Donna Air: From Byker Grove To BBC’s The Split, Via The Big Breakfast

As Donna Air returns to our screens, we take a look on the actress's career modelling, singing, on TV and even in films.

Donna Air

by Rhiannon Evans |
Updated on

Incredibly (and for those of us who remember watching Byker Grove with a Pop Tart like it was yesterday), Donna Air has been on our screens - and part of our lives - for 30 years.

After joining ground-breaking TV show Byker Grove on the BBC (which launched the careers of Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly) aged just 10, now Donna is back on the Beeb, starring in season two of divorce drama The Split.

So, to celebrate, here's a reminder of all the places you've seen Donna before...



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Donna Air

Donna grew up in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne - she attended a local theatre group with Jill Halfpenny and Ant McPartlin and modelled as a child, appearing in adverts for Nissan, Asda and Lenor

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Donna Air

Donna first appeared as an extra on Byker Grove, aged 10, before going on to play Charlie Charlton in the BBC children's soap opera that launched the careers of Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly (or PJ and Duncan, as we knew them back then).

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Donna Air

In 1994, along with fellow Byker Grove stars Jayni Hoy and Vicky Taylor, she formed Byker Groove. See what they did there?

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Donna Air

Byker Groove on World's Best Saturday Morning Show, Live and Kicking. If you know, you know.

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Donna Air

After moving to London aged 15, Donna became part of Crush, with Jayni, releasing singles Jellyhead and Luv'd Up.

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Donna Air

Being a famous woman in the 00s meant one thing - weird photo shoots...

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Donna Air

... and lads mag covers with your mates/fellow cast members.

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Donna Air

Donna joined Channel 4's hugely successful Big Breakfast in 2000...

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Donna Air

Before becoming one of the main presenters alongside Johnny Vaughan

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Donna Air

In 2001, Donna had a small part in mega movie franches, The Mummy Returns.

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Donna Air

Donna was one of the famous London party set, here at Meg Mathew's birthday party with Kate Moss, in 2002

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Donna Air

Donna met businessman and conservationist Damian Aspinall in 2000, after being introduced by Tara Palmer-Tomkinson. In September 2003, she gave birth to their daughter Freya. Shortly after the birth, they announced their intention to place Freya in the care of a gorilla, as part of a ritual. The couple split in 2007 amicably.

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Donna Air

In 2013, Donna took part in ITV show Splash, with Tom Daley.

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Donna Air

That year she also started a relationship with James Middleton, brother of Kate Middleton. The couple were together until 2018.

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Donna Air

In 2016, Donna appeared on Celebrity Masterchef.

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Donna Air

Before donning her skates and doing Dancing on Ice in 2017.

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Donna Air

Donna and her now-teenage daughter Freya, 16, last year.

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Donna Air

This month, Donna stars in BBC drama, The Split, as Fi Hanson.

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