After attending Sir William Romney's School in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, she studied Ecology and Geography at King's College, London, graduating with a BA in the subject in 2000.
When she was young, her family kept chickens and grew their own food.
Her father worked as a carpenter.
She was born and grew up near Cirencester in Gloucestershire, England.
Ellie: Nature is a rough, tough place. People will always have strong feelings about how it should be covered. There'll be those who want to preserve the natural world, and those who need to make a living from it.
Ellie: (On her childhood in rural Gloucestershire) We lived in a very quiet little place with cats and dogs and chickens. There were fields and cows all around us. It was a real country upbringing.
Ellie: I just have this really fragile ego. We have this thing at the BBC called a viewers' log, where people can have a say on what they think of you, and I can't bear to read it. I can't bear to Google myself or anything like that. I'm just terrified that someone will have said something awful, and I'll be hurt. I've got a neurotic personality.
Ellie: (On how her office job at Channel 5 led to her big TV break) I was asked if I could do a screen test for the job by the controller of children's TV, a lovely guy called Nick Wilson, who was unusual in the sense that he didn't want to choose an already established presenter and was quite happy finding someone who was just sat outside his office. I had to do this screen test in Richmond and pretend there were elephants behind me. Oh it was awful – I hope that tape is long since dead!
Ellie: As a child we lived in a very rural spot in the Cotswolds, so there was very little else around us but nature. But it really became zoological love when I started going out with a guy who was studying zoology. His dad had been in the Clint Eastwood film White Hunter Black Heart in Zimbabwe, so he had contacts out there and we spent quite a bit of time there. And there's nothing that gets you into wildlife more than the big charismatic mammals of Africa.