|Born||March 18, 1976|
|Known For||Host Big Brother (UK)|
Host Big Brother's Bit on the Side
Host Celebrity Big Brother's Bit on the Side
|Years Active||2007, 2010-present|
Emma Willis is the current main presenter of Big Brother UK (BBUK). She started out hosting spin-offs while the show was on Channel 4, eventually taking over as its frontwoman during its run on Channel 5.
Emma's career began on MTV, where she worked on shows including the UK version of Total Request Live. For two years, she co-hosted I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here NOW!, the spin-off of ITV's jungle reality show.
Following her involvement in BBUK, Emma has become one of the UK's most prominent television personalities, landing several primetime jobs. She is the face of ITV talent contests The Voice UK and The Voice Kids, and co-hosts a Sunday morning radio show on Heart FM. She has also presented or guest-presented a string of high-profile shows, including This Morning, Loose Women, Prized Apart and Your Song. In 2017, she co-hosted The BRIT Awards with former BBUK presenter Dermot O'Leary.
Emma married Matt Willis, member of the boyband Busted, in 2008. Prior to this, she was credited by her maiden name, Emma Griffiths.
Association with Big Brother
In 2010, she returned to the BBUK team as the presenter of Celebrity Big Brother's Big i, an online-only spin-off for the seventh Celebrity run, which featured on its official website. During this series, she again guest-hosted Big Mouth for one episode, covering for Davina McCall, who was inside the house participating in a task at the time.
Bosses were so impressed with Emma that she was given a full-time role as George Lamb's co-host on E4 magazine spin-off Big Brother's Little Brother for the eleventh regular series, during which she also entered the house briefly in disguise as part of the 'ignore the obvious' task. She remained on BBLB for Ultimate Big Brother, the final series of BBUK to air on Channel 4.
Emma's stint on BBLB made her a hit with viewers, and she emerged as one of the favourites to present BBUK when it moved to Channel 5 in 2011. Eventually, she became the main presenter of Big Brother's Bit On The Side, a brand new daily late-night spin-off which debuted with the eighth Celebrity series. She shared duties with Jamie East and Alice Levine, who typically appeared on weekend editions, while Emma appeared on weekdays.
In 2013, Channel 5 announced that Emma would replace Brian Dowling as presenter of BBUK's main show, hosting live launches, evictions, finales and specials. Her promotion was credited to Ben Frow, who C5 hired as its new director of programming a few months prior. The news came as a surprise, as Dowling was thought to have another year left on his contract; newspaper reports claimed that C5 had to pay him £100,000 in compensation.
Emma's first outing in the top job was the fourteenth regular series, known as 'Secrets & Lies'. Despite her promotion, Emma continued to host Bit On The Side on weekdays, except when she was busy with the main show (once a week during regular series and twice a week during Celebrity series). On these nights, new co-presenters Rylan Clark-Neal and AJ Odudu would step in.
On February 2nd 2015, during the fifteenth Celebrity series, it was announced that Emma had decided to step down from Bit On The Side, though would continue to front the main show. Channel 5 confirmed the news in a statement, saying: "We’d like to thank Emma for being a huge part of BOTS for the last four years". By this point, AJ had left the show; Rylan subsequently became Bit On The Side's sole presenter.
As part of her role on the main show, Emma has occasionally entered the house to present twists in front of the housemates. Examples of this include Lee Ryan's eviction during the thirteenth Celebrity series, and the end of the Annihilation twist during the seventeenth regular series.
- Emma has presented two series of BBUK while pregnant. She gave birth to her second child just two weeks after the twelfth regular series ended in November 2011. She was also pregnant during the seventeenth Celebrity series in January 2016, eventually giving birth in May that year.
- Emma is a huge Big Brother fan and is thought to support the show's original format and values. In 2015 she backed fans' calls for BBUK to bring back live feeds.
- 'Big Brother': Emma Willis Replaces Brian Dowling As Host. Huffington Post UK (2 April 2013). Retrieved on 13 May 2018.
- Big Brother 2013: Brian Dowling furious over axe (but he will get £100k pay off). Tellymix (3 April 2013). Retrieved on 13 May 2018.
- Emma Willis QUITS Big Brother's Bit On The Side after four years. Heatworld (2 February 2015). Retrieved on 13 May 2018.
- if it were my choice I'd have BB 24/7!. @EmmaWillis on Twitter (14 June 2015). Retrieved on 13 May 2018.