Holly Willoughby

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Holly Willoughby
Holly Willoughby (cropped).jpg
Willoughby in 2013
Holly Marie Willoughby

(1981-02-10) 10 February 1981 (age 39)
EducationBurgess Hill Girls
The College of Richard Collyer
  • Television presenter
  • model
  • author
Years active1999–present
Dan Baldwin
(m. 2007)

Holly Marie Willoughby (/ˈwɪləbi/; born 10 February 1981)[1] is an English television presenter, model and author. She is currently the co-presenter of ITV's This Morning (2009–present) and Dancing on Ice (2006–2011, 2018–present) alongside Phillip Schofield.

From 2008 to 2020, Willoughby was a team captain on ITV2's Celebrity Juice alongside Fearne Cotton. She presented the revived television series Surprise Surprise (2012–2015), replacing original presenter Cilla Black. Her other television work includes The Xtra Factor (2008–2009), Text Santa (2011–2013, 2015), BBC's The Voice UK (2012–2013), Play to the Whistle (2015–2017), and I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! (2018).[2]

Early life[edit]

Willoughby was born in Brighton, East Sussex[3] the younger of two daughters of Brian Willoughby, a sales manager of a double-glazing company, and Linda Willoughby (née Fleming), an air stewardess.[citation needed] She was educated at the independent Burgess Hill Girls in the town of Burgess Hill in West Sussex, and The College of Richard Collyer in Horsham.[3]

In 1995, at the age of 14, Willoughby was spotted by talent scouts at The Clothes Show Live exhibition. Storm Model Management signed her up.[4] She appeared in teen magazines for girls such as Mizz, Just Seventeen, Shout, and More!. From 1998, at the age of 17, Willoughby started modelling bra, panties and tights for clients including Pretty Polly, appearing in advertisements and posters.


Children's presenting[edit]

In 2000, Willoughby won an audition for a show on CITV featuring S Club 7 called S Club TV.[5] In this show actors represented an alternative S Club.[6] She also appeared in a show called S Club 7: Artistic Differences playing a character called Zoe with the regular members of the band.[7] Willoughby worked as a receptionist for a while and then as a runner for the defunct shopping channel Auction World TV.

Willoughby also took on menial jobs and started an Open University course in psychotherapy. Then eventually, she found work as assistant manager during which time she persuaded a friend to make a showreel of her. This secured her an agent who then contacted the BBC.[5] Later in 2002, Willoughby presented a factual entertainment programme for children called Xchange and went on to host several other children's shows for CBBC: X-perimental and CBBC at the Fame Academy (CBBC's version of the BBC talent show Fame Academy).

Willoughby's first role as a children's entertainer came when she rejoined CITV in 2004 to co-present their entertainment show Ministry of Mayhem which aired on Saturday mornings. On this programme she met her future husband Dan Baldwin, one of the show's producers. In 2006, the show's title was changed to Holly & Stephen's Saturday Showdown in order to reflect the popularity of its co-presenters, Willoughby and Stephen Mulhern.

In 2005, Willoughby presented Feel the Fear, a children's entertainment programme in which the presenters are set unnerving challenges. She has also had a number of minor appearances on other children's programmes. Willoughby presented CD:UK for a short while in the spring of 2005, replacing Cat Deeley before Myleene Klass, Lauren Laverne and Johny Pitts became the regular presenters. In recognition of work as a children's television presenter, Willoughby won a BAFTA in 2006.[8]


Willoughby at the premiere of Happy Feet in 2006.

In 2006 she was chosen to co-present, with Phillip Schofield, the television show Dancing on Ice,[9] in which celebrities are partnered with professional dancers to learn ice-dancing routines which are judged by a panel of experts and voted on by audiences. Willoughby remained in the role until 2011 due to new commitments. She was replaced by Christine Lampard.[10][11]

Willoughby has presented a number of other ITV programmes, including spin-off shows such as Celebrity Wrestling: Bring It On in 2005, Greased Lightnin' in 2007 and The Xtra Factor for two years in 2008 and 2009.

In 2007, she took over from Davina McCall as the presenter of Streetmate, a dating game show during its transition from Channel 4 to ITV2. Willoughby hosted the show for its final series. In the same year, Willoughby co-presented Holly & Fearne Go Dating with Fearne Cotton. The show saw the two hosts attempt to find dates for single people that they meet around the UK.

