Cotton at the 2014 Ambassador for Tesco Mum of the Year Awards
3 September 1981|
Northwood, Greater London, England
|Other names||Fearne Wood|
|Spouse(s)||Jesse Wood (m. 2014)|
Sir Bill Cotton, CBE (first cousin, twice removed)|
Billy Cotton (great-great uncle)
Ronnie Wood (father-in-law)
Fearne Wood (born 3 September 1981), known professionally by her maiden name Cotton, is an English television and radio presenter, best known for presenting a number of popular television programmes such as Top of the Pops and the Red Nose Day telethons.
In 2007, she became the first regular female presenter of the Radio 1 Chart Show, which she co-hosted with Reggie Yates for two years. She went on to present her own Radio 1 show, airing every weekday morning since 2009. She left Radio 1 in May 2015.
Cotton began her career with CITV in 1996, when she presented The Disney Club at 15 years of age, but is today best known for her role as a mainstream television and radio presenter and fashion designer.
Away from presenting, Cotton has her own fashion and homeware range with online retailer Very.co.uk and supports several charities in her spare time.
Cotton was born in Northwood, London to Mick and Lyn Cotton; she has a younger brother, Jamie Cotton. Her father was a signwriter for events such as Live Aid and her mother worked in alternative therapy. She grew up in Eastcote, Hillingdon in Middlesex and was educated at Haydon School. She is a pescatarian and an animal lover. She runs 5 km at least three times a week, and has participated in several half marathons for charity. Former BBC executive Bill Cotton (1928–2008) was her paternal grandfather's cousin. He was the son of the well-known entertainer and band leader Billy Cotton.
Cotton studied art at A level, a skill she made much use of whilst presenting the series Draw Your Own Toons.
Cotton began her presenting career in 1996, at the age of 15, with early morning GMTV children's programme The Disney Club, after winning a competition for young talent to present the show. After, Cotton continued with the show and with its replacement Diggit. She left in 2000, to concentrate on her other projects with CITV, including Draw Your Own Toons and Mouse, aimed at encouraging children to use computers.
Cotton joined CBBC in 2001 to present children's science programme Eureka TV. From 2001 until 2003, she presented Finger Tips, an arts and crafts programme for children, which she co-presented with Stephen Mulhern. She later co-presented on CBBC's Sunday morning show, Smile and on The Saturday Show. She has also made appearances in the CBBC show Only in America, alongside her good friend and fellow presenter Reggie Yates.
In 2007, she took over from Ben Shephard as the host of The X Factor spin-off programme, The Xtra Factor on ITV2. She presented it for one series before resigning to work in America. She was replaced the following series by Holly Willoughby. She also presented The X Factor: Interactive DVD Game in 2007.
Since 2008, Cotton has appeared as a team captain on the ITV2 comedy panel show Celebrity Juice alongside host Keith Lemon and fellow team captain Holly Willoughby. Cotton took a short break from the programme in 2013 whilst on maternity leave and so during the ninth series, Kelly Brook stood in for her.
Since 2009, Cotton has hosted Fearne and... on ITV2. In 2012, Cotton hosted The Nation's Favourite Number One Single, a three-part series, revealing Britain's Favourite No. 1 single. Since 2016, Cotton has co-presented Fearne & Gok: Off The Rails, alongside Gok Wan for ITVBe.
In 2003, Cotton moved over to mainstream broadcasting. She along with Simon Grant (her co-presenter from The Saturday Show) presented the spin-off show Top of the Pops: Saturday (later renamed Top of the Pops: Reloaded) that year. In 2004, she moved up to work alongside Reggie Yates on the main programme, Top Of The Pops (the then flagship chartshow for the BBC) becoming one of the last regular presenters for that programme, which ended in July 2006. Due to other commitments, she was unable to present the final show itself, appearing instead in a short film shown at the head of that show, in which she made her personal farewells. Cotton and Yates presented the one-off Christmas and New Year specials in both 2008 and 2009, as well as the Comic Relief special in 2009.
