Inside Bradley Walsh’s love life and rarely-seen wife who starred in music video

The Chase host Bradley Walsh has become something of a national treasure since making his TV debut in the 1990s.

The 63 year old presenter worked as an apprentice at a Rolls-Royce's aircraft engine factory in Watford after leaving school and was also a professional footballer for Brentford before ankle injuries ended his playing career at 22. He then turned to show business – working as a bluecoat at Pontins before being recruited by ITV as a host of short-lived quiz show Midas Touch in 1995.

But Bradley really rose to fame in 1997 when he landed the job presenting Wheel of Fortune, taking over from long-time presenter Nicky Campbell. That led to a number of acting roles – including one in Coronation Street – before he began presenting The Chase in 2009.

But, away from the glamour of his showbiz career, the Watford-born presenter lives a quiet life in Essex with his wife Donna Derby and their son Barney, now 25, who is set to host a rebooted version of hit show Gladiators alongside his dad. However, Donna herself has also enjoyed a successful career in show business.

She is a choreographer and former professional dancer who once appeared in the iconic music video for Robert Palmer's song Simply Irresistible.

She also appeared as an actress and dancer in several TV programmes, including The Kenny Everett Show and The Russ Abbot Show.

For two decades, she has also worked as both a choreographer and judge for the Miss World beauty pageant. So Donna was famous in her own right before meeting now husband Bradley in 1992. The pair went on to tie the knot in 1997.

When Bradley appeared on The One Show earlier this year, he revealed how his famous pal, the actor and comedian Brian Conley, had introduced him to Donna. Brian, who is currently starring as Rocky Cot in EastEnders, used to live in the same street as Bradley in Watford.

Recalling the role Brian played in his subsequent union with Donna, Bradley shared: “He introduced me to my wife. She was a commercial TV dancer and worked on one of Brian’s shows.”

Bradley has also previously recalled how Donna was instrumental in him joining Coronation Street as his career began to wane in the early 2000s. The star played the role of factory boss Danny Baldwin from 2004 to 2006.

He previously told the Mirror: “I wouldn’t swap my missus for the world. Donna isn’t just beautiful, she’s the most fantastic wife and mother. It’s because of her I signed with Coronation Street.

“She’s the one who recognised what it could do for me, even though it would mean being apart.”

Bradley is one of TV’s highest paid stars now, with an estimated fortune of £12.5 million, and he lives in a £2.5million barn conversion in Epping, Essex. But he has previously told how his current life was far removed from his humble upbringing.

"I was born in Watford, and grew up in a council house," he previously told The Telegraph. "My mother was a single parent, who had to struggle hard to make ends meet. At one point she was holding down three different jobs. It was a happy childhood, but we certainly didn’t have a great deal of money."

Bradley also has a 40-year-old daughter, Hayley, from a previous relationship and recently became a granddad when she welcomed her first child.

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