Stacey Dooley - things you didn't know about the presenter, journalist and filmmaker

Stacey Dooley
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 14: Stacey Dooley poses in the Winner's room at the Virgin TV BAFTA Television Awards at The Royal Festival Hall on May 14, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage) (Image credit: WireImage)

From selling make up at Luton airport, to how she got her big break - there's lots to Stacey Dooley that you might not know...

Stacey Dooley has over ten years of documentary film making under her hat, having covered hard-hitting topics like sex trafficking, child labour, drug smuggling and female suicide bombers to name but a few.

Stacey is also known for presenting shows like BBC Three’s Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-Up Star, DNA Family Secrets, and EastEnders spinoff show Secrets from the Square, which took a look behind the scenes at the soap while it was off air during lockdown in 2020.

But how much do you know about Stacey herself?

Most fans of the presenter will know that:

  • She won the 16th series of Strictly Come Dancing in 2018.
  • She puts herself in potentially dangerous situations for work
  • She's in a relationship with professional dancer Kevin Clifton

But what else do we know about Stacey? Here are several things you probably don't know...

Stacey Dooley: little known facts about the presenter, journalist and filmmaker...

1. Her name isn't actually Stacey 

Stacey might have become a household name after her hard-hitting documentaries and her time on Strictly Come Dancing, but Stacey is actually only her professional name. The was born Anastacia Jaclyn Dooley on 9th March, 1987.

2. Stacey Dooley was working at Luton airport when she got her big break

Stacey Dooley

Stacey (Second from the left) got her big break while working on a TV documentary called Blood, Sweat and T-Shirts (Picture: PA) (Image credit: PA)

After leaving school at 15, Stacey's first major TV role was working as a contributor on the BBC Three documentary Blood, Sweat and T-Shirts, which investigated the working conditions of Indian sweatshops. It was after appearing on that TV show that she was invited on Newsnight, which lead to her getting her own series. She told the BBC: "I was working at Luton airport at the time, doing promotions for make up and perfume." However, it was then Stacey got the call to say two 60-minute shows focusing on child labour had been commissioned.

More: Things you didn't know about Sir David Jason 

3. Stacey Dooley doesn't think she is brave

Despite the fact she often finds herself in dangerous situations for work, she told the BBC that she isn't as brave as people think she is... "I do get scared, I'm a massive wimp!" She admitted after recalling a time when she was interviewing girls from the Yazidi community with ISIS just a few miles away. "I was so scared, I can't tell you. You're certain that something is about to kick off and there's the potential that you could get shot."

4. Female news correspondents are her idols

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After admitting that she fell into life as a journalist, Stacey has revealed that she looks up to other female news correspondents. She told the BBC: "I love Orla Guerin - she's my queen... when I watch her on the news I just can't believe how brave she is. She just doesn't seem to have any fear. She's the one I look up to and think, oh man, you're awesome."

More: Things you didn't know about EastEnders star Kellie Bright 

5. She's got an MBE

Given the dangerous situations she puts herself in to make sure her hard-hitting documentaries reveal the real nitty gritty that viewers are looking for, it's no surprise that Stacey was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 2018 Birthday Honours for her contribution to broadcasting.

6. She's written a bestseller

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Stacey's book, On the Front Line with the Women Who Fight Back, came out in 2018 and quickly became a Sunday Times bestseller. The book explores what it is to be women in the world today, drawing on Stacey's own encounters with incredible women who have been in extraordinary circumstances - from sex workers to victims of domestic violence.

7. Stacey wasn't originally meant to be paired with Kevin on Strictly

Stacey Dooley Strictly Come Dancing

Stacey met her partner Kevin Clifton while dancing together on Strictly Come Dancing (Picture: BBC) (Image credit: BBC)

It has recently been revealed that the real reason Kevin and Stacey were paired together on Strictly Come Dancing was because they were both very vocal about their preference of partner. The pair went on to win the series together and later revealed they were in a relationship together. Stacey told "I imagine at some point Kevin was meant to have Lauren Steadman or Katie Piper, and they were going to put me with AJ Pritchard. But I pushed for Kevin, and if I hadn't been so vocal I wouldn't have got him. I really wanted him, he's so nurturing and patient."

Stacey Dooley's Fact File 

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about the journalist....

How old is she?

Stacey Dooley's age is 33. She was born on 9th March 1987.

Is she in a relationship?

Stacey Dooley's in a relationship with professional dancer Kevin Clifton.

Does she have kids?

Stacey Dooley doesn't have any children.

Where was she born?

Stacey Dooley was born in Luton, Bedfordshire.

How tall is she?

Stacey Dooley is 5ft 1.

Twitter: @StaceyDooley

Instagram: @sjdooley

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.

Picture credits: Main image of Stacey Dooley: Getty Images 

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.