Making the leap from children’s presenter to Queen of daytime TV is no mean feat but Holly Willoughby has made the transition look effortless. At the NTAs she cemented her position as the jewel in This Morning’s crown with viewers voting in their dozens for the daytime show.
Adored by fans for her relatability and down-to-earth nature, Holly is the celebrity everyone secretly wants to count as their BF, getting style tips from her while gossiping over a glass of vino. Holly’s chemistry with This Morning co-host Phillip Schofield is the stuff of TV producers’ dreams. But don’t be fooled by her giggly demeanour. She’s not afraid to show her emotions when empathising with a guest over a heart-wrenching story but is suitably firm when tackling politics with the likes of Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn.
Holly Willoughby backs co-presenter Phillip Schofield saying: "I can’t imagine This Morning without him!"
Dancing On Ice presenter Holly Willoughby shares a rare peak inside her stunning bathroom
Lauded for her fabulous wardrobe choices, she typically turned heads at last week’s NTAs in a stunning Peter Langner dress. Unfortunately it didn’t stay quite as pristine as she’d hoped. She later admitted spilling champagne on it earlier in the night when the show’s pyrotechnics made her jump. “I literally threw my drink and it went all over me,” she said, in her endearing confessional style.
Holly’s never afraid to let her hair down and enjoy a boozy night out at an awards bash. She and Phillip have become known for turning up at the This Morning studio the day after the night before feeling a little worse for wear. Sure enough, after last week’s win, Holly revealed to OK! backstage that her This Morning colleague Alice Beer had encouraged the team to start the celebrations very early – before that morning’s show had wrapped. “Alice Beer needs to change her name to Alice Tequila. Beer is not strong enough,” she laughed, as Phil added that Alice had the tequila shots ready from 11.15am!
Fond of a cheeky double entendre on air, Holly also admitted that, despite her perfect poise during their acceptance speech, she later felt rather red-faced. Why? She realised she’d been holding the trophy in a slightly rude way. “We were in great shape tonight until I realised I was holding the award like Madonna’s pointy bra. I thought to myself, ‘Oh, that’s gonna be a great shot, well done, Holly!’”
Despite rumours of tension between Phillip and Ruth Langsford – with accusations the pair appeared frosty together on stage – Holly and Phillip’s friendship has remained as strong as ever. Holly, who’s 39 next week, first joined Phillip on the This Morning sofa in 2009 and the pair’s partnership has since become one of TV’s most watchable. They regularly holiday together with their families and Holly recently brushed off reports of a strained relationship by insisting she would quit the show if Phillip did. She explained, “We’ve always said from the beginning that if either of us left then we wouldn’t want to do it, as I can’t imagine This Morning without Phil, it’s us together.”
Opening up about their magical chemistry, Holly admits, “I think it’s the fact that we’ve got a friendship first and foremost. We’ve known each other a really long time now and we pretty much know what the other’s thinking half the time so it makes our working relationship really easy… and fun, too!”
Off screen, Holly is happily married to TV producer Dan Baldwin. The couple marked their 12th wedding anniversary last August and are parents to Harry, 10, Belle, eight, and Chester, five. But Holly has said that it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. “He’d come from MTV and was very ‘too cool for school’. He looked at me like I was this wally of a person. I thought, “Oh God, he hates me. He thinks he’s really cool.”
She added, “Then we became really good friends. We were in the bar and we toasted something with champagne and I looked at him and it was like, ‘Oh my God, I fancy him.’” With a demanding work schedule and an early morning wake up call, Holly’s trick is to always relax and unwind before her head hits the pillow at night. “I love the luxury of sinking into a bath before bed and if I’ve got the time, that’s exactly where you’ll find me; soaking in essential oils, listening to Desert Island Discs! I think a bath, followed by climbing into a bed with fresh sheets, is the best feeling in the world.”
Determined to be a hands-on working mum, she makes every effort to put her children to bed each night, revealing recently, “While I’m reading Chester a bedtime story, Belle sits reading to herself and once Chester’s down, I read to Belle and have a chat before switching out her light. Harry goes to bed at 7.30pm and reads until about 7.45pm when I go up to tuck him in and say good night.”
Reflecting on her success, it’s clear Holly doesn’t take any of it for granted. Of the future, she said, “Life goes so fast and all too soon I’ll be sat at home on the sofa – hopefully as a grandma – watching the 50th NTAs or whatever it is and thinking: ‘Wow, once I was there.’”
Holly’s bed linen range is exclusively available at Dunelm.
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