Holly Willoughby

Last updated

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

(1981-02-10) 10 February 1981 (age 40)
Education
Occupation
  • Television presenter
  • model
  • author
Years active1999–present
Employer ITV
Television
Spouse(s)
Dan Baldwin
(m. 2007)
Children3
Website www.officialhollywilloughby.com

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.

Contents

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

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), a former air stewardess. [4] 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 and signed with the model agency, Storm Management. [5] 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 bras, underwear and tights for clients including Pretty Polly, appearing in advertisements and posters.

Career

2000–2005: Children's presenting

In 2000, Willoughby won an audition for a show on CITV featuring S Club 7 called S Club TV. [6] In this show actors represented an alternative S Club. [7] She also appeared in a show called S Club 7: Artistic Differences playing a character called Zoe with the regular members of the band. [8] 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. [6] 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 Children's Award in 2006. [9]

2006–2008

Willoughby at the premiere of Happy Feet in 2006. Holly Willoughby.jpg
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 , [10] 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. [11] [12]

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 13–23 (taking a break in series 12 due to maternity leave). [13] She left the show after 12 years in May 2020. [14]

2009–present

Willoughby has co-presented ITV's This Morning with Phillip Schofield since September 2009 replacing Fern Britton. [15] Willoughby and Schofield present the programme from Monday to Thursday mornings.

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. [16]

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. [17]

In 2012, Willoughby began hosting a revived version of Surprise Surprise . [18] 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. [19] [20]

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 [21] and a third series aired in 2017. [22]

In 2016, Willoughby presented primetime Saturday night dating show Meet the Parents for ITV. The show has been compared to Blind Date . [23]

In August 2017, it was reported Willoughby had received a £200,000 pay rise to match the salary of her co-host Phillip Schofield. [24] She returned to present the new series of Dancing on Ice with Schofield in January 2018. [25]

In April 2018, Willoughby announced her new lifestyle brand, Truly, that will launch in Autumn 2018. [26] In September 2018, Willougby resigned, citing lack of time as her reason.

In August 2018, it was announced that 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. [27]

Willoughby is a brand ambassador for Marks & Spencer and Garnier, [28] [29] and a former ambassador for Diet Coke in the UK. [30] [31]

Personal life

Willoughby is dyslexic. [32] Her sister, Kelly, also works in the television industry. [33]

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 live in Barnes, London [34] and 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, [35] and their third was born on 29 September 2014. [36] [37]

In 2008, Willoughby became a patron of the charity Together for Short Lives. [38]

Filmography

Television

YearProgrammeRoleNotes
2000 S Club TV: Artistic DifferencesZoe
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-presenter9 series
2006Lip ServicePresenter
2007 The Westlife Show: Live
Greased Lightnin'
Streetmate 1 series
Holly & Fearne Go Dating
2008–2009 The Xtra Factor
2008–2020 Celebrity Juice Team captainSeries 1–23
2009–present This Morning Co-presenter
2009 Cheryl Cole's Night In Presenter
2010 The Pale Horse Goody CarneCameo role
2011–2013, 2015 Text Santa Co-presenterAnnually
2012–2013 The Voice UK Presenter2 series
2012–2015 Surprise Surprise 4 series
2015–2017 Play to the Whistle 3 series
2016Meet the Parents
2018 Coronation Street HerselfCameo with Phillip Schofield
I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! Co-presenter
2019–presentTake Off with Bradley & Holly [39]
2020 Michael McIntyre's The Wheel ContestantChristmas special [40]
2021 The Masked Dancer Guest judgeSeason 1, Episode 7: "Final"

Film

YearTitleRole
2012 Keith Lemon: The Film Herself

Bibliography

School for Stars series

All books written with Kelly Willoughby

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References

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  8. Holly Willoughby Internet Movie Database
  9. Children's Awards BAFTA
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  11. Good Golly, Miss Holly Archived 27 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine Orange Entertainment News, 29 January 2008
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  13. Welsh, Daniel (4 March 2015). "Look Who's Back From Maternity Leave". HuffPost .
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