Childhood & Early Life
Holly Marie Willoughby was born on February 10, 1981 in Brighton, England to Brian R. Willoughby and his wife Linda J. (née Fleming). Her father was a sales manager of a double-glazing company and her mother was an air stewardess.
She is the youngest child of her parents and was raised in Woodmancote with her older sister Kelly Willoughby, who also became a television personality. She attended the independent Burgess Hill Girls school in Burgess Hill in West Sussex and later enrolled into the College of Richard Collyer in Horsham.
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In 1995, during a school trip, a 14-year-old Holly Willoughby was spotted by talent scouts at 'The Clothes Show' Live exhibition, who signed her to Storm Model Management as a teen model.
She appeared in magazines such as 'Mizz', 'Just Seventeen', 'Shout' and 'More!', and later modeled for brands like Rimmel (cosmetics) and Pretty Polly (innerwear) in 1998, at the age of 17.
Several TV commercial appearances made her comfortable in front of the camera, prompting her to join a friend for the audition of the new CITV show, 'S Club TV', to become a TV presenter. The show featured the English pop group 'S Club 7', alongside which she also played a character called Zoe in another show, 'S Club 7: Artistic Differences'.
In the following years, she had to take up a number of menial jobs, worked as a receptionist for some time, and was as a runner for the defunct shopping channel 'Auction World TV'. She also took an Open University course in psychotherapy during this time.
She eventually secured a job as an assistant manager and made a showreel with the help of a friend, which she was able to forward to BBC through an agent. This landed her a presenting job on CBBC's factual entertainment programme for children called 'Xchange' in 2003, followed by several other children's shows like 'X-perimental' and 'CBBC at the Fame Academy'.
In 2004, she returned to CITV to co-present their children's game show 'Ministry of Mayhem'. She and her colleague Stephen Mulhern became so popular as presenters on the show that it was renamed to 'Holly & Stephen's Saturday Showdown' in 2006.
She co-presented the final of the children's version of 'Stars in Their Eyes' in 2004 and the children's entertainment programme 'Feel the Fear' in 2005. She continued to appear on several children's shows, and had a short stint presenting 'CD:UK' in the spring of 2005.
In 2006, she was selected to co-present the television show 'Dancing on Ice' with Phillip Schofield and stayed on the show till 2011 before quitting due to new commitments, but returned in 2018. She was also a presenter on ITV shows like 'Celebrity Wrestling: Bring It On' in 2005, 'Greased Lightnin'' in 2007 and 'The Xtra Factor' from 2008 to 2009.
When the dating game show 'Streetmate' moved from Channel 4 to ITV2 in 2007, she replaced Davina McCall as its presenter. She also co-presented another dating show that year, 'Holly & Fearne Go Dating' with Fearne Cotton, in which they attempted to find dates for single people around UK.
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Along with Fearne Cotton, she joined 'Celebrity Juice' as a regular team captain in 2008 and presented seasons one to thirteen before taking maternity leave during season 12 in late 2014. She returned to the show on season 13 and has been with the show ever since.
She replaced Fern Britton on ITV's 'This Morning', co-presented by Phillip Schofield, in September 2009. She was one of the presenters on the charity telethon 'Text Santa' with Ant & Dec in 2011, and co-presented it with Phillip Schofield in 2012, 2013 and 2015.
She presented 'The Voice UK' with Reggie Yates on its first two seasons in 2012 and 2013 before leaving the show in 2014. In March 2012, she was roped in to present a revamped one-off episode of 'Surprise Surprise' for ITV, which was later made into a full series and was renewed for three more seasons till 2015.
She and her husband, TV producer Dan Baldwin, founded the television programme production activities company Roxy Media in December 2014. She launched the Interior Design company Truly Group LTD in 2016.
In 2015 and 2016, she presented the sports-based panel show 'Play to the Whistle' on ITV. She presented the primetime Saturday night dating show 'Meet the Parents' for the channel in 2016.
Personal Life & Legacy
While working on 'Ministry of Mayhem' in 2004, Holly Willoughby met Dan Baldwin, one of the producers on the show, whom she married on August 4, 2007. The two have three children together: son Harry James Baldwin (born May 11, 2009), daughter Belle Baldwin (born April 14, 2011) and another son, Chester William Baldwin (born September 29, 2014).