Funny girl Ellie Taylor has stepped out of her comedy comfort zone and onto the dancefloor to take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2022.
Expressing her delight at joining the show she said: “Well, cover me in fake tan and roll me in sequins! I’m absolutely over the moon to be a part of Strictly. At the moment I’m focusing on the excitement and glitter and choosing to ignore the fact that I have the dancing ability of a newly born giraffe. Bring it on!”
Ellie is probably best known for her comedy performance in BBC's The Mash Report and playing Flo “Sassy” Collins in the Apple TV+ hit show Ted Lasso, but she’s also enjoyed a varied career in TV and radio presenting, modeling and writing. Here are a few other things you may not know about the multi-talented star…
She’s an Essex girl
Eleanor Jane Taylor was born on November 28th, 1983 in Brentwood, Essex to parents Gill and Richard Taylor. Ellie’s dad worked as a corporate secretary, while her mum had an interest in amateur dramatics. After leaving school, Ellie attended the University of York to study for a degree in English Literature, and was a member of the uni’s Drama Society, performing in a handful of their stage productions.
Ellie revealed the BBC mockumentary sitcom The Office played a significant role in her student experience, telling The Guardian: “The Office influenced me massively. I wrote an essay for my English degree examining how the comedy of embarrassment was deployed in the show; essentially just an excuse to exhaust my trusty VHS cassettes while eating pizza. The glory days of uni!”
She’s a former fashion model
Before finding fame as a comedian, Ellie made a living as a fashion model. Following university, she started an internship on FHM magazine in London, where she was spotted by a model-agency scout. Ellie signed up with ISIS Models and worked on campaigns for Pantene shampoo, Matalan dressing gowns and Asda underwear.
However, she soon realised it wasn’t a career path she wanted to carry on down. In an interview with The Evening Standard, the 5ft 11in star revealed: “I’m quite ungainly. I’m tall, uncoordinated and awkward, which I can use on stage, but to pose and be pretty I felt very uncomfortable. I hated having my photo taken when I wasn’t in control.”
She found fame on a reality TV show
After quitting modelling in her mid-twenties, Ellie decided to follow in the footsteps of her comedy hero Victoria Wood by joining the stand-up circuit. Her talent came to the nation’s attention when she took part in the 2011 ITV reality series Show Me the Funny – an X-Factor style competition for up-and-coming comedians.
Ellie was eliminated from the show in week six, but it wasn’t long before the job offers came flooding in. That same year she appeared as a guest panellist on 8 Out of 10 Cats and in 2012 she landed her first presenting gig on BBC Three’s Snog Marry Avoid?, which she hosted for two series.
She’s had five successful comedy tours
In 2014, Ellie performed her debut show, Elliementary at the Laughing Horse as part of the Edinburgh free fringe programme. In an interview with The Guardian at the time, Ellie revealed she was nervous but super excited about her first full-hour-long set saying: “I am enjoying it more than I have done before. I feel like I deserve to be here. Before, I felt like I was playing at being here. Now I feel like I’ve got my show. Well done for me being here!”
Since her debut one-woman show, Ellie has written and performed four other successful tours – Infidelliety (2016), This Guy (2017-18), Cravings (2019) and Don’t Got This (2019-21) – entertaining crowds up and down the country.
Madonna is a fan of her work
The last decade has been non-stop for Ellie, who’s shown she’s got many strings to her bow. As well as appearing on countless brilliant comedy shows including Mock the Week, Stand-Up Central, and Plebs, she’s been a co-presenter on The Great Pottery Throw Down and next year be joining forces with EastEnders star Danny Dyer to front new Netflix quiz show, Cheat.
One the biggest moments in Ellie’s career came in 2018 when pop icon Madonna tweeted a clip of her performance in The Mash Report. The clip went viral, with over 120 million hits worldwide, and was later shared by Friends actress Jennifer Aniston. Girl power at its finest!
Ted Lasso raised her profile
When the world was told to stay at home during the Covid pandemic, Apple TV+ comedy series, Ted Lasso provided millions with some much-needed comic relief. Ellie’s performance as Flo ‘Sassy’ Collins, who’s infatuated with titular character Ted, was a hit with the fans, but the actress didn’t expect to land the role.
Speaking to Kate Thornton on her White Wine Question Time podcast, Ellie shared, “Ted Lasso was just one of those millions of auditions that I end up going for. I was like, ‘Well, here we go. I’m gonna waste half a way, traipse into the arse end of nowhere to do something and then not get the job. Because obviously with acting you just get a million ‘nos’. And I went along and did it and then got a ’yes’, so that was lovely.”
Acting alongside Hannah Waddingham and Jason Sudeikis, Ellie has described working on the series as a ‘real treat’.
She's written a bestselling book on motherhood
Ellie is happily married to CNN freelance reporter, Phil Black, and in November 2018 the couple welcomed their daughter, Valentina into the world.
Ellie has been searingly honest about her early days of motherhood, admitting it was the toughest challenge of her life. "When my daughter was born it was like a grenade was lifted out of my body and my optimism was turned upside down and inside out," she confessed to You magazine.
Wanting to share her personal experience, Ellie penned a raw and relatable memoir titled My Child And Other Mistakes: How To Ruin Your Life In The Best Way Possible which became a Sunday Times Bestseller.
Appearing on The One Show earlier this year, Ellie described the positive reaction to her book as being 'gorgeous', adding: "It's so joyful that it's connecting with people, and offering hope, I think. There's so much joy at the end of it all."
Ellie Taylor’s fact file
Frequently asked questions about the comedian…
How old is Ellie Taylor?
Ellie Taylor is 38, she was born on 28th November 1983.
Is Ellie Taylor married?
Yes, Ellie has been married to CNN freelance reporter Phil Black since 2014.
Does Ellie Taylor have any children?
Yes, Ellie has a daughter called Valentina who was born in November 2018.
Where was Ellie Taylor born?
Ellie Taylor was born in Brentwood, Essex.
How tall is Ellie Taylor?
Ellie is 5 foot 11.
We work hard to ensure that all information is correct. Facts that change over time, such as age, will be correct, to the best of our knowledge, at the time of the last article update.
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Laura has been a journalist for over a decade, writing about soaps, TV entertainment, fashion, beauty, and food. After graduating from university, she started her career working at a national soap and TV magazine. During her seven-year stint there she joined the cast of Emmerdale for a tour around the famous village, partied with soap stars at awards bashes, interviewed her acting idol David Suchet, and sat in the front row of Strictly Come Dancing.
Her heart lies with the soaps, and her all-time favourite character has to be EastEnders' Pat Butcher - no one rocked a big earring quite like her. She's also a huge fan of detective crime dramas, particularly old school Inspector Morse, Endeavour, and adaptations of Agatha Christie's Marple and Poirot. When she's not writing, she loves a spot of second-hand shopping and going on adventures with her young son.