Since 2008, Willoughby has appeared as a team captain on Celebrity Juice, presenting series 1–11 and 13 onwards (taking a break in series 12 due to maternity leave).[12]


Willoughby has co-presented ITV's This Morning with Phillip Schofield since September 2009 replacing Fern Britton.[13] Willoughby and Schofield present the programme from Monday to Thursday mornings with Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes co-hosting on Fridays.

In 2011, Willoughby co-presented charity telethon Text Santa with Ant & Dec. She returned to co-host the show with Phillip Schofield in 2012, 2013 and 2015.[14]

On 24 March 2012, Willoughby began presenting The Voice UK with Reggie Yates. She decided to leave the show after the second series and was replaced by Emma Willis in 2014.[15]

In 2012, Willoughby began hosting a revived version of Surprise Surprise.[16] A second series began airing on 15 September 2013, a third on 22 October 2014 and a fourth on 21 June 2015.

Willoughby has written a series of children's books with her sister Kelly. Their debut book School for Stars: First Term at L'Etoile became the UK's highest-selling children's book of 2013.[17][18]

In 2015, Willoughby presented the sports-based panel show Play to the Whistle on ITV. The first series aired for seven episodes beginning on 11 April 2015. A second series aired for six episodes, beginning in April 2016[19] and a third series aired in 2017.[20]

In 2016, Willoughby presented primetime Saturday night dating show Meet the Parents for ITV. The show has been compared to Blind Date.[21]

In August 2017, it was reported Willoughby had received a £200,000 pay rise to match the salary of her co-host Phillip Schofield.[22] She returned to present the new series of Dancing on Ice with Schofield in January 2018.[23]

In April 2018, Willoughby announced her new lifestyle brand, Truly, that will launch in Autumn 2018.[24] In September 2018, Willougby resigned, citing lack of time as her reason.

In August 2018, it was announced that from November until December 2018, Willoughby would host the eighteenth series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! alongside Declan Donnelly as his usual partner Anthony McPartlin took a year-long break.[25]

Willoughby is a brand ambassador for Marks & Spencer and Garnier,[26][27] and a former ambassador for Diet Coke in the UK.[28][29]

On 4 May 2020, Willoughby announced that she would be leaving ITV2's Celebrity Juice, after 12 years on the show.[30]

Personal life[edit]

Willoughby is dyslexic.[31] Her sister, Kelly, also works in the television industry.[32]

On 4 August 2007, Willoughby married Dan Baldwin, co-founder of Hungry Bear Media and a former producer on Ministry of Mayhem and later Executive Producer on Celebrity Juice. They have two sons and a daughter. Their first child was born on 11 May 2009,[citation needed] their second was born on 14 April 2011,[33] and their third was born on 29 September 2014.[34][35]

In 2008, Willoughby became a patron of the charity Together for Short Lives.[36]



Year Programme Role Notes
2000 S Club TV: Artistic Differences Zoe
2002–2003 CBBC at the Fame Academy Presenter
2003 X-perimental
2004–2006 Ministry of Mayhem, A.K.A Holly & Stephen's Saturday Showdown Co-presenter
2004 Junior Eurovision Song Contest: The British Final Presenter
2005 CD:UK
Celebrity Wrestling: Bring It On
2006–2011, 2018–present Dancing on Ice Co-presenter 9 series
2006 Lip Service Presenter
2007 The Westlife Show: Live
Greased Lightnin'
Streetmate 1 series
Holly & Fearne Go Dating
2008–2009 The Xtra Factor
2008–2020 Celebrity Juice Team captain Series 1–23
2009–present This Morning Co-presenter
2009 Cheryl Cole's Night In Presenter
2011–2013, 2015 Text Santa Co-presenter Annually
2012–2013 The Voice UK Presenter 2 series
2012–2015 Surprise Surprise 4 series
2015–2017 Play to the Whistle 3 series
2016 Meet the Parents
2018 Coronation Street Herself Cameo with Phillip Schofield
2018 I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! Co-presenter
2019–present Take Off with Bradley & Holly[37]


