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Holly Willoughby1

Holly Marie Willoughby (born 10 February 1981 in Brighton) is an English television presenter, known for her work in presenting children's TV and reality TV. In 2006, she won a Bafta and was chosen to present Dancing on Ice, a highly popular UK celebrity talent show, shown on ITV which draws in an average of 11.7 million viewers.


The younger of two daughters to the manager of a double-glazing company and an air-hostess, she was educated at the independent Burgess Hill School in the town of Burgess Hill in West Sussex. While there, she caused something of a controversy when she became the first girl at the school to have her belly button pierced (when she was 16). She then went on to attend The College of Richard Collyer. Her sister, Kelly, also works in the television industry. She is related by marriage to actress Tamzin Outhwaite, and is best of friends with fellow TV presenter Fearne Cotton. Willoughby supports Watford FC, an English professional football club.

In 2006, Willoughby won a Bafta in recognition of her abilities as a children’s TV presenter. She is frequently rated as one of the most beautiful and desirable women in the UK. In early 2008, she used those good looks to help make the point that the UK, as a nation, waste too much water, by having a 3-minute shower in a cubicle before the public fountain in the middle of Trafalgar Square, London. The event was part of the Be Water Wise campaign which lead up to World Water Day on 22 March 2008.

Willoughby has caused minor scandal on occasion. While presenting the children's programme Ministry of Mayhem, in 2004, she accidently exposed a breast. In January 2008, Willoughby presented Dancing on Ice in a very low cut dress which led to a small number of complaints by the viewing public.


Modelling career

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. She appeared in teen magazines for girls such as Mizz, Just Seventeen and More!. From 1998, at the age of 17, she started modelling lingerie for various clients including Pretty Polly. She appeared in various adverts and posters.

Media career

Children's TV

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.[1] She also acted in a show called S Club 7: Artistic Differences, in which she played a character called Zoe alongside the regular members of the band [2].

After these shows, she worked as a receptionist for a short while and then as a runner for the shopping channel Auction World TV. She also took on several menial jobs, and started an Open University course in psychotherapy. Eventually she found work as as assistant floor manager during which time she persuaded a friend to make a show reel of her. This show reel secured her an agent who then contacted the BBC.

Later in 2000, she joined CBBC to present a factual entertainment programme for children called Xchange. She 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-TV talent show Fame Academy).

Her breakthrough as a children's entertainer came when she re-joined CITV in 2004 to co-present their flagship entertainment show Ministry of Mayhem which aired on Saturday mornings. It was on this programme that 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 magician Stephen Mulhern.

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In addition to co-presenting the show, Willoughby also acted as Mulhern's assistant in a number of illusions, including being sawed in half, guillotined and impaled by spikes. During the final episode of the show (1st July 2006), Willoughby accidentally revealed one of her breasts during a magic trick in which she was beheaded by a guillotine, apparently because her hands had been cuffed behind her back, preventing her from covering up. Following the show, CITV received a small number of complaints, though the wider audience merely wrote the incident off as unfortunate.

The chemistry between Willoughby and Mulhern led to her making regular guest appearances on his show Tricky TV to assist with or participate in illusions. A number of these segments drew complaints from the parents of viewers, including routines called "Stephen's Beach BBQ", in which a bikini-clad Willoughby was put into the cremation illusion on Blackpool beach, and "Bikini Blocks", a double presentation of the Mismade girl involving Jennifer Ellison in which Ellison and Willoughby (in differently coloured bikinis) apparently swapped chests. This in turn led to her participation in a number of magic segments on prime time TV during 2004-5. Notably she interviewed Debbie McGee for Channel 4's 50 Greatest Magic Tricks, during which segment McGee guillotined her and had her conduct much of the interview as a disembodied head before being restored at the very end.

In 2005 Willoughby presented Feel the Fear, a children's entertainment programme in which the presenter's are set unnerving challenges. Notable challenges included being buried alive, walking over hot coals, and being assistant to Criss Angel for a series of unpleasant illusions. She has also had a number of minor appearances on other children's programmes and programmes relating to children. She co-presented the final in 2004 of the children's version of Stars in Their Eyes. In 2006, she also appeared as Stephen Mulhern's regular illusion assistant in season 2 of Tricky TV.

The programmes listed below were broadcast on CITV (ITV) in 2000.

  • S Club TV (2000)
  • S Club 7: Artistic Differences (2000)

The programmes listed below were broadcast on CBBC (BBC), between 2000 and 2004.

  • Xchange (2000-2004)
  • CBBC at the Fame Academy (2002-2003)
  • X-perimental (2003)

The programmes listed below were broadcast on CITV (ITV), between 2004 and 2006.

Mainstream TV

Willoughby presented CD:UK for a short while in 2005, She replaced Cat Deeley before Myleene Klass became the regular presenter.

Willoughby's major breakthough as a mainstream family entertainer came when she was chosen to co-present the flagship ITV talent show Dancing on Ice, alongside Phillip Schofield, in 2006.[3] In this show, celebrities from the UK are partnered with professional dancers to learn ice-dancing routines which are then judged by a panel of experts and voted on by the public. She continues to co-host the show. She was criticised for her choice of costume in January 2008 (see biography, above).

Holly levitated

Holly being levitated by Stephen Mulhern at the launch of the Post Office's magic-themed stamps.

She has presented a number of other ITV programmes, especially spin-off show such as Celebrity Wrestling: Bring It On, Greased Lightnin and most recently, The Xtra Factor. She continued her involvement in magic, appearing as a guest on a number of shows including a short-lived UK version of Celebrity Magic. On March 14, 2005, she appeared with Stephen Mulhern to launch a new set of magic-themed stamps from the Royal Mail at the Magic Circle, being photographed whilst being levitated. She also presented a special report for ITV's This Morning from the USA, interviewing Criss Angel about the second season of his hit show, Mindfreak. This latter appearance featured a new illusion designed by Franz Harary - since nicknamed The Holly Box - in which a bikini-clad Willoughby was sawed in half lengthways with a five-foot buzzsaw. This illusion was later refined into a more "family friendly" version, which Willoughby also took part in. In September 2007, she appeared as a guest on Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway where, along with Fearne Cotton, she assisted Stephen Mulhern with a performance of the double sawing in half, in which both Holly and Fearne were sawed in half and had their lower halves exchanged. This performance was actually a World premiere of a new version of the illusion called Doubly Impossible, using the same style of clear-sides boxes usually used in the "Clearly Impossible" sawing. She has also presented shows exploring celebrity gossip such as Lip Service and the comedy show Celebrity Juice. In 2007, she took over from Davina McCall as the presenter of Streetmate, a dating game show in the UK. She presented sections of The National Television Awards in 2007 and 2008.

She currently co-presents Holly & Fearne Go Dating alongside Fearne Cotton. In this show the two hosts, who are presented as best friends, attempt to find dates for single people that they meet in various situations in in UK. She also currently presents Here Come the Boys, a show celebrating the achievements of popular UK male singers of the past 50 years. In July 2009, Holly and Fearne also became the faces of the main advertising campaign for online retailer Very.co.uk, appearing in a series of themed TV adverts for the brand.

In September 2009, Holly became the new co-host of ITV's This Morning, replacing