Portelli in 2000.|
|Full Name||Elisa Portelli|
|Occupation||Presenter of Motor Week (UK)|
|On-screen debut||Motor Week: Series 5, Episode 9 (1999)|
|Final appearance||Motor Week: Series 7, Episode 10 (2000)|
Elisa Portelli (ə-LEE-sa) was a British television presenter, who after rising to prominence after featuring in the 1996 music video for The Woolpackers' hit single Emmerdance, which sold upwards of 1.2 million units, was eventually hired by Granada's digital television network Men & Motors in order to present a few motoring programmes.
Life and career[edit | edit source]
Originating from Kent and likely of Italian heritage owing to her surname, Elisa Portelli rose to notoriety upon her appearance in the Emmerdance music video, which followed a brief stint in the soap opera Emmerdale, where she portrayed a line-dancing instructor. From there, she became a newsreader in 1998 and later still a teleshopping host for bid tv, where she formed a strong on-screen rapport with co-host John Hammond, and eventually attracted the attention of Granada, who decided to bring her on-board as a minor host for their car-themed television programme Motor Week.
With Men & Motors[edit | edit source]
Starting from October 1999, Portelli began appearing on Motor Week, reviewing the MG F sports car. During 1999 and 2000, she would produce 6 films for the programme, 5 of which were reshown in later episodes in order to increase her screentime, resulting in 11 total appearances. These included reviews of the second generation SEAT Toledo, alongside a visit to the Škoda museum in Czechia, where she filmed an overview of the company from its humble beginnings as the Laurin & Klement bicycle manufacturer. Her final film, centred around the Fiat Punto Sporting, aired in late 2000. Like many other hosts whose work was initially filmed for Motor Week, films starring Portelli were later reshown as archive footage in other Men & Motors automotive programming series, such as Car File.
In addition to her role on Motor Week, Portelli also hosted the shortlived game show Grand Quiz Auto for a total of 19 episodes, which along with co-host Wayne Kershaw, was an early attempt at bringing the worlds of automobiles and video games together. After a trial run of six episodes which aired during February and March of 2000, the programme was greenlit for a longer second series of 13 episodes, which aired between January and April of 2001. This often included contestants playing titles such as Gran Turismo 2 in addition to a round called Round The Bend, where a contestant would be challenged to complete a stage on Mobil 1 Rally Championship, either by themselves with an inverted steering wheel, or attempting to guide Kershaw around the track whilst the latter was blindfolded.
Elisa Portelli was not the only Emmerdale actress who did presenting work for Men & Motors; Glenda McKay, who portrayed the character of Rachel Hughes from 1988 until 1999 would also become a host of Motor Week starting from July 2000, and was essentially Portelli's long-term replacement.