Cat Deeley's rise to fame as she's set to become a This Morning host

Cat Deeley is making a comeback to our screens: How SMTV legend who rose to fame alongside Ant and Dec in the late 90s before hitting the big time in America is being touted to replace Holly Willoughby on This Morning

  • Cat Deeley shot to fame on SM:TV Live in 1998 with Ant and Dec as well as CD:UK
  • She moved to US in 2006 and became So You Think You Can Dance’s presenter
  • Deeley, 47, who is married to Patrick Kielty, is set to join This Morning next week 

With Cat Deeley expected to return to our screens on This Morning next week, many viewers will likely be thinking back to her rise to fame on 1990s children’s television.

The 47-year-old presenter, actress and model was part of a much-loved trio with Ant and Dec on SM:TV Live on ITV and also hosted its spin-off pop music show CD:UK.

She is now set to host ITV’s This Morning from next week as the broadcaster looks to replace Holly Willoughby who said last month that she was quitting after 14 years.

On Monday and Tuesday next week, it is anticipated that Deeley will step in to host alongside Rylan Clark before she co-presents with Craig Doyle on Wednesday.

Doyle and Alison Hammond will host the show on Thursday before Hammond and Dermot O’Leary will present their Friday programme together as usual.

Patrick Kielty and Cat Deeley attend the ‘Ballywalter’ film premiere in London on September 18

Cat Deeley at the Sunset Tower Hotel in Los Angeles on September 19, 2019

Deeley reunited with Ant and Dec in December 2020 for an SM:TV reunion special on ITV

Cat Deeley moved to the US in 2006 and has presented So You Think You Can Dance ever since

Ant and Dec with Cat Deeley in 2001 at the height of their success on SM:TV Live on ITV

Cat Deeley was part of a much-loved trio with Ant and Dec on SM:TV Live, pictured in 2000

SM:TV Live often featured the hosts dancing to the Carpenters song ‘Please Mr Postman’ 

SM:TV Live featured a fan-favourite comedy segment called Chums that parodied Friends

Deeley, who was born in West Bromwich in 1976, began her career as a model in her teenage years before hosting MTV chart show Hitlist UK with Edith Bowman and then joining SM:TV from 1998.

READ MORE Cat Deeley wows in a silver slip dress at fashion bash as she steps out for first time since being ‘revealed as new This Morning host’ 

She spent four years hosting the show alongside Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, and it featured a fan-favourite comedy segment called Chums that parodied Friends.

The programme also become known for showing the Pokémon cartoon series, the accompanying ‘PokéRap’, a phone competition called ‘Wonkey Donkey’ and the sketch segment ‘Dec Says’.

But it was Chums that was perhaps the most famous part of the show, taking part on a set that mimicked Monica Geller’s apartment in the US comedy.

Chums saw the trio joined by an array of celebrity guests, from Tom Jones to Carol Vorderman and Mariah Carey.

Fans were hooked on Dec and Deeley’s fictional will-they-won’t-they romance during the sketch, and hoped each week the pair would finally kiss before being rudely interrupted.

Chums came to an end when Ant and Dec said goodbye to SM:TV, and concluded with Dec and Deeley finally kissing despite a disastrous wedding day.

The trio then appeared in a special one-off sketch in SM:TV’s final episode in 2003, before Ant and Dec briefly revived it on Saturday Night Takeaway in March 2021, with Deeley appearing for an amusing reunion.

Twenty years after the wedding, Deeley and Dec reunited, when it emerged that Ant had forgotten to sign their marriage certificate all those years ago.

Deeley spent four years hosting SM:TV Live alongside Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly

Ant and Dec briefly revived Chums on Saturday Night Takeaway, with Deeley appearing in 2021

Ant McPartlin, Cat Deeley and Declan Donnelly in a publicity photo for SM:TV Live in 1998

Deeley, pictured with Ant and Dec, also hosted SM:TV Live’s spin-off pop music show CD:UK

Cat Deeley fronted SM:TV Live with Ant and Dec from 1998 until 2002 (pictured in 1998)

Deeley hosted the Brit Awards 2004 when she famously arrived on top of a champagne bottle

Samantha Cameron with Cat Deeley during a party in Beverly Hills on September 26, 2007 

Deeley also reunited with Ant and Dec in December 2020 for an SM:TV reunion special on ITV during which they looked back at the story of the show.

READ MORE Sarah Ferguson joins the queue to replace Holly Willoughby on This Morning after the Duchess Of York impressed on Loose Women

After rising to fame on SM:TV, Deeley had various other TV credits such as Fame Academy, which she presented in 2002 with Patrick Kielty – whom she later married in 2012.

Deeley also presented Stars In The Eyes between 2003 and 2006 and hosted the Brit Awards in 2004 when she famously arrived at Earl’s Court in London on top of a champagne bottle wearing suspenders and fishnets.

In 2006 she moved Stateside to pursue a presenting career in the US, and started hosting entertainment show So You Think You Can Dance? in its second series, presenting every episode since.

Other famous credits including appearing as herself in Peter Kay’s Britain’s Got the Pop Factor, Life’s Too Short and House of Lies.

She was married to businessman Mark Whelan between 2001 and 2006, but then married fellow TV presenter Kielty in 2012 in Rome.

The couple, who have two sons, had been living in California but moved to North London in 2020 after Kielty and their eldest child Milo were caught up in a shooting at the Century City Mall in Los Angeles.

Kielty is the new host of Irish chat show The Late Late Show, having taken over from Ryan Tubridy.

Deeley’s move to This Morning comes after Willoughby, 42, announced that she would be stepping down from the programme after 14 years in the role.

Prince Harry with Cat Deeley at The Prince’s Trust 30th anniversary concert in May 2006

Vernon Kay, Cat Deeley and Simon Amstell present Channel 4’s V Festival coverage in 2004

Cat Deeley presenter Fame Academy in 2002 with Patrick Kielty, whom she married in 2012

Deeley began her career as a model and then joined SM:TV with Ant and Dec from 1998

Deeley hosts the TV Hits Awards 2000 with Dermot O’Leary, who is now a This Morning host

Deeley is pictured in 1998 after she was voted the ‘7th most beautiful girl’ in FHM magazine

Since Willoughby’s departure, presenters including Doyle, Clark, Hammond and Rochelle Humes have been hosting the programme.

READ MORE Cat Deeley ‘joins This Morning’ after Holly Willoughby quit the show and will make her debut on the sofa with co-host Rylan Clark

Willoughby had announced her departure in a post to Instagram where she wrote: ‘I have let ITV know today that after 14 years, I will not be returning to This Morning.’

‘To everyone who has ever worked on the show over the years, thank you so so much. This is such a difficult goodbye, you are incredible and I forever will be proud of what we’ve done together.’

Willoughby’s former co-host Phillip Schofield left the show in May after he admitted to a relationship with a younger male former colleague.

Following Schofield’s departure from This Morning, chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall said in a letter, sent to culture secretary Lucy Frazer, that ITV had asked a barrister to lead a review of the facts.

Bosses have said both Schofield and his former lover ‘repeatedly denied’ allegations of a relationship until the star quit ITV and formally apologised.

Following Schofield’s departure, the daytime programme has faced scrutiny, including claims the show fostered a ‘toxic’ bullying culture.

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