Cotton has also presented many charity telethons for both Comic Relief and Children in Need on BBC One and BBC Two. In July 2005 she co-presented the BBC's coverage of Live 8 in Hyde Park. During the event, British pop star and former Take That member Robbie Williams flirted with her in front of the cameras, causing much speculation in the media at the time, but which was later repudiated by the pair. In 2008, she hosted a Strictly Come Dancing special as part of Children in Need.
In June 2012, Cotton was one of the BBC's presenters for its coverage of the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant.
In 2008, Cotton moved to the USA to host The Guinness Book of Records – Live. Cotton later co-hosted the NBC reality show Last Comic Standing. Cotton was also seen making a special appearance on the show of Katie Price and Peter Andre, where she was seen in a gift lounge before the Oscars.
Eurovision Song Contest
Cotton has presented parts of the BBC's coverage of the Eurovision Song Contest.
On 17 March 2007, she, along with Terry Wogan, hosted Making Your Mind Up 2007, the show to decide which song the UK sent to the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 in Helsinki, Finland. On the night, after the final "sing-off" between the two remaining acts, Wogan and Cotton simultaneously announced different winners. Since Wogan was the more experienced presenter, it was assumed that he was right. In fact, Wogan had accidentally announced the wrong artist, Cyndi, as the winner. Cotton had to persist in repeating the correct name until the confusion was resolved. The group Scooch was quickly proclaimed as the correct winner but came only second from bottom in the main competition, just avoiding Nil Points. Cotton also presented the United Kingdom's votes at the show itself, held in Helsinki, Finland on 12 May 2007.
BBC Radio 1
In September 2005, she joined BBC Radio 1 to present the Friday early morning slot with Reggie Yates, whom she had previously worked with on CBBC, Only in America and Top Of The Pops. Since 14 October 2007, Cotton and Yates presented BBC Radio 1's Chart Show, taking over from JK & Joel, who had left the station. Cotton then became the first ever permanent female presenter of a BBC radio chart show. (Jo Whiley had preceded her as the first female presenter of The Official UK Top 40, as it was then called, but presented it only once, on 24 November 2002.)
On 27 February 2015, she announced that she was pregnant with her second child and that she would be leaving BBC Radio 1. Clara Amfo replaced Cotton in 2015, taking over the mid-morning show. Cotton's final show was broadcast on 22 May 2015.
BBC Radio 2
Cotton joined BBC Radio 2 in July 2016 standing in for Graham Norton with former Spandau Ballet bassist Martin Kemp on Saturday mornings (10 am–1 pm) while Norton took his annual summer break. Fearne covered for Ken Bruce for a week, commencing on Monday 24 October 2016.
Cotton and Holly Willoughby wrote an advice book entitled The Best Friends' Guide to Life which was published in October 2010.
Cotton said on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross that she has eleven tattoos over her body, the most notable of which is a fern leaf, covering her right hip up to her rib cage.
Cotton dated skateboarder Jesse Jenkins who proposed on her 29th birthday. However, the engagement was called off and the couple split nine months later. Cotton starting dating Jesse Wood, the son of Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood. On 8 August 2012, Cotton announced she was pregnant with her first child, and on 21 February 2013, she announced on Twitter that she had given birth that morning to a son, Rex Rayne Wood. Wood and Cotton got married in July 2014. On 27 February 2015, Cotton announced that she was expecting her second child as part of her announcement that she was leaving BBC Radio 1. On 9 September 2015, she announced on Twitter that she had given birth that morning to a daughter, Honey Krissy Wood.
Cotton is good friends with fellow TV presenter Holly Willoughby, with whom she has co-presented several shows. Cotton and Sarah Cawood acted as two of the bridesmaids at Willoughby's wedding to Dan Baldwin on 4 August 2007.
It was reported in the press on 21 July 2009, that whilst presenting the Radio 1 Chart Show two days previously Cotton had been the target of threatening text messages. These messages had been sent via the station's listener SMS service and seem to relate to Cotton taking over Jo Whiley's show. Cotton was driven home after the show by police escort and a 21-year-old man was arrested and charged with harassment.
