Kara Tointon

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Kara Tointon
BornKara Louise Tointon
(1983-08-05) 5 August 1983 (age 31)
Essex, England
ResidenceCamden, London, England[1]
NationalityBritish
EthnicityWhite British
OccupationActress, model
Years active1994-present
TelevisionEastEnders (2005-09)
Strictly Come Dancing (2010)
Partner(s)James Alexandrou (2006-2007)
Joe Swash (2008-2010)
Artem Chigvintsev (2010-present)
ParentsKen and Carol Tointon
RelativesHannah Tointon (sister)
 
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Kara Tointon
BornKara Louise Tointon
(1983-08-05) 5 August 1983 (age 31)
Essex, England
ResidenceCamden, London, England[1]
NationalityBritish
EthnicityWhite British
OccupationActress, model
Years active1994-present
TelevisionEastEnders (2005-09)
Strictly Come Dancing (2010)
Partner(s)James Alexandrou (2006-2007)
Joe Swash (2008-2010)
Artem Chigvintsev (2010-present)
ParentsKen and Carol Tointon
RelativesHannah Tointon (sister)

Kara Louise Tointon[2] (born 5 August 1983) is an English actress, best known for playing Dawn Swann in BBC soap opera EastEnders. Tointon was the 2010 winner of BBC television series Strictly Come Dancing.

Early life[edit]

Tointon was born to Ken and Carol[3] in Basildon, Essex.[2] Together with her actress sister, Hannah (born 1987), Tointon was brought up in Leigh-on-Sea. Both sisters attended St Michael's School, Leigh, and St. Hilda's School, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex.[3] Tointon was diagnosed with dyslexia at age seven.[3] She had speech and drama lessons at school.

Career[edit]

Early work[edit]

Tointon's first professional acting experience came when she played the part of Brigitta in The Sound of Music at the Cliffs Pavilion. Her first appearance on television was as an extra in EastEnders in 1994, when she played a school friend of Sonia Fowler. She played the part of student Pauline Young in 2001's first series of Teachers on Channel 4.[4]

EastEnders[edit]

Almost a month after her last Dream Team episode aired, it was revealed to the press that she would be joining the BBC soap EastEnders as a new character, Dawn Swann. Tointon auditioned for EastEnders at the same time as Tiana Benjamin, Matt Di Angelo, Kellie Shirley and Charlie Clements all auditioned for their respective roles. Tointon left EastEnders, along with co-star Ricky Groves, on 27 August 2009.[5]

She co-starred with then partner Joe Swash in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in Bristol in the 2009/2010 pantomime season.

Don't Call Me Stupid[edit]

In July 2010, she recorded a documentary for BBC Three called Kara Tointon: Don't Call Me Stupid. The programme examined the impact dyslexia can have on people's lives and the difference different learning styles can have on people with dyslexia. Tointon revealed that she suffers from dyslexia, and has a reading age of 12.[6] During the programme, Tointon visited Shapwick School in Somerset, which specialises in the education of pupils with dyslexia, and talked with the pupils about their experiences.[7] Tointon was taught various line learning and organisational techniques by Dyslexia Tutor Claire Salter.[8]

Strictly Come Dancing[edit]

In 2008, Tointon won the Sport Relief special edition of Strictly Come Dancing with Mark Ramprakash. Her Samba was enough to get her the Glitterball Trophy.

In September 2010, it was announced that Tointon would be appearing as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing Series 8, this time partnered with Artem Chigvintsev.[9] The pair achieved good scores in the first five weeks of 30, 32, 31, 32 and 37. In week 5, Tointon was awarded the first 10 of the series by Alesha Dixon for her Pasodoble. In week 6 she was top of the leaderboard with her Salsa. She also had good scores for the next five weeks of 36, 38, 35, 34 and 38. In week 11, she got her highest score of 39 for the Viennese Waltz and Rumba and got the maximum 5/5 for the Swing-a-thon. Tointon made it to the final along with Matt Baker and Pamela Stephenson, where she made it to the final two, then went on to win and be crowned champion beating Matt Baker and his partner Aliona Vilani.[10]

Performances[edit]

Week #Dance/songJudges' scoreResult
HorwoodGoodmanDixonTonioliTotal
1Cha-Cha-Cha / "I Like It"788730N/A
2Foxtrot / "From Russia With Love"789832Safe
3Quickstep / "Are You Gonna Be My Girl"888731Safe
4Charleston / "Put A Lid On it"888832Safe
5Paso Doble / "Phantom Of The Opera"9910937Safe
6Salsa / "Conga"999936Safe
7Argentine Tango / "Los Vino"99101038Safe
8American Smooth / "Cry Me A River"96101035Safe
9Jive / "Runaround Sue"799934Safe
10Tango / "El Tango De Roxanne"99101038Safe
11Viennese Waltz / "Stop!"910101039Safe
Swing / "In the Mood"N/AN/AN/AN/A1st/5 Points
Rumba / "Samba Pa Ti"910101039
12Rumba / "Samba Pa Ti"910101039Winners
Showdance / "Don't Stop Me Now"999936
Waltz / "If You Don't Know Me By Now"99101038
American Smooth / "Cry Me A River"107101037

West End theatre[edit]

In May 2011, Tointon played Eliza Doolittle in the West End production of Pygmalion at the Garrick Theatre. She received fantastic reviews for the Philip Prowse production of the well known play which opened on 25 May and ran until 3 September. Her co-stars were Rupert Everett and Dame Diana Rigg.

Kara played what the Guardian’s Michael Billington called “a luminous and refreshing” Eliza to Rupert Everett’s Professor Higgins “capturing perfectly the arc of [her] development”. Whatsonstage similarly picked up on the spirited chemistry the leads seem to share; “[Kara’s] remarkably assured on the stage, blessed with malleable good looks and tremendous lung power, and she makes Eliza a truly feisty opponent to Everett’s self-obsessed, grandiloquent Higgins.”

