Who is Ricki Lake? Let It Shine guest judge and chat show host whose ex-husband died after bipolar battle

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RICKI Lake joined the judging panel on Gary Barlow’s Saturday night talent show Let It Shine for one night only when the programme moved into the live show stage of the competition.

However the same week as her appearance on the hit show, the 48-year-old American broke the sad news on her Facebook page that her ex-husband, who she described as here “soulmate” had passed away.

 Ricki Lake joined the Let It Shine judging panel

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Ricki Lake joined the Let It Shine judging panel

Ricki joined Dannii Minogue, Martin Kemp and Gary Barlow as a guest on the popular show, a position that has previously been filled by Glee’s Amber Riley and Eurovision legend Lulu.

Ricki Lake admits to fancying Gary Barlow on Let It Shine

But who is Ricki Lake? Here’s the lowdown…

 Ricki Lake joins the Saturday night show, but what has she done before?

Getty Images – WireImage
Ricki Lake joins the Saturday night show, but what has she done before?

Who is Ricki Lake?

Ricki Pamela Lake was born in 1968 in New York.

She was brought up largely by her grandmother, Sylvia Lake, until her death in 1978.

At the age of 20 Ricki got her first big break taking on the role of optimistic Tracy Turnblad in the original 1988 version of the film Hairspray.

She also starred in a number of other films including Cry-Baby with Johnny Depp and Cecil B. Demented with Melanie Griffith.

Who’s going to be watching #hairspraylive tonight?

A Polaroid from the original #hairspray w/ moi & @DivineOfficial. 💋 pic.twitter.com/OgpBahRPQP

— Ricki Lake (@RickiLake) December 7, 2016

Why is Ricki Lake famous?

Despite an illustrious acting career, it is not the only thing Ricki is recognised for.

She hosted the daytime talk show named Ricki Lake, from 1993 to 2004.

At the age of 24, at the time, Ricki was the youngest person to host a chat show.

The show covered a number of topics including confronting cheating partners, make-overs and resolving conflicts. Think Jeremy Kyle meets Jerry Springer.

It also inspired the immortal line “You can always go on Ricki Lake” from Offspring’s 1998 hit Pretty Fly (For a White Guy).

Where else have I seen Ricki Lake?

If you’re a fan of American television you may have also spotted Ricki trotting around the dancefloor on Dancing With the Stars, the State’s version of Strictly Come Dancing.

She also had a cameo in the 2007 remake of cult-classic Hairspray, where she played a talent agent.

#HappyEarthDay! 😘 … Happy 70th Birthday to my dear friend and mentor #JohnWaters! 🎉🎉🎉❤️ pic.twitter.com/bO3NiTbaCI

— Ricki Lake (@RickiLake) April 22, 2016

When did Ricki’s ex-husband die?

Ricki announced her ex-husband, Christian Evans, had died on February 16.

He was a jewellery designer who had struggled throughout his life with bipolar disorder.

The couple started dating in 2009 and were married in a secret ceremony in 2012 before announcing their divorce in 2014.

No cause of death has been revealed, and Ricki posted a touching tribute to Christian on Instagram.

Vintage Ricki Lake clip shows guest come out as bisexual

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