Carol is also famous for her radiant smile, which was caricatured by the British impressionist Ronni Ancona in the UK television show Big Impression. Ronni's impression of Carol used the catchphrase “I’m Smiley Smiley Carol Smillie”, which Carol adopted and has entered into Popular culture when referencing her.
As a child, Carol attended Simshill Primary School, which was situated virtually next door to where she lived. When it came to her secondary school education the majority of Carol’s classmates went to the local secondary school, but unlike the rest of her family, her parents were able to send her to the independent fee paying Hutchesons' Grammar School. Carol realised that this was a huge financial effort by her parents in sending her there, but academically she didn’t shine. Despite that, Carol believes that the atmosphere and education she received at the school helped her to develop her confidence and personality substantially, and as such she never felt she underachieved. Carol eventually attained seven O-levels, fabric and fashion being one, which was the direction she felt her career would lead. She left the following year with three Highers, but she needed five to get into the Glasgow School of Art, where she believed her talents and interests could be developed. Carol studied at Langside College to get the other two, but only managed to get one, which she has attributed to too much freedom and enjoying herself with her friends. Undeterred, she was still resolute in her aim to study at Art School, so Carol spent another year at Cardonald College, where she didn't know anyone, and this time really applied herself to her schooling, finally achieving the results she needed to pursue her dream of attending the Glasgow School of Art .
At 18 years of age, Carol embarked on her first year at the Glasgow School of Art , studying Art, Design and Fashion, with the vague idea of becoming a fashion designer. On arriving there, she spent the year unsure what it was she really wanted to do with her life. Surrounded by punk students sporting green hair and pink shoes, Carol felt she didn’t really fit into this mode of life. To subsidise her studies Carol worked in a cocktail bar, and after approaching a local Glasgow model agency, took up part-time modelling. Her Art tutor was into abstract art, which was an area that didn’t really work for Carol, “Throwing paint at a wall, wasn’t what I expected”. Another tutor told her, "If I were you, I'd stick with modelling. You can do art at any time". Carol believing that this was his way of saying, "I don't think you've got what it takes", decided to leave the Glasgow School of Art, and embarked on modelling as her new career.
Carol left the agency she had been working for whilst at college, and joined the Best Modelling Agency, run by Fiona Best an ex-model. Not tall enough at 5ft 5in, she wasn’t suitable for catwalk modelling, and was employed mainly for photo shoots and promotional work. Carol worked for the agency throughout the eighties becoming one of Fiona Best’s favourite models, due to her professional attitude and reliability, something a number of the other agency models lacked. Carol met her husband Alex Knight, also a former model, through Fiona's agency and at one point they even considered buying the business, but they decided against it as Carol realised that looking after a group of young models was not something she wished to take on. Through the agency Carol achieved her breakthrough, when at the age of 27 she successfully auditioned for the hostess job on the Wheel of Fortune game show, launching her television career.
Carol gradually improved as the series progressed, as the scores in the table below reflect. Len Goodman, often referred to her as the Dark Horse of the competition, resulting in the music from the Black Beauty TV series accompanying many of the clips of her in training on the Monday to Friday complementary show Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two.
Carol eventually came fifth in the competition, out of the original fourteen competitors. Carol was eliminated after failing to garner enough public votes, despite achieving her highest scores of the competition and finishing third highest out of the remaining five competitors in the judges vote.
|1||Female Group Dance||-||-||-||-||-||Safe|
|2||Quickstep / 9 to 5||7||5||6||7||25||Safe|
|3||Jive / Hanky Panky||6||7||7||7||27||Safe|
|4||Foxtrot / Stuck on You||6||7||8||8||29||Safe|
|5||Salsa / Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough||7||6||8||8||29||Safe|
|6||American Smooth / It's Oh So Quiet||6||7||7||7||27||Safe|
|7||Cha Cha Cha / Dancing in the Moonlight||7||7||8||8||30||Safe|
|8||Waltz / If You Don't Know Me by Now||7||7||8||8||30||Bottom 2|
|9||Viennese Waltz / Breakaway|
Samba / Club Tropicana
You can watch Carol hosting Postcode Challenge at the STV website here :
In her early years, before she became famous, Carol was a well travelled model on the Exhibition circuit and occasional lingerie model. It is often stated that Carol was one of the famous Tennent's Lager girls (a successful marketing promotion in Scotland which saw pictures of young women on the backs of cans of the lager). Carol was quoted in The Independent newspaper on October 2 2006 stating that this was a common misconception about her.
Carol has continued to model occasionally since her rise to fame. Carol is currently the model for the Scottish company The Edinburgh Woollen Mill. Carol featured extensively in their advertising campaign for the 2007/08 Autumn/Winter collection, appearing in a televised Christmas commercial for the company.
On February 26th 2008, The Edinburgh Woollen Mill released their Spring/Summer Catalogue (Summer Essentials) featuring Carol extensively. The shots for the Catalogue were shot in South Africa, with Carol modeling swimwear again for the first time in over twenty years. Carol stated "I thought my swimwear modeling days were over. It was a treat to fly to South Africa and leave the cold, wind and rain".
In August 2008 Carol modeled for the latest Edinburgh Woollen Mill Autumn/Winter Catalogue. She has also filmed their latest television advert to be broadcast in Autumn 2008.
