Amanda Holden has been hitting the headlines again during the Britain's Got Talent live shows, causing a furore with a very revealing selection of dresses.
Not for the first time, the TV star's choice of 'barely there' outfits generated complaints to Ofcom about the exposing attire not being appropriate for younger viewers.
For over a decade of dancing dogs, Ofcom scandals and lots of loud buzzers, Amanda has been the one judge who has appeared on every single series.
David Walliams and Alesha Dixon are relatively new to the judges table and even Simon Cowell missed one series to spend more time in America. Meanwhile, Holden has plugged away, shedding tears, making saucy innuendos and winding up her co-stars at every opportunity.
The actress, West End star and reality TV judge has been on British TV for the last three decades – but how much do you really know about her.
Here are 9 surprising facts about Amanda Holden:
1. She was a contestant on Blind Date
Holden’s TV debut was an embarrassing one. The actress was a contestant on Cilla Black’s Blind Date in 1991.
She was not selected by the male picker and revealed that her ideal man was Jack Nicholson.
"I like experience and maturity [in a man]," she said. Ooh-er.
2. Amanda starred in EastEnders
A slightly less embarrassing 'Before They Were Famous' moment came for Holden in 1994, when she was cast in EastEnders, playing knicker-seller Carmen.
She was hired by Tricky Dicky (Ian Reddington) to work on Sanjay Kapoor’s stall (Deepak Verma), but sadly she only lasted five episodes. Time for a comeback?
3. Martine McCutcheon beat her to a much bigger EastEnders role
Amanda returned to Albert Square for a major audition in the 90s, but lost out on the role of Tiffany Raymond/Mitchell to Martine McCutcheon.
There were rumours of an altercation between the pair at a wedding in 2003, but whether it was over the casting of the brassy barmaid wasn’t confirmed.
Martine went on to the West End, Love Actually and yoghurt adverts. Amanda went on to Wild At Heart, BGT and getting naked for PETA campaigns.
4. She would love to appear in Coronation Street
Her short stint in EastEnders hasn’t put her off acting in soaps. In fact, she’s actively put herself forward to play a “Southern b***h” in Coronation Street.
“I love Corrie and it’s more iconic, I'd go for a bit of that," she said.
5. Amanda planned to start a record career?
Obviously inspired by sitting through all those Britain’s Got Talent auditions, Amanda was planning to release a country music album a few years back.
“I don't think Amanda Holden's Country Album would be a huge seller,” she admitted. “Maybe a bit more of a crossover like Shania Twain. I wouldn't mind covering Dolly Parton's 'Nine To Five'.”
We’re still waiting.
6. Amanda is open about her surgery
The talent show judge hasn’t tried to disguise the fact she’s gone under the knife to maintain her youthful looks, confessing that she doesn’t see anything wrong with a bit of Botox.
Speaking to Heat magazine, Amanda said she didn’t see any point in “growing old gracefully”.
“I have had Botox, which I'm happy to admit. It's running out now, though - I need to go again. I agree with Simon Cowell. It's like cleaning your teeth – maintenance,” she said.
"It's like getting your roots done. I think as long as you don't go stupidly over the top. I can move my face.”
7. Amanda's Got Talent
Simon Cowell is one of the biggest music producers on the planet, Alesha Dixon has smashed the pop charts and David Walliams is one of the country’s most successful comedians.
So does Amanda feel slightly inferior when judging talent on BGT?
She doesn’t need to because she’s actually a successful West End star and was even nominated for a prestigious Olivier Award in 2004 for her performance in Thoroughly Modern Millie.
8. She's been a movie star
Okay, movie star would be pushing it, but she did have a brief stint on the big screen with two cameos.
She played Pamela in Intimate Relations in 1996 and starred as a Shoe Shop Assistant in 1999’s Virtual Sexuality. We wouldn’t go hunting them down on Netflix if we were you.
9. She's sick of all the stick about that affair
Everybody knows about what happened between Amanda, ex-husband Les Dennis and Men Behaving Badly star Neil Morrissey.
Holden has taken jokes about her affair with a smile down the years, but it does grate her that the criticism is very one-sided.
“I stand by my statement that women don’t have affairs for sex. You are not happy in your marriage if you seek affirmation somewhere else,” she said.
“The thing that angers me is that, if I was a man, it [the bad image] would have all ended years ago. If I was Lenny Henry or Angus Deayton or any of the others, but it’s only ever me. I’m not like this slapper, I haven’t put it about. I was engaged twice. I was a relationship girl.”
She also insists that she still feels warmly for Les, confessing: “We were together for 10 years. When I saw him do really well on MasterChef, I was thrilled, and I’m thrilled for him that he’s happily married with two gorgeous children.
“He’s with people who cherish him and who are right for him. We were just not right for each other.”
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