In the Telegraph,[11] Charles Spencer celebrated Kara’s “warmth and vulnerability” marking her out as “an actress of truly great potential” while the Daily Express's Paul Callan said “ the role of Eliza is a challenge for any actress and Miss Tointon faced it with skill and charm”.

In 2012 Kara was cast as Evelyn in Alan Ayckbourn's west end revival of Absent Friends, a play he wrote and set in 1974. She appeared along with Reece Shearsmith, Katherine Parkinson, Steffan Rhodri, Elizabeth Berrington and David Armand at the Harold Pinter theatre, a Sonia Friedman production directed by Jeremy Herrin. Michael Billington of The Guardian wrote "all the performances in this production are finely judged. Kara Tointon has just the right broodiness as the edgy Evelyn, who is like a comic version of the young mother in Edward Bond's Saved".

She then played Giny in Ayckbourn's Relatively Speaking, a four handed comedy set in 1965 with Felicity Kendal, Jonathan Coy and Max Bennett at the Wyndham's theatre in the summer of 2013. Tim Walker for his review in The Telegraph said "Tointon, for her part, gives an intelligently nuanced performance as the beautiful, but profoundly flawed Ginny... There are few more exciting actresses now working on the West End stage".

Other work[edit]

In August 2009, she was unveiled as the new face of Michelle for George underwear at Asda.[12]

In February 2011, Tointon took part in the BT Red Nose Desert Trek for Comic Relief 2011.[13]

In September 2011 it was announced that Kara would play a lead role in the new film 'Last Passenger' acting opposite Dougray Scott and directed by Omid Nooshin.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Tointon dated singer James Bourne from Busted from the age of 15.[15] In January 2011, Tointon announced that she and her Strictly Come Dancing partner Artem Chigvintsev are a couple.[16]

Tointon ranked #66 in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women poll in 2010.[17]

Tointon ranked #48 in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women poll in 2011.[18]

In September 2014 Tointon took part in the Great North Run to raise money for Share A Star, a charity set up to help severely unwell children and teenagers.[19]

Filmography[edit]

YearTitleTypeRoleNotes
1999, 2004–2005Dream TeamTVGina Moliano
2001TeachersTVPauline Young8 Episodes
2001Never Play with the DeadTV MovieVictoria
2002Harry and CoshTVGabby14 Episodes
2002DinotopiaTV18 year old Le Sage
2003BoudicaFilmPoppaea
2004Keen EddieTVFred Friedman
2004Mile HighTVGeneveve
2004The Football FactoryFilmTameka
2004The FeteTVLizzie
2004America Or BustedTVHerself
2005–2009EastEndersTVDawn SwannSeries Regular, 337 Episodes
2010The BillTVAmi Ryan1 Episode, "Duty Calls"
2010Strictly Come DancingTVHerselfContestant, Winner, First Place
2010Kara Tointon: Don't Call Me StupidTVHerselfFly-On-The-Wall, 1 Series
2011BedlamTVLeah Cole1 Episode, "Driven"
2011IdealTVHerself1 Episode
2012The SweeneyFilmMegan BarretMain Role
2013Last PassengerFilmSarah BarwellMain Role
2014–Mr SelfridgeTVRosalieSeries 3

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kara Tointon moves back in with her parents[dead link]
  2. ^ a b "Births England and Wales 1837-2006". Findmypast.co.uk. Retrieved 14 February 2011. [dead link]
  3. ^ a b c "Dad's pride in his two TV star daughters". Echo-news.co.uk. 11 October 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2011. 
  4. ^ BBC. "Strictly Come Dancing 2010 - Celebrities - Kara Tointon". Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  5. ^ ""Tointon, Groves to be written out of 'Enders", March 26, 2009, Kris Green, Soaps Editor, Digital Spy". Digitalspy.co.uk. 26 March 2009. Retrieved 14 February 2011. 
  6. ^ Robertson, Colin (27 July 2010). "TV Kara: I have a reading age of 12". London: The Sun. Retrieved 27 July 2010. 
  7. ^ "TV star Kara Tointon films documentary at Shapwick School". Bridgwater Mercury. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  8. ^ Murfitt, Nikki (31 October 2010). "My brain scans showed I'm like a foreigner who's learning English as a second language". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 15 December 2010. 
  9. ^ "Kara Tointon to star in Strictly Come Dancing". Tv.sky.com. 20 December 2010. Retrieved 14 February 2011. 
  10. ^ Bull, Sarah (18 December 2010). "Kara Tointon is crowned winner of Strictly Come Dancing 2010 after wowing judges with her stunning performances". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 18 December 2010. 
  11. ^ "Pygmalion, Garrick Theatre, review". The Daily Telegraph. 2 May 2011. 
  12. ^ Jones, Toni (1 August 2009). "Kara calls vast orders at the bra". The Sun (London). 
  13. ^ "Kara Tointon - Red Nose Day 2011". Comic Relief. Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  14. ^ "Everett sings Tointon's praises"
  15. ^ Saney, Daniel (18 January 2005). "James of Busted dumped by girlfriend". Digital Spy (London: Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  16. ^ "Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev Officially Together". Sky. 
  17. ^ "Kara Tointon t". Fhm.com. Retrieved 14 February 2011. 
  18. ^ "Kara Tointon t". Fhm.com. Retrieved 14 February 2011. 
  19. ^ "Kara Tointon for Share A Star at the Great North Run". Retrieved 8 September 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Chris Hollins and Ola Jordan
Strictly Come Dancing Champion
(with partner Artem Chigvintsev)

Series 8 (2010)
Succeeded by
Harry Judd and Aliona Vilani