In 2003 Carol joined forces with Eileen Fursland to became a best selling author with the publication of Carol Smillie's Working Mum's Handbook. In the book Carol looked at the practical problems and emotional issues that face all of us when women go back to work. Whether you're at home for six months or six years. The ideas and information in the book aimed to help working mothers achieve the work-life balance that is right for them and their family. The book describes ways to get organised and manage your time at home and work, and know your rights to maternity leave and pay, parental leave and tax credits. In addition it offers advice on how to keep your family life and relationships happy and fulfilling, find a job, take career breaks, survive the nine to five, choose childcare to suit you and your child, streamline household chores, cook and entertain, and finally tackle the thorny issues like guilt, stress and sleep (or lack of it).
On May 10 2008 Carol co-authored with Emma Magson, an animal behaviourist, a weekly based column in The Times Newspaper entitled Perfect Pets. The column was featured in the Body and Soul section of the Saturday edition and lasted 10 weeks. Each week Carol and Emma discuss questions on pet suitability to help readers explore the merits and responsibilities of their perfect pets. The articles are also accompanied by an online video at The Times Online. This can be accessed at the Times online site here
In 2006 Carol made her debut on the stage in the Eve Ensler play The Vagina Monologues. Carol has so far completed three tours of the play in various locations around Scotland. Fellow cast members with Carol were Scots actresses Lesley Mackie and Jo Freer.
In 2008 Carol made her film debut in a short film entitled Infamy. The role she played was based on her own television personality with Carol portraying a television presenter named Joan. The story concerns a man who is so desperate to get on Reality TV that he will try anything to achieve his goal, including ultimately, holding a shop up at gunpoint to make the local news. The film may be aired on television later in 2008. The website for Infamy can be viewed here.
Carol's television presenting and live event experience has enabled her to become a celebrity speaker for corporate events, conferences and exhibitions. Carol has hosted numerous major conferences and award ceremonies.
As well as live events Carol has also presented corporate videos either on-screen or through a voiceover. Carol has also lent her name to various endorsements.
In February 2008, The Highways Agency launched a new safety DVD entitled ‘Fit to Tow’ which was presented by Carol. The DVD was intended to raise awareness of the safety risks involved when towing a caravan or trailer. Carol was quoted as saying "I was amazed when I discovered just how many towing-related incidents occurred on England's roads and how many fatalities and injuries resulted from them, not to mention the disruption they can cause. I was really pleased when the Highways Agency approached me to present this helpful DVD. I fully support this initiative and I would advise anyone who tows to follow the simple, practical checks and advice included in the film to ensure you are Fit to Tow."
Carol is very proud of her Scottish heritage and is a great promoter for the City of Glasgow. She still lives in the City with her restaurateur husband Alex Knight whom she married in August 1991. They have three children: Christie aged 13, Robbie aged 10 and Jodie aged 8.All of her children attend Hutchesons Grammar' school. Carol is keen to balance the need for a successful career against the demands of a working Mum. Carol rarely works on a weekend, turning down numerous job offers as she believes it is more important to see her children growing up than be away from home constantly. Carol has been quoted as saying, "She can count on one hand the amount of times she's worked a weekend since she had her first child".
Carol launched her own official website http://www.carolsmillie.tv on February 9 2005, The site features a mix of videos and photos of her career to date, together with information about her current TV projects, corporate work, writing and involvement with charities she patrons.
In October 2006 the site hosted personal video diaries filmed on a hand camera by Carol herself, which she termed as ‘Carol Cams’, These short diaries showed Carol’s preparation, progress and reactions to her time on Strictly Come Dancing something no other celebrity on this show has ever attempted and gave an insight into the behind the scenes working of the show.
Carol is patron to a number of charities, primarily based upon Children's welfare. One of Carol's main charities is the Children's Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS). Carol was also a contestant on the British TV game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. supporting the charity NSPCC.
In her October Video Blog on her website, Carol announced that she would be posing topless along with various other celebrities to promote a Breast Cancer awareness campaign. Carol stated that "she had thought long and hard about doing this, but it was such a worthwhile campaign, she just couldn't say no".
Carol is Trustee to a number of Glasgow institutions. These include Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, where Carol is on the board as trustee of The Kelvingrove Refurbishment Appeal (KRA). This is an independent trust established to raise £5million in sponsorship and donations towards the £27.9million refurbishment of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
Carol, is also passionate about the Glasgow School of Art, being a former pupil, and current student of the School’s Continuing Education Programme. Carol is a member of the Mackintosh Conservation and Access Project team. In July 2007 she launched The Digital MacIntosh Project to raise funds for the restoration and refubishment of the MacIntosh Building, which houses the Glasgow School of Art.
When Carol was hosting Wheel of Fortune in the early 1990s, she took the Mensa test for high IQs, to prove that Game Show hostesses weren't dumb. She passed with an IQ of 148, and was duly entered into the ranks of the Mensa club. Carol courted controversy in 2003, when she announced in an interview that she had cheated on the test. Carol admitted that the test wasn't taken under exam conditions, and she only completed two thirds of it, coming unstuck at the end. Carol phoned a friend to complete the remainder of the test. Carol said "I felt slightly guilty at the time, but it hadn't really bothered me that I had cheated". Mensa weren't so impressed and removed her from their online list of members of the Mensa society. Carol has appeared on Celebrity Who Wants to be a Millionaire, during which she and Michael Aspel needed two lifelines to work out that UMIST is a university in Manchester; they went on to drop from £16,000 to £1,000.
including Summer Holiday, Holiday Swaps, Holiday Heaven and Holiday Favourites
including The National Lottery - Amazing Luck Stories, The National Lottery - We've Got Your Number, National Lottery - Local Heroes
Reality TV Appearances
Tour Dates 2006
Tour Dates 2007