Holly Willoughby

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Holly Marie Willoughby (/ˈwɪləbi/; born 10 February 1981) 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).

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.

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.[4] She appeared in teen magazines for girls such as MizzJust SeventeenShout, 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[edit]

Children’s presenting[edit]

In 2000, Willoughby won an audition for a show on CITV featuring S Club 7 called S Club TV. 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. 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 Children’s Award

in 2006.

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