Year Title Role
2012 Keith Lemon: The Film Herself


  • The Best Friends' Guide to Life (with Fearne Cotton, Vermilion, 2010) ISBN 9780091935405
  • Truly Happy Baby (June 2016) ISBN 9780008172527
  • Truly Scrumptious Baby (September 2017) ISBN 9780008172565

School for Stars series[edit]

All books written with Kelly Willoughby


  1. ^ "Holly Willoughby - Biography". 14 July 2012. Archived from the original on 14 July 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Willoughby to co-host I'm A Celebrity". BBC News. 29 August 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Willoughby to present This Morning". West Sussex County Times. 17 July 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
  4. ^ The 20 most powerful celebrity makers: 6. Sarah Doukas The Observer, 22 June 2008
  5. ^ a b Bio Holly Willoughby
  6. ^ "OFF THE TELLY: Reviews/2000/SM:TV Live / CD:UK / S Club TV". 11 March 2009. Archived from the original on 11 March 2009.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  7. ^ Holly Willoughby Internet Movie Database
  8. ^ Children's Awards BAFTA
  9. ^ Holly Willoughby ITV: Dancing on Ice
  10. ^ Good Golly, Miss Holly Archived 27 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine Orange Entertainment News, 29 January 2008
  11. ^ Christine Bleakley replaces Holly Willoughby as 'Dancing on Ice' host – Dancing on Ice News – Reality TV. Digital Spy (18 November 2011). Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  12. ^ Welsh, Daniel (4 March 2015). "Look Who's Back From Maternity Leave". HuffPost.
  13. ^ "Willoughby new This Morning host". BBC News. 15 July 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
  14. ^ "Text Santa 2013 | presscentre". Itv.com. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  15. ^ "Big Brother's Emma Willis announced as new presenter of 'The Voice' UK". Digital Spy. 14 September 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  16. ^ "Willoughby to host 'Surprise Surprise'". 15 March 2012.
  17. ^ Willoughby, Holly. "About". Holly Willoughby. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  18. ^ Willoughby, Holly. "Books". Holly Willoughby. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  19. ^ Guide, British Comedy (18 November 2015). "ITV order Series 2 of Play To The Whistle".
  20. ^ "Play to the Whistle Will Not Get Series 4". premieredate.news.
  21. ^ "Holly Willoughby to host brand new ITV dating show". 19 May 2016.
  22. ^ Bagwell, Matt (24 August 2017). "Holly Willoughby 'Bags £200K Pay Rise, To Finally Match Phillip Schofield's ITV Salary'". HuffPost.
  23. ^ "Dancing on Ice to return in 2018". ITV Press Centre. 4 September 2017.
  24. ^ "Holly Willoughby on Instagram: "TRULY, my new lifestyle brand that launches in the Autumn"". Instagram. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  25. ^ "Holly Willoughby to co-host this year's I'm A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!". itv.com.
  26. ^ "Holly Willoughby - Spokespersons - Within Garnier - Garnier". www.garnier.co.uk. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  27. ^ Halliday, Sandra. "Holly Willoughby becomes M&S brand ambassador". FashionNetwork.com. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  28. ^ "A chat with… Diet Coke ambassador Holly Willoughby". www.coca-cola.co.uk. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  29. ^ Costello, Emma (22 February 2019). "Holly Willoughby ends brand deal with Diet Coke to focus on This Morning and Dancing On Ice". Extra.ie. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  30. ^ "Willoughby to leave celebrity Juice after 12 years". BBC News. 4 May 2020. Retrieved 4 May 2020.
  31. ^ "Holly Willoughby tells Twitter followers who criticised spelling 'I'm dyslexic'". The Daily Telegraph. London. 6 November 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
  32. ^ Burnetts, Katie (3 August 2014). "Sisters Holly and Kelly Willoughby, a TV presenter and an author, say why they never fall out". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 April 2019.
  33. ^ Holly gives birth to baby girl. moremagazine.co.uk. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  34. ^ "Surprise Surprise!! | Holly Willoughby". Officialhollywilloughby.com. 20 January 2010. Archived from the original on 17 April 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  35. ^ "Holly Willoughby gives birth to baby boy". 29 September 2014. Retrieved 27 April 2017.
  36. ^ "About us".
  37. ^ "Bradley Walsh and Holly Willoughby Take Off for a series on BBC One". BBC Media Centre. 21 February 2020. Retrieved 6 May 2020.

External links[edit]