Their 17-year relationship has been under a microscope ever since his sexting scandal emerged in 2010, and now – eight years on – body language expert Judi James analyses Tess Daly and Vernon Kay’s latest red-carpet appearance after photos emerged of them looking strained.


Earlier this month the couple put on a united front at the premiere of Peter Rabbit in London, but, according to Judi, their body language suggests signs of ‘tension’ in their relationship.

Judi explains, ‘In their formal posed shots there do seem to be signs of tension in their facial muscles that is making their smiles look rather forced.’

However, she insists this is more to do with Tess, 48, and 44-year-old Vernon’s discomfort at being so exposed, and nothing to do with their relationship – despite everything they’ve been through.

Tess was left ‘shattered’ when their 15-year marriage was rocked in 2010 when Vernon was found to be ‘sexting’ glamour model Rhian Sugden, 31, and it’s perhaps no surprise that the couple still appear distant.

‘They do stand close but there are no obvious touch rituals that can signal togetherness,’ explains Judi.


Their relationship hit its first stumbling block in 2010 when it emerged Vernon had been ‘sexting’ four women – including Rhian – behind his wife’s back. The TV presenter apologised to Tess live on Radio 1, where he branded himself ‘foolish’ and ‘stupid’.

Six years later – in 2016 – Vernon was accused of reconnecting with Rhian but he insisted the messages had been ‘out of context’ and Tess forgave him.

On her decision to stand by her husband, Tess said, ‘All marriages have their moments. Marriage is a work in progress.’


With Tess being the co-host of Strictly Come Dancing, it’s no surprise Vernon is reportedly ‘desperate’ to get back on the box.

The former All Star Family Fortunes presenter swiftly disappeared off the screen in 2016 after rumours swirled that he’d been texting Rhian for a second time.

Two years on and he’s said to be in the running to host a revamped version of the game show Bullseye, which could do wonders for his ailing career.

‘He’s desperate for a comeback and Vernon thinks that Bullseye could be that opportunity,’ an insider said.


While their public appearance early this month was ‘tense’, Judi says all is not lost for the couple.

‘By putting his hand on top in the clasp Vernon looks like the one doing the leading,’ Judi points out. ‘Tess’ response suggests she’s happy with this.’

Sunsets and cocktails 😎🍹love a beach holiday relaxing with the fam 🏝but good to be back with a cuppa ☕️and a bit of #Easter sunshine ☀️🐣xx

A post shared by Tess Daly (@tessdaly) on

With two daughters, Phoebe, 13, and Amber, eight, it’s no wonder Judi is picking up on signs that the pair are attempting to repair their marriage.

She explains, ‘Looking at how their intimacy signals increase rather than vanish when they finish posing is a sign they could be taking a grown-up route to repairing their marriage.’