Tess Daly: ‘I was right to stand by Vernon’

She feels stronger than ever in her marriage

tess and vernon

by heat staff |
Published on

Vernon Kay and his family have plenty to celebrate.

Last week, the radio presenter accomplished an ultra marathon challenge for Children In Need, running an epic 116 miles in four days and raising more than £5.8million in the process.

But no one is prouder than his wife Tess Daly, who took to Instagram with a heartfelt message following her husband’s efforts.

“Not to get all sentimental on here, but we are so proud of [Vernon] and all he’s achieved and raised for [Children In Need],” the Strictly co-host wrote below a photo of them hugging.

Tess admitted she was shocked to learn he’d be taking part in the gruelling fundraiser, and genuinely wondered if his knees would “make it through”. “Been loading him up since with soup, hot water bottles and hugs,” she concluded the post.

As Vernon, 49, continues to be showered with praise from across the nation, heat has learned the challenge not only brought him and Tess, 54, closer, but also cemented how right she was to stick by him throughout their infamous marital bumps.

Our insider says, “Tess couldn’t be prouder of Vernon. She was in floods of tears because she knows how much he put into the marathon, and pals see this as a sign of them being in a better place than ever. They also think seeing him show his commitment to a good cause and complete an ultra marathon was just more confirmation of what a great man he is today.

tess and vernon
tess and vernon ©Getty (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)

“Vernon certainly felt very proud of himself, but it means more to him than anything to have his beloved wife by his side supporting him – and he doesn’t take it for granted.”

This September marked two decades of marriage for the TV couple, who are parents to Phoebe, 19, and 14-year-old Amber. But in 2010, seven years into married life, their relationship was left in jeopardy when Vernon became embroiled in a sexting scandal with glamour model Rhian Sugden. He pursued her for four months, with Rhian alleging that he tried to arrange a liaison with her in a hotel room. But she later assured Tess that it was “nothing more than a close friendship and flirty messages”.

Vernon – who was also caught messaging “four or five other girls” – publicly apologised to his wife on BBC Radio 1 when the scandal emerged. “I’m never going to do it again and hopefully I can clear the slate and start again. I’m so sorry. I’ve been an idiot and I’ve let my family down,” he said.

In 2016, fresh allegations surfaced that Vernon and Rhian had reconnected, but he insisted he was “merely trying to find answers to questions that I’ve had since 2010” and Tess “was aware of everything discussed”.

“Marriage is a work in progress,” Tess said in 2017, adding, “Vernon and I are just people, at the end of the day."

And our source says that heartache is something Tess has picked herself up from and is focused on the here and now.

Rhian Sugden
Rhian Sugden ©getty

We’re told, “There were times their foundation as a married couple was really shaken and almost torn apart, and Tess wondered if they would make it through.

"But Vernon fought so hard to save the marriage and to prove his mistakes would never be repeated. Tess believes in second chances and forgiveness, and he’s proved she was right to stand by him.”

And it’s not just Tess who’s grateful they worked through the hardships. “Vernon is so thankful to her for being understanding when she needed to be, and now they both support one another,” our insider says.

“They are in a great place in their marriage and life.”

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