For 18 years Goolden co-presented the popular BBC2 Food and Drink television series in Britain, with Chris Kelly, Michael Barry and her good friend Oz Clarke (another oenophile). She is known for her abstract descriptions of wine tasting appreciation often referring to certain wines as reminiscent of pear drops, liquorice and even rubber. Goolden has presented two television series on antiques for BBC1, The Great Antiques Hunt and Going, Going, Gone, and she has travelled extensively as a regular presenter on BBC1’s Holiday programme. During 2003, she was presenter on BBC1’s Holiday - You Call the Shots. In 2004, the Radio Times included Goolden in a list of the top 40 most eccentric TV presenters of all time. In 2005, she appeared in a new Channel 4 series Extreme Celebrity Detox. She has also starred in a mini-drama written and directed by Pauline Quirke and has performed in The Vagina Monologues at the Royal Albert Hall.
In November, 2005, Goolden also appeared in ITV1's fifth series of I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!. During her time in the jungle Goolden, along with fellow celebrity Carol Thatcher, was voted to do a bushtucker trial. This involved eating various insects and some local delicacies. During her Bushtucker trial in I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, Goolden tried to eat a kangaroo's penis as part of the task but failed to do so. In 2006 Goolden appeared on the television series Celebrity MasterChef.
Jilly has written books on wine and food and palmistry. Her books have also appeared in the Sunday Times best-seller list. She has co-written books which include five volumes of Food and Drink, Entertaining with Food and Drink and The Big Food and Drink Book. As well as books on food and drink, Goolden co-authored Your Hand - An Illustrated Guide To Palmistry (ISBN 0-434-98141-9) in the early 1980s.
Jilly is also a Vice President of the charity, the Advance Centre for the Scotson Technique