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Catherine Elizabeth "Cat" Deeley (born October 23, 1976) is an English celebrity, TV presenter, actress and former model. She is 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in) tall. From 1998 until 2001, she co-hosted the children's series SMTV Live alongside Ant & Dec and continued alone until 2002. She also hosted Stars in Their Eyes from 2004 until 2006. Since 2006, Deeley has also been the host of So You Think You Can Dance in the United States, for which she received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program,[1] and she is the face of Pantene shampoo in the UK.

Early life

Deeley was born in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham. She is the step-sister of television personality Richard Blackwood, She attended Grove Vale Junior School in Great Barr Sandwell, followed by Dartmouth High School in Great Barr, where she played the clarinet in the Sandwell Youth Concert Band. She then joined the sixth form at Bishop Vesey's Grammar School.

At age 14, Deeley entered a regional edition of a BBC competition for The Clothes Show, in which she reached the national finals. Spotted by an agent for Storm modeling agency, she was quickly signed as a model under her nickname of Cat to make it easier for clients to re-book her.

Storm tried to persuade her to leave school at age 16, when she had gained nine A-grade GCSEs; however, cautious Deeley continued her A-level studies at Bishop Vesey's Grammar School Sixth Form, where she gained four A-levels.

Career

At 18, Cat Deeley became a full-time fashion model but left full-time modelling in 1997 following her contract with Storm changing, and became an MTV UK presenter. From 1998 until 2002, she was host with Ant & Dec on the Saturday morning children's programme SMTV Live and hosted its spin-off programmes CD:UK (1998–2005) and CD:UK Hotshots. In 2001, she won a Children's BAFTA award and appeared in an episode of the BBC's Happiness. In 2002, Deeley appeared in a television advert for Marks and Spencer. Other programmes she hosted include The Record of the Year, Fame Academy, The 2004 BRIT Awards and Stars in Their Eyes, as well as a weekly broadcast on London's Capital FM and BBC Choice series Roadtripping, both with former MTV colleague Edith Bowman. In 2003 she became patron of Great Ormond Street Hospital, and in 2005 she played herself in an episode of Little Britain and provided the voice of "Loretta Geargrinder" in the UK version of the film Robots.

In 2006, she began hosting the second season of American reality show So You Think You Can Dance. Deeley interviewed Kylie Minogue for a television special which was broadcast in the United Kingdom on Sky One on July 16, 2006, in Australia on Channel Nine on July 17, 2006 and BBC America on September 9, 2006. Deeley was a guest reporter on NBC's Tonight Show. She has presented Fox's New Year's Eve special from Times Square in 2006 and 2007.

In 2007, she presented the UK coverage of the sixth season of American Idol for ITV2. She filmed segments and interviews with guests and eliminated contestants for UK audiences that were shown just before and after advertising breaks. However, this was not popular with viewers who saw Deeley's role as "unnecessary". She did not return for the seventh season of American Idol in 2008. Deeley was the face of Shape Water and a number of Garnier Fructis products, appearing in print and television advertising in the UK and Ireland.

In January 2006, a new season of So You Think You Can Dance started the auditions, with Deeley in the role of host. She has been the host of the show ever since. On July 1, 2007, Deeley was one of many speakers at the Concert For Diana. The event, watched by an estimated 500 million people, was at the new Wembley Stadium. In September 2007, Deeley presented Soundtrack To My Life, a music series produced by Hamma & Glamma Productions for ITV London that looks at the work and influences of an eclectic band of musicians. In 2011, Deeley was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program.

Other projects of Deeley's include presenting the third season of Soundtrack To My Life, playing herself as host of Peter Kay's Britain's Got The Pop Factor... And Possibly A New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly On Ice, guest hosting the United States syndicated version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (for Meredith Vieira), and appearing on BBC America's broadcast of Gordon Ramsay's F Word where she was served up to hungry customers. In 2009, Deeley added hosting duties for the television version of the electronic game 20Q for GSN. In January and February 2010, Deeley hosted So You Think You Can Dance in UK. Also, in February 2010, Cat filled in for a vacationing Meredith Viera as host on the morning TV show Today. On March 31, 2010, Deeley filled in for actress Kelly Ripa on the U.S. morning talk show Live with Regis and Kelly.

On January 9, 2011, Deeley made a small guest appearance in the Disney Channel sitcom, Shake It Up where she portrays a vice principal who is, in secret, a dancer.

In April 2011 Deeley appeared on CNN's Icon and spoke to Nancy Cartwright. Together they did The Bartman.

Personal life

Cat has a strong football (soccer) background. She is a relative of the late Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leyton Orient winger Norman Deeley (1933 – 2007) who's son is former New Zealand forward Andy Deeley. She supports West Bromwich Albion, the only member of her family to do so; the majority of them support Wolverhampton Wanderers due to Norman Deeley's affiliation with the club.

She has been a supporter of UNICEF since 2008; she has visited UNICEF projects in the Philippines and Brazil. In December 2009 she was made a UNICEF UK ambassador

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