Kara Tointon

Kara Tointon


Soap stunner Kara Tointon exploded into the nation's living rooms playing Albert Square's sexy screen siren and 'tart with a heart' Dawn Swann in EastEnders.

Voted 'Sexiest Actress' at the 2008 British Soap Awards, it's little surprise that she stole the heart of not one, but two of her EastEnders co-stars and bagged plenty of tabloid column inches during her high-profile relationships with James Alexandrou and Joe Swash.

Now happily single, Kara's likely to sizzle on the Strictly dance floor. But will the Rumba lead to romance?

When music is on, I just jig to it. Any Beyoncé song will get me going!Kara Tointon


At the age of 7, Kara started to go to speech and drama lessons at school. She did LAMDA exams and entered local music festivals doing poetry recitals.

Kara's first acting experience was playing the part of Brigitta in The Sound of Music at the Cliffs Pavilion in Essex for the local amateur dramatic society.

Her first paid job was in the panto Snow White at the age of 11 - she was one of the child dancers.

Her first TV appearance was in EastEnders in 1994 as an extra, playing Sonia's school friend.

In 2000 after leaving school, she won a part in the Channel 4 drama Teachers. It was this job that convinced Kara that she should make acting her full-time career.

In 2002, Kara appeared in Dinotopia, followed in 2004 by a role in Mile High. She then joined the cast of Dream Team as Gina Moliano, a role she played until 2005.

Almost as soon as she left Dream Team it was announced she would be joining EastEnders as Dawn Swann, the sister of Mickey Miller (Joe Swash).

During her four years on EastEnders, Kara's character conned the residents of Albert Square into paying for breast implants, was kidnapped and held hostage by her lover who planned to give her an enforced caesarean, had a brief affair with Phil Mitchell, and was involved in a long-running 'will-they-won't-they' plotline with Garry Hobbs (played by last year's Strictly contestant Ricky Groves). Kara left EastEnders in 2009, saying she would love to return one day.

In 2008, Kara took part in the Sport Relief version of Strictly, partnering Mark Ramprakash, and won.


Kara was born in Basildon in Essex. Her younger sister Hannah is also an actress and has appeared in Hollyoaks.

She dated James Bourne from the band Busted from the age of 15 until she won her role on EastEnders.

She briefly dated James Alexandrou (Martin Fowler) before going out with Joe Swash (Mickey Miller) in 2008 just before he took part in I'm A Celebrity... They split in May 2010, and Kara is currently single.


If she wasn't an actress, Kara says she would have gone to Art College instead. She's 27 years old and is 5' 5" tall.

As well as winning the Sexiest Actress gong at the National Soap Awards in 2008, Kara was also nominated for 'Most Popular Actress' at the National Television Awards in 2007.

She has appeared in adverts for McDonalds and Diamond, and in 2009 she was unveiled as the face of Michelle for George underwear at Asda.

Kara suffers from dyslexia and says she has a reading age of about 12, which causes her problems memorising lines for last-minute auditions. She has made a documentary about the subject for BBC Three, which will be shown in mid-November.

Are you a fan of Kara and Artem?

Why not join in the discussion at Kara & Artem's Blog page - the home of "Team Kartem"!

Dancing partner

Artem Chigvintsev

Kara Tointon will be dancing with Artem Chigvintsev.


Our Celebrity Dancers

Pro Dancers Showdancers

Kara's progress

Grand Final







American Smooth


Kara and Artem were voted the winners of Strictly Come Dancing 2010.




Viennese Waltz




Week 10



Week 9



Week 8

American Smooth


Week 7

Argentine Tango


Week 6



Week 5

Paso Doble


Week 4



Week 3



Week 2



Week 1

Cha cha


Judges' comments

Bruno Tonioli comments on Kara's progress

High point

"Sensuous, romantic, technically always pushed to the limit - stunning."

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