In 2009, she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, alongside Ben Shephard, Gary Barlow, Alesha Dixon, Ronan Keating, Denise Van Outen and Chris Moyles, and Girls Aloud members Cheryl Cole and Kimberley Walsh. Cotton and others collapsed from altitude sickness during the five-day climb. She was in the first group (with Van Outen, Shephard and Cole) to reach the summit and helped raise £3.3m. Cotton filmed a video piece for Comic Relief about malaria. She visited a children's hospital in Uganda where she witnessed a young child in pain through malaria. Cotton had to walk out the room and collapsed as she did so but was able to continue shortly after. The child died later. Cotton also recorded her voice for the BT Speaking Clock to raise funds for Comic Relief. In 2011, she appeared in an all-in-one swimsuit after viewers of Alan Carr's Late Hour of Red Nose Day donated over £1M to the charity via more than 100,000 text messages in less than an hour, joking that she felt she looked like a 13-year-old boy.
Following more than 4,000 complaints made about the BBC's coverage of the Diamond Jubilee in the summer of 2012 and in particular criticism of Cotton's role, she responded on Twitter by stating, "Grown men who slag me off in articles/online are huge bullies. I love my job and wouldn't be doing it if I wasn't any good at it...Im [sic] from a working-class family and have worked hard to get to where I am today. Others will just sit and do nothing but judge."
- Diggit (1998–2001) – Presenter
- Petswap (2001) – Presenter
- Finger Tips (2001–03) – Co-presenter, with Stephen Mulhern
- The Saturday Show (2002–03) – Presenter
- Smile (2002–04) – Presenter
- Serious... (2002) – Presenter
- Top of the Pops Reloaded (2003–05) – Presenter
- Top of the Pops (2004–06) – Co-presenter, with Reggie Yates
- Live 8 (2005) - Co-presenter, with Jonathan Ross, Jo Whiley and Graham Norton
- Only in America (2005) – Presenter, with Reggie Yates
- Children in Need (2005–2015) – Co-presenter
- Love Island (2006) – Presenter
- Make Me a Supermodel (2006) – Presenter
- Eurovision Song Contest (2006–07)
- Brit Awards (2007, 2009–10)
- Oscars (2007)
- Making Your Mind Up (2007)
- Concert for Diana (2007)
- Comic Relief (2007, 2009, 2011) – Co-presenter
- Last Comic Standing (2008)
- Nelson Mandela: Happy 90th Birthday (2008)
- The Xtra Factor (2007) – Presenter
- Holly & Fearne Go Dating (2007)
- Guilty Pleasures (2008)
- Everybody Dance Now! (2008)
- Celebrity Juice (2008–present) – Team Captain
- Guinness World Records Smashed (2008) – Presenter
- 2009 Golden Globes (2009)
- Baftas 2009 (2009)
- Oscars 2009: Live from the Red Carpet (2009)
- The Truth about Online Anorexia (2009)
- Isle of Wight Festival (2009, 2010)
- iTunes Live Festival (2009–10)
- Fearne and.... (2009–present) – Presenter
- Must Be The Music (2010) – Presenter
- 2011 Brit Awards Nominations (2011) – Presenter
- BBC Royal Wedding Coverage (2011) – Reporter
- The Nation's Favourite Number One Single (2012) – Presenter
- BBC Thames Jubilee Pageant Coverage (2012) – Reporter
- The One Show (2013, 2014, 2016) – Guest presenter
- Baftas 2014: Live from the Red Carpet (2014)
- Teletubbies (2015–present) - Voice of the Voice Trumpets
- Fearne & Gok: Off The Rails (2016) – Co-presenter
- Guest appearances
- A Night In Paris (2003)
- Backseat Bangers (2004)
- Never Mind the Buzzcocks (2003, 2004, 2005, 2009) – Panellist
- Dick and Dom In Da Bungalow (2006)
- "BBC Radio 1 - Fearne Cotton, Vintage Paramore Live Lounge". BBC.
- "Fearne Cotton: I'd have gone for Prince William if I was single". The Mail Online. 18 August 2007. Retrieved 14 March 2009.
