Vernon Charles Kay (born 28 April 1974) is an English television presenter, radio DJ and former model best known for his television roles with ITV, presenting shows such as All Star Family Fortunes (2006–present), Beat the Star (2008–2009) and Splash! (2013–2014). Kay's other television presenting roles have included The Whole 19 Yards on ITV in 2010, Home For the Holidays, a Christmas entertainment show for Channel 4 in 2011 and an ITV mini-series called Let's Get Gold in 2012. In 2015, he began hosting new ITV game show 1000 Heartbeats. He also presented his own BBC Radio 1 show between 2004 and 2012. Kay currently presents his own show on Radio X.
Kay was born and brought up in Horwich, Greater Manchester, the elder son of Norman and Gladys; he has a younger brother, Stephen. He attended St Joseph's RC High School in Horwich, near Bolton. He then graduated in environmental science at Manchester Metropolitan University. He supports his hometown's football club Bolton Wanderers. He used to be a regular visitor to Manchester nightclub the Haçienda.
In 2004, Kay hosted the third series of Celebrities Under Pressure on ITV.
Since 2006, Kay has presented primetime game show All Star Family Fortunes. In June 2015, it was announced that ITV was to rest the show until 2017. In 2007, he presented Vernon Kay's Gameshow Marathon, after replacing Ant & Dec who hosted the first series.
From 2008 until 2009, Kay presented two series of Beat the Star, a programme for ITV. The first series averaged 4.05 million viewers and the second averaged 3.46 million. For two episodes of Beat the Star, Kay was a contestant rather than the presenter, while Phillip Schofield stood in for him.
On 17 April 2010, Kay began co-presenting a game show for ITV called The Whole 19 Yards with Caroline Flack which lasted for eight episodes and was made at Pinewood Studios. The series averaged 4.1 million viewers.
In 2010, Kay was the co-host of Skating with the Stars, a six-part series which was broadcast in the United States.
In 2011, Kay was originally going to present ITV game show Sing If You Can with Stacey Solomon but, after filming the pilot episode, he felt that it would be better hosted by a comedian and was replaced by Keith Lemon.
In December 2011, Kay presented the Christmas Channel 4 show Home For the Holidays. In the summer of 2012, Kay presented ITV three episode mini-series Let's Get Gold, however the show received poor viewing figures and was axed.
In 2013 and 2014, Kay, Gabby Logan and Tom Daley co-presented the ITV diving show Splash! The programme was axed after two series.
In 2013, after Channel 4 regained the NFL rights from the BBC, Kay was announced as a presenter of The American Football Show, airing on Saturday mornings.
Since 2014, Kay has guest presented five episodes of The One Show.
In 2015, Vernon began presenting daytime quiz show, 1000 Heartbeats for ITV. The show returned for a second run in November 2015. In 2016, Kay presented Drive, a 5-part entertainment show for ITV. He made regular appearances in the second series of The Keith Lemon Sketch Show on ITV2.
Kay hosted the non-broadcast pilot for a revival of Play Your Cards Right, a game show formerly hosted by Bruce Forsyth, but was not commissioned for a series. In September 2015, he hosted a pilot for a new ITV game show Home Win, made at Fountain Studios in Wembley.
In January 2004, Kay joined BBC Radio 1 and presented an entertainment show every Sunday. In April 2004, he was given the 10 am – 1 pm weekend slot, which was previously hosted by Colin Murray and Edith Bowman and previously broadcast on both Saturdays and Sundays on the popular radio network. From October 2007 Dick and Dom took over Sunday mornings; Kay's show then ran between 10am to 1pm on Saturday. In 2008, he was one of a team of DJ's who filled in for Edith Bowman while she was on maternity leave along with Fearne Cotton and Nihal.
On 11 February 2009, it was announced that Kay would fill in for Chris Moyles while he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief, an act he repeated on 13 July 2009 when Moyles took a day off. He also filled-in for Pete Tong's Essential Selection on Radio 1 on 10 April 2008. That same year, Kay filled in again for Chris Moyles from 10 August to 15 August when he was on holiday. From 30 November 2009 Kay, again, covered for Chris Moyles on breakfast for a whole week as Moyles, Aled Haydn Jones and Fearne Cotton were away in Uganda handing out malaria nets and seeing how the money raised from the Mount Kilimanjaro climb for Comic Relief was being spent.
On 9 November 2012, it was announced that Kay would leave BBC Radio 1 to spend more time with his family. He presented his final show in December and was replaced by Matt Edmondson.
After three years since his departure from Radio 1, Kay returned to radio on the newly launched Radio X network. In September 2015, Kay began presenting the weekday morning show from 10am–1pm.
In 2012, Kay made a cameo appearance in Keith Lemon: The Film he also made a guest appearance in the 2014 film Hercules as a feasting hall guest. He was uncredited for this role.
On 12 September 2003, Kay married Tess Daly at St Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Horwich, in Bolton. Together, they have two daughters; the first born on 17 October 2004 in Westminster, London; and the second born on 30 May 2009.
Kay received an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton on 9 July 2009, for services to entertainment.
Kay is a passionate supporter of Bolton Wanderers F.C.. He is also a fan of American football, joining the Manchester Allstars at the age of 13 and reuniting the team in 2011 for a one-off match against the Birmingham Lions. In 2011, he signed for the London Warriors, for whom he plays in the BAFANL Premier South division as a defensive back.