 2009 Holden became a gossip columnist for the News of the World.

From 2010 until 2012 Holden appeared in television commercial adverts for supermarket chain Tesco. Since 2012 she has appeared in television commercials for Danone Oykos low-fat yoghurt.

In October 2013 Amanda released her autobiography, called No Holding Back, which became a Sunday Times best-seller.

In 2015 she was the new face of the Alpen Brighter Morning Challenge.

In 2019 Holden signed a recording contract with Virgin EMI Records.

Personal life

Holden married comedian Les Dennis in June 1995. The couple separated temporarily in 2000 after Holden's affair with actor Neil Morrissey was the subject of press interest, before separating permanently in December 2002 and divorcing in 2003. Around this time, she alleged she was sexually assaulted by an "unnamed famous comedian" at a public event.

In 2006 Holden gave birth to her first child, conceived with her fiancé, record producer Chris Hughes. She married Hughes at Babington House, Somerset, on 10 December 2008 with former Formula One racing driver David Coulthard acting as best man. After a miscarriage in 2010, she suffered their son being stillborn at seven months in 2011. In 2012, despite medical complications, she gave birth to their second daughter. Holden and Hughes live in Surrey. Holden also owns a cottage in the Cotswolds which she has been renovating since 2017.

In 2010 Holden campaigned to keep a Sainsbury's supermarket out of Bishop's Waltham. Residents of her home town later accused her of a double standard in November 2010 when she signed a deal to appear in advertisements for Tesco, the UK supermarket chain.

In December 2016 Holden's ancestry was the subject of a BBC programme in the Who Do You Think You Are? series. The investigation discovered that her Cornish 5x great-grandfather Collin Thomas served a year's imprisonment, after breaking his apprenticeship as a cordwainer, by enlisting in the Royal Navy and leaving the United Kingdom aged 15. Ten years later, while serving in the British Army after the Peninsular War, he met and married a French woman and began a family near Bordeaux, France, before then moving his wife and eldest children back to Great Britain. In addition, it transpired that her grandfather Frank Holden, a psychiatric nurse, was aboard the RMS Lancastria, when it was bombed by the German Luftwaffe in June 1940 outside the port of Saint-Nazaire and sank with the loss of thousands of lives. Frank Holden died by suicide in his 70s.

Holden has been a long-standing fan of English Premier League football club Everton, attending home and away games when her schedule allows. She has been vegetarian since she was thirteen.

She is a grand-niece of actress Jan Holden (1931–2005).

Charity work

Holden fronted Everton's breast cancer awareness campaign, sporting a limited-edition baby pink club shirt, the colour of breast-cancer awareness. She is a patron of the football club's charity, Everton In the Community. In September 2011, Holden was sponsored to bake a cake for every child in the Great Ormond Street Hospital.

On 13 April 2008 Holden ran the London Marathon in 4 hours and 13 minutes, in the name of the Born Free Foundation, having collected public and celebrity sponsors online. Since 2013, she has presented the RSPCA's Animal Hero Awards. Holden has raised money for Jeans for Genes and SSAFA via The Big Brew Up.

In 2013 she became a celebrity ambassador for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, following her work with Pedigree's 'Buy One, Feed One' campaign that she, along with Paul O'Grady have been supporting together. O'Grady is also an ambassador for the Battersea home.

In June 2018 Holden was photographed underwater by Zena Holloway. She posed as a mermaid in an awareness campaign for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to highlight the "disgusting treatment" of orcas at SeaWorld. Holden has also posed nude for PETA in a campaign to promote vegetarianism.

In 2020 Holden raised money for the National Health Service (NHS) during the COVID-19 pandemic.



Guest appearances

  • The Jack Docherty Show (1998)
  • Loose Women (2000, 2002, 2013, 2020)
  • Richard & Judy (2002)
  • The Kumars at No. 42 (2003)
  • The Dame Edna Treatment (2007)
  • Happy Hour (2007)
  • Alan Carr: Chatty Man (2009, 2012, 2013, 2014)
  • The Paul O'Grady Show (2009, 2013)
  • The One Show (2009, 2013)
  • Ant & Dec's Christmas Show (2009)
  • Magic Numbers (2010)
  • The Graham Norton Show (2010, 2013, 2014, 2015)
  • The Alan Titchmarsh Show (2011, 2013)
  • Paul O'Grady Live (2011)
  • The Talent Show Story (2012)
  • Comic Relief: Simon Cowell's Wedding (2013)
  • Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway (2013, 2018)
  • The One and Only Cilla Black (2013)
  • Up Late with Rylan (2016)
  • Who Do You Think You Are? (2016)
  • Alan Carr's Happy Hour (2016)
  • Have I Got News for You (2017)
  • This Morning (2018)
  • Celebrity Juice (2019)
  • Blockbuster (2019)
  • Sunday Brunch (2020)


Television advertisements

Theatre credits




  • Songs from My Heart (2020)


  • "Over the Rainbow" (single in aid of NHS Charities Together) (2020), Virgin EMI
  • "With You" (2020), Virgin EMI


  • No Holding Back (autobiography)
  • The Curious Tale of Fi-Rex (novel) (co-writer)


    External links

    • Official website
    • Amanda Holden at IMDb
    Amanda Holden