Ask most people how they’d describe TV personality Holly Willoughby, and the word ‘nice’ gets used — a lot.
Holly carved out a stellar career as the face of ITV’s hit breakfast show This Morning, which she presented alongside Phillip Schofield until last week’s abrupt departure of her co-anchor.
Her outfit choices are snapped up the minute she posts them online every morning… so what is it about Holly that has made her one of the most popular broadcasters on our screens today?
Holly was in the right place at the right time at the age of 14, when she was spotted by talent scouts and began a short-lived modelling career for products such as Storm watches and Pretty Polly hosiery.
In 2000, she won an audition to present children’s entertainment programmes and, after a number of years working on CBeebies Kids TV, her light-hearted and fun-loving personality also caught the eye of one of the main producers, her future spouse, Dan Baldwin.
Holly continued presenting popular programmes, including the children’s version of Stars in Their Eyes and CD: UK, and in 2006, began co-presenting Dancing on Ice with Philip Schofield — a working relationship that continued for 13 years.
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby were once morning television’s golden duo. What went so badly wrong that he ended This Morning without even an on-air goodbye?
With Willoughby, he had seemed to find a relaxed, light-hearted chemistry. Ratings were strong and their friendship grew. When Schofield came out as gay in 2020 he spoke of his gratitude for Holly’s support revealing she had “hugged me as I sobbed on her shoulder”.
But a PR crisis in the shape of the Queen’s lying-in-state saw some criticise the on-screen due of skipping the 20-hour queue.
Last month Schofield’s brother Timothy was found guilty of 11 sexual offences involving a child. Willoughby had reportedly been unaware of the trial until her co-star asked for time off.
A frostiness on the sofa was speculated upon. Headlines clocked up about the unease between the presenters.
Willoughby is now not expected to return to the programme until June, presumably letting the dust settle on the departure of Phil from the sofa.
In the meantime, the mother of three has built a business empire that she can capitalise on from her Dancing On Ice appearances, her style leverage and other colourful projects that see her net worth of over €10 million.
And as they say in show business, the show must go on. Even if that means shaking things up on the This Morning sofa.