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Amanda Louise Holden (born 16 February 1971) is an English actress and presenter. Among her roles are Mia Bevan in Cutting It, Sarah Trevanion in Wild at Heart, and the title role in Thoroughly Modern Millie, for which she was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award. She is one of the judges on Britain's Got Talent.

She is married to record producer Chris Hughes. Her marriage to Family Fortunes presenter Les Dennis ended in divorce in 2003.


Holden was born in Bishop's Waltham, Hampshire to Judith Mary Harrison and Naval petty officer Frank Holden. Her parents split up when she was four and she was brought up in the village of Waltham Chase, by Harrison and stepfather Leslie Drew Collister.[1] She joined the Bishop's Waltham Little Theatre Company when she was nine, and credits Angie Blackford as influential in her early stage career. When she was 16 the family moved to Bournemouth and ran a small B&B while Amanda herself studied Drama and English literature A levels with Terry Clarke and Charles Lamb at the Jellicoe Theatre, now part of Bournemouth and Poole College. She successfully auditioned for the independent drama school Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in the Wood Green area of North London when she was 18, graduating in July 1994.

Television career[]

Her first television appearance was as a contestant on the UK game show Blind Date in 1991, since which she has become a familiar face on British television. Holden appeared in the ITV drama Wild at Heart as Sarah Trevanion. She is currently a judge on Britain's Got Talent alongside Alesha Dixon, Bruno Tonioli and Simon Cowell. She has appeared on various British comedy and drama series such as Smack the Pony, EastEnders, Hearts and Bones, Cutting It and as a co-star with Harry Enfield in comedy series Celeb.[2]

In April 2009, it was reported that the US network CBS had offered Holden the job of one time guest presenter on The Early Show, a daytime talk show.[3] Holden confirmed that she would host the show,[4] and presented alongside regular presenters Harry Smith and Maggie Rodriguez on 1 June.[5] Holden has since been signed up with CBS as a British correspondent for The Early Show.

In July 2009, Holden became a gossip columnist for the News of the World's celebrity orientated magazine Fabulous.[6] In January 2010, she started a new four-part show called Amanda Holden's Fantasy Lives, in which she sampled various aspects of showbusiness life including being a stuntwoman and magician's assistant.

Acting career[]

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 (musical),[2] which closed earlier than expected at the end of June 2004.[7][8]

She appeared in the ITV1 drama Wild at Heart, alongside Stephen Tompkinson. The first series aired in 2006 and a second series followed in early 2007. Series three ran from 20 January to 9 March 2008, after which Holden left the programme. She then appeared as Lizzie the Ring Mistress in the sitcom Big Top (BBC1, 2009), which ran for one series.

Holden's other TV credits include three series of the hit comedy Kiss Me Kate alongside Caroline Quentin, three series of the ITV comedy series The Grimleys, Celeb with Harry Enfield, the critically acclaimed BBC series Hearts and Bones alongside Damian Lewis, the Jonathan Creek episode "The Problem at Gallowes Gate" and a Boxing Day special Marple alongside Geraldine McEwan and John Hannah. She also co-starred with Bill Nighy and Sir Tom Courtenay in Ready When You Are, Mr McGill, Jack Rosenthal's classic comedy drama.

Beginning performances on 6 May 2011, Holden plays Princess Fiona in the original West End production of Shrek the Musical. Based on the 2001 DreamWorks film and the book by William Steig, the show opened at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 14 June 2011.[9]

Personal life[]

Holden married the comedian Les Dennis in June 1995. They had a temporary split in 2000 when Holden's affair with actor Neil Morrissey[10] was exposed in the press, before eventually separating in December 2002 and divorcing in 2003.[11]

On 21 January 2006, Holden gave birth to her first child, Alexa Louise Florence "Lexi" Hughes with fiancé Chris Hughes.[12] She married record producer Hughes at Babington House,[13] Somerset, on 10 December 2008 with former Formula One racing driver David Coulthard acting as the best man. In early January 2011, Holden announced she was pregnant with a baby boy and that he was due to be born in March 2011.[14] On 1 February 2011 her son was stillborn.[15] She had previously suffered a miscarriage in May 2010.[16]

Holden ran the London Marathon in 4 hours and 13 minutes[17] on 13 April 2008, in the name of the Born Free Foundation,[18] having collected public and celebrity sponsors online. She is a vegetarian.[19]

Holden is a fan of Everton Football Club and attends games when her work permits.[20] Holden fronted Everton's breast cancer awareness campaign, sported a limited edition baby pink club shirt, the colour of breast cancer awareness.[21]


Holden campaigned to keep a Sainsbury's out of Bishop's Waltham. Residents of her hometown later accused her of a double standard in November 2010 when she signed a deal with Tesco, the UK's largest supermarket chain.[22]