- "The 5-Minute Interview: Fearne Cotton, TV presenter". The Independent. 21 February 2007. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
- Revealed in The Truth about Anorexia shown on ITV1 9 April 2009
- "Run, walk or jog the adidas Women's 5K Challenge". healthandfitnessonline.co.uk. 16 July 2008. Retrieved 9 April 2009.
- "Fearne Cotton: Biography". TV.com. Retrieved 14 March 2009.
- "TV Fearne Cottoning on to art". Daily Mirror. 23 January 2006. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
- "BBC Radio 1 - Fearne Cotton - Fearne Cotton Profile". BBC.
- "Gone but not forCotton". The Sun. 6 February 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
- "Exclusive: Fearne Cotton on her Rock 'n' Roll loves". Daily Mirror. 7 July 2005. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
- "Fearne Cotton Hosts Exciting Sky1 Show". Sky 1. 16 June 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
- "Fearne's Leaving Us". Sky News. 23 January 2008. Retrieved 23 January 2008.
- "Cotton quits 'X Factor' role for US". Digital Spy. 6 February 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2008.
- Barry Viniker (24 February 2007). "UK Presenters announced". esctoday.com. Retrieved 9 April 2007.
- "Eurovision gaffe 'not technical'". BBC News. 19 March 2007. Retrieved 9 April 2007.
- "Scooch fail to fly Eurovision Flag l'". Daily Express. 12 May 2007. Retrieved 23 December 2008.
- "TV presenter Cotton joins Radio 1". BBC News. 10 August 2005. Retrieved 9 April 2007.
- "All Change At Radio 1". BBC Radio 1. 6 September 2007. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 6 September 2007.
- Kadri, Anisa (16 July 2009). "Cotton to replace Whiley on Radio 1". Digital Spy. Retrieved 20 July 2009.
- "Radio 1 bosses replace Jo Whiley, 44, with Fearne Cotton, 27, in prized weekday slot". Mail Online. 16 July 2009. Retrieved 16 July 2009.
- Plunkett, John (16 July 2009). "Jo Whiley and Edith Bowman lose weekday BBC Radio 1 slots". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 July 2009.
- Denham, Jess (27 February 2015). "Fearne Cotton quits Radio 1 after ten years for 'family and new adventures'". The Independent. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- Fearne Cotton moves to BBC Radio 2
- Willoughby, Cotton, Holly, Fearne (14 October 2010). The Best Friends' Guide to Life. Vermilion. ISBN 978-0-09-193540-5.
- "Fearne Cotton: 'I'm a tattoo addict'". Digital Spy. 7 July 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
- "Fearne Cotton is engaged". The Sun. 7 September 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2010.
- Fearne Cotton announces split from fiancé Jesse Jenkins – Daily Mail, 23 May 2011
- Nadia Mendoza (10 November 2011). "Jesse Wood introduces girlfriend Fearne Cotton, 30, to dad Ronnie Wood, 64, (whose own lover is five years younger)". Daily Mail. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
- Fearne Cotton expecting first child with boyfriend Jesse Wood Paul Martinovic, Digital Spy, 8 August 2012
- "Twitter / Fearnecotton: Jesse and I are over the moon ...". Fearne Cotton, Twitter. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
- Shenton, Zoe (27 February 2015). "Fearne Cotton is Pregnant!". The Mirror. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- "Exclusive: Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby on men and marriage". Daily Mirror. 14 August 2006. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
- Sarah Dale (24 September 2007). "'I do' followed by a bit of a do". Evening Gazette. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2008.
- "Radio 1 DJ Fearne Cotton escorted home by police after receiving death threat texts". MailOnline. 21 July 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
- "Celebrity climbers reach summit". BBC.co.uk. 7 March 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2009.
- "New voices on the BT speaking clock celebrities give the time of day to Comic Relief". BT press releases. 3 March 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2009.
- "Fearne Cotton accuses BBC jubilee critics of being 'huge bullies'". The Guardian. London. 8 June 2012.