Cotton at the 2014 Ambassador for Tesco Mum of the Year Awards
|Born||3 September 1981|
Northwood, Greater London, England
|Other names||Fearne Wood|
|Jesse Wood (m. 2014)|
|Relatives||Ronnie Wood (father-in-law) |
Billy Cotton (great-granduncle)
Sir Bill Cotton, CBE (second cousin, twice removed)
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 from 2009 to 2015. She joined BBC Radio 2 in 2016.
In 2007, Cotton presented The Xtra Factor, an ITV2 spin-off from the main show. She hosted the show for one year before being replaced by Holly Willoughby for the following series. From 2008 to 2018, Cotton appeared as a team captain on the ITV2 comedy panel show Celebrity Juice alongside host Keith Lemon and fellow team captain Holly Willoughby. She quit the series in December 2018 to pursue other projects.
Cotton was born in Northwood, London Borough of Hillingdon 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 nearby Eastcote, and was educated at Haydon School. She is a pescetarian and an animal lover. She 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 use of whilst presenting the series Draw Your Own Toons.
In August 2017, Cotton's ancestry was explored in the UK BBC TV series Who Do You Think You Are? The accounts of her ancestors' lives revealed some mixed fortunes, but Cotton was pleased to have discovered family history tales that she would be able to pass on to her own children. The programme revealed that one of her paternal great-grandfathers, Evan Meredith, had been a Welsh coalminer who had endured prison as a conscientious objector to military service in WW1 and in later life became a respected pharmacist. On her maternal line, the episode found her ancestor, William Gilmour, from Northern Ireland.
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. Cotton later continued with the show and with its replacement Diggit. She left in 1998, 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. Cotton returned to children's television in 2015 by voicing one of the Voice Trumpets in the reboot of the classic British children's television series Teletubbies.
In 2007, she took over from Ben Shephard as host of The X Factor spin-off programme, The Xtra Factor on ITV2, presenting the programme for one series before resigning to work in America; she was replaced in the following series by Holly Willoughby.
Starting on 5 September 2007, Cotton co-hosted with Holly Willoughby the ITV2 dating programme Holly & Fearne Go Dating, which saw the pair try to find dates for lonely singletons.
Beginning in 2008, Cotton 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 Kelly Brook stood in for her during the ninth series. She quit the series in 2018.
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 March 2017, Cotton guest presented five episodes of ITV Breakfast's Lorraine programme.
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. Following more than 4,000 complaints made about the BBC's coverage of the Diamond Jubilee in 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."
Cotton guest presented The One Show on BBC One for two nights in November 2013, two nights in February 2014, one night in March 2014 and one night in March 2016.
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.
In September 2005, she joined BBC Radio 1 to present the Friday early morning slot with Reggie Yates, with whom she had previously worked 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 16 July 2009, it was announced that Cotton would become the new presenter of BBC Radio 1's weekday mid-morning show, taking over from Jo Whiley (who moves to weekends). Her new programme began on 21 September 2009.
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 on 25 May 2015, taking over the mid-morning show. Cotton's final show was broadcast on 22 May 2015. Coldplay recorded a song, Gone But Not F. Cotton, to mark the occasion.
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 24-28 October 2016, in 2017 on 13-17 February, 3-7 and 10-14 April, 11 May, 29 May - 2 June and 23-27 October, and in 2018 on 14-16 February. Fearne has also covered for Chris Evans on the Breakfast Show from 9-13 April 2018. In late 2018, Cotton sat in for Claudia Winkleman on Sundays.
In August 2017, Cotton collaborated with Mini Club, a children's clothing company that sells through Boots stores and their website, to produce her own clothing range. She publicised the range across her various social media accounts, posting pictures of herself and her daughter wearing lines from the collection. She also has clothing and homeware ranges with online retailer Very.
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, to start a new chapter. On 9 September 2015, she announced on Twitter that she had given birth that morning to a daughter, Honey Krissy Wood.
Cotton is a friend of 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. Cotton is a pescatarian. Cotton is not vegan but in 2019 authored a vegan cookbook.
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.
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