  • The Door (2010)
  • Amanda Holden's Fantasy Lives (2010) (TV series)
  • Out Of My Depth (2009)
  • Big Top (TV series) (2009–2010)
  • Britain's Got Talent (TV series) (2007–present)
  • Wild at Heart (2006–2008) (TV series)
  • Mad About Alice (2004) (TV series)
  • 4:50 From Paddington (2004) (TV film)
  • Eternal Rectangle (2003) (TV series)
  • Ready When You Are, Mr McGill
  • Celeb (2002) (TV series)
  • Now You See Her (2001) (TV film)
  • Happy Birthday Shakespeare (2000) (TV film)
  • Hearts and Bones (2000) (TV series)
  • The Grimleys (1999–2001) (TV series)
  • Virtual Sexuality (1999) (film)
  • Smack The Pony (1999) (TV series)
  • Don't Go Breaking My Heart (1998) (film)
  • Kiss Me Kate (1998–2001) (TV series)
  • Jonathan Creek (1998) (TV series)
  • Goodness Gracious Me (1998) (TV series)
  • Intimate Relations (1996) (film)
  • EastEnders as Carmen (1994) (TV series)
  • Blind Date (1991) contestant


  1. http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/news/2009/04/18/amanda-holden-s-dad-on-his-30-year-rift-with-the-star-115875-21288219/
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Amanda Holden Biography". www.officialamandaholden.com. http://www.officialamandaholden.com/biography.aspx. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
  3. Britain's Got Talent's Amanda Holden lands US job
  4. "Confirmed: Amanda Holden to Guest Host The Early Show". mediabistro.com. 29 May 2009. http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/cbs/confirmed_amanda_holden_to_guest_host_the_early_show_117685.asp?c=rss. Retrieved 30 May 2009. 
  5. "'We didn't exploit Susan Boyle,' says Amanda Holden as she defends Britain's Got Talent in US media blitz". The Daily Mail (UK). 2 June 2009. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1190231/We-didnt-exploit-Susan-Boyle-says-Amanda-Holden-defends-Britains-Got-Talent-US-media-blitz.html. Retrieved 3 June 2009. 
  6. Calvert, Gemma (26 July 2009). "Lights, Amanda, Action!". News of the World. http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/fabulous/celebs/417924/LIGHTS-AMANDA-ACTION-Amanda-Holden-writes-VIP-column-for-Fabulous.html. Retrieved 26 July 2009. 
  7. "Thoroughly Modern Millie Posts Closing Notices - - News". www.whatsonstage.com. http://www.whatsonstage.com/news/theatre/london/E8821086257644/Thoroughly+Modern+Millie+Posts+Closing+Notices.html. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
  8. "Modern Millie Cast Defends Holden??? - - Gossip". www.whatsonstage.com. http://www.whatsonstage.com/gossip/theatre/london/E8821086888021/Modern+Millie+Cast+Defends+Holden%3F%3F%3F.html. Retrieved 10 May 2010. 
  9. "Amanda Holden to star in Shrek musical". BBC News. 30 July 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-10816624. 
  10. "Holden and Dennis marriage ends". BBC. 27 December 2002. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/2609359.stm. Retrieved 16 July 2010. 
  11. Simpson, Richard (12 May 2008). "The backlash over my affair with Neil Morrissey was the worst time of my life, says Amanda Holden". The Daily Mail (UK). http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-565209/The-backlash-affair-Neil-Morrissey-worst-time-life-says-Amanda-Holden.html. Retrieved 7 December 2009. 
  12. http://showbiz.sky.com/Amandas-Baby-Named-Already
  13. Sunday Times, 10 January 2010.
  14. Sheridan, Emily (3 January 2011). "Amanda Holden pregnant with baby No.2". The Daily Mail. UK. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1343437/Amanda-Holden-pregnant-baby-No-2.html. Retrieved 5 February 2011. 
  15. Sheridan, Emily (5 February 2011). "Amanda Holden loses her unborn baby". The Daily Mail. UK. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1354127/Amanda-Holden-loses-unborn-baby.html. Retrieved 5 February 2011. 
  16. "Amanda Holden loses unborn baby". STV. STV Group plc. 6 February 2011. http://entertainment.stv.tv/tv/226141-amanda-holden-loses-unborn-baby/. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  17. http://www.celebritygenius.com/Amanda-Holden/biography.html
  18. http://www.justgiving.com/amandaholden
  19. Lee-Potter, Adam (6 April 2008). "TV star Amanda Holden on the marathon – mirror.co.uk". Daily Mirror. UK: MGN Ltd. http://www.mirror.co.uk/sunday-mirror/2008/04/06/i-m-wild-about-running-7miles-a-day-has-turned-me-from-a-blob-to-toned-98487-20373493/. Retrieved 6 February 2011. 
  20. [1] Daily Mail: October 2010: Holden stops tweeting long enough to see Toffees win derby.
  21. [2] Everton support breast cancer charity
  22. Amanda Holden accused of double standards over Bishop’s Waltham store plans

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