The Holden Girls: Mandy & Myrtle made its debut on E4 (on 7th September), and it's safe to say it left viewers a little confused.


In the run-up to the comedy series being launched, some trailers showing Amanda Holden and her wild life with "nan" Myrtle left viewers wondering one thing: was it all real?

Well... no, the series is fictional, but is filmed in a reality style for added humour.

So, who stars in The Holden Girls? Is Myrtle real? What on earth is going on? Read on for all you need to know about the new E4 series.

Is Myrtle Amanda Holden's real nan?

Amanda Holden and Gran.
Amanda Holden and Nan (CHANNEL 4)

No, Myrtle in The Holden Girls isn't Amanda Holden's real nan. In fact, in this E4 comedy, she's played by Leigh Francis.

In the run up to the series, Myrtle's identity was kept under wraps, and it was only in the first episode the actor was unveiled.

E4 have been very creative in their marketing in the lead-up to the show's launch, with a representative for "Myrtle" telling the Daily Star about speculation: "I have no comment, apart from I'm really hoping being on TV might means I can finally meet my favourite young man, Ben Shephard."

Speaking about her on-screen nan, Amanda added: "I'm delighted that everyone is finally going to meet my nan, the apple never falls far from my tree and in this series, she will certainly be keeping me on my toes."

Amanda's real-life nan was Ethel Thomas, who sadly passed away in 2018 at the age of 97.

Is The Holden Girls real?

Despite its reality-style filming, The Holden Girls is actually a fictional comedy.

The series follows a fictional version of Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda and her nan Myrtle as they go about their day getting up to all sorts of trouble.

Two episodes have aired so far, and the troublesome duo have already had arguments and tabloid scandals - so expect plenty more from them!

The show also has Myrtle coming into contact with Amanda's famous friends including Ben Shephard, Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford.

Who plays Amanda Holden's on-screen husband?

Amanda's real husband is Chris Hughes, a record producer. The pair married in 2008 after meeting in LA in 2003.

In The Holden Girls, Chris is constantly pixelated, and refuses to be on camera.

It isn't actually the real Chris Hughes in the E4 series, it's actually actor Kriss Dillon, who announced his role in the series on Instagram.


The Holden Girls airs Tuesdays on E4. If you're looking for more to watch, head over to our handy TV Guide, or our Drama hub for inspiration.