In 1996 ITV embarked on a nationwide talent search to find a presenter to front their brand new kids TV show Disney Club. Eventually, they stumbled upon a 15 year old girl from Northwood called Fearne Cotton. The rest, as they say, is history!
Now 29 years old, Fearne has spent over a decade presenting an incredible variety of TV and Radio programmes, and shows no sign of slowing down. The Disney Club led to a three year stint as co-presenter of GMTV’s Diggit, which in turn led to Fearne fronting several programmes for CITV.
Most children’s television presenters find themselves at one stage in their career subjected to the uncomfortable prospect of being ‘gunged’. Fearne was no exception, as CITV’s ‘youth activity game show’ Pump it Up saw her running through copious amounts of the green stuff all in the name of entertainment.
Draw Your Own Toons saw Fearne put her art A-level to good use, as she helped teach viewers the basics in Disney art and animation. Fearne’s artistic ability and natural flare for creativity didn’t go unnoticed, and in 2000 she began filming what would become three series of CITV’s Finger Tips. The programme encouraged viewers to create artistic masterpieces using common, household objects. 2000 also saw Fearne host Pet Swap, an animal related action game show.
In July 2001, Fearne began hosting Mouse, a daily interactive internet event that encouraged children to use their computers. The following year, Fearne co-hosted the 30th and final series of Record Breakers and the one off special Prom in the Park.
Soon after, Fearne hopped from CITV to CBBC, and began to host a whole package of programming including two series of the youth science show Eureka, and Call the Shots, a show that delved into the behind the scenes world of film-making.
Saturday morning’s have long been the pinnacle of children’s entertainment, and it wasn’t long before Fearne made the move to present CBBC’s flagship Saturday morning programme The Saturday Show, alongside Sunday morning’s BBC 2 programme Smile.
In 2003, Fearne bravely took on Comic Relief Does Fame Academy and in her own words ‘murdered’ the song Driftwood by Travis. It seems – despite her own opinions – the music world took a liking to Fearne because in September of the same year she began presenting the all new Top of the Pops Saturday alongside her other regular commitment Smile.
Top of the Pops developed a bit of a crush on Fearne, and in 2005 she became the official presenter of the main programme, following in the footsteps of legends such as music prodigy John Peel and the cigar toting, jewellery jangling Jimmy Saville. Alongside the main show, Fearne also took on the hosting duties of its Saturday morning sister programme Top of the Pops Reloaded.
2005 proved to be a phenomenally busy year for Fearne, as throughout the summer she jetted to the States with Reggie Yates to film the CBBC show Only in America, which was broadcast the following autumn. Despite her busy summer schedule, Fearne still managed to find the time to host one of the most significant cultural events of the year, when she co-presented the live coverage of the historic concert Live8.
Fearne continued her work for good causes when in November she was chosen to join the presenting team for Children In Need alongside Terry Wogan and Natasha Kaplinski. In 2006, Fearne designed an exclusive Pudsey T shirt in the run up to the appeal that incorporated a contemporary henna-style design of the famous yellow bear.
The summer of 2006 proved an eventful one, as Fearne jetted out to the tropical paradise of Fiji to film ITV1’s series Celebrity Love Island alongside Patrick Kielty. To this day Fearne regards the two month experience as one of the best of her life. She then returned to UK screens at the end of October to host four live shows of Make Me a Super Model for Channel 5.
Despite a hectic travelling schedule, Fearne somehow managed to shoehorn in an incredibly successful move to Radio 1, where she began hosting a Friday morning show with fellow presenter and best mate, Reggie Yates.
The show was a huge success and quickly both Fearne and Reggie were signed up to host the weekend breakfast show every Saturday and Sunday morning from 7am till 10am. October 2007 saw the duo move their Radio 1 slot to a Saturday afternoon as well as hosting the prestigious UK Top 40 on a Sunday afternoon.
2007 got off to an amazing start with Fearne presenting the backstage coverage for ITV1 at The Brits, followed by a trip to LA to host The Oscars Red Carpet coverage at the 79th Annual Academy Awards for Sky One. Fearne then opened Comic Relief with Lenny Henry and Jonathan Ross.
Later in the year, Fearne was honoured to be asked to carry out the only UK interview with Prince William and Prince Harry in lead up to The Concert for Diana. The concert was a huge success and Fearne co-presented the day for the BBC, which was broadcast across the globe.
The remainder of 2007 saw a busy Fearne co-host Eurovision show Making Your Mind Up alongside Terry Wogan on BBC1, and launch her own prime time dating show with pal Holly Willoughby for ITV1, Holly & Fearne Go Dating. Alongside this, Fearne also took over the reins at ITV2’s massively successful show The Xtra Factor, the spin off show to ITV’s huge entertainment programme The X Factor.
2008 saw Fearne again presenting the backstage coverage at The Brits and hosting the ITV1 special Guilty Pleasures, a music show based on the successful club night of the same name.
Fearne also recently caught the eye of US TV execs, flying to LA to host her own one-off prime time special for NBC, Guinness World Records – Live. On the back of this, Fearne was then offered the co-host role on NBC’s successful reality show Last Comic Standing, which saw her travel across the US looking for comedy’s next big thing.
September came and Fearne hosted the ITV1 Saturday night special Everybody Dance Now, which took viewers on a nostalgic trip through some of the best (and cheesiest) dance crazes from NightFever to The Macarena. Whilst Fearne didn’t bust a move herself, the night was a dancing spectacular that featured some of the most influential routines of the past few decades.
Along with her Radio 1 shows, Fearne can currently be seen as a team captain on ITV2’s new celebrity panel show Celebrity Juice with mates Keith Lemon and Holly Willoughby. Never one to shy away from a red carpet Fearne flew out to the host the 81st Academy Awards for Sky 1 before swapping her heels for wellies as she kicked off the festival season 09 with the Isle of Wight festival shows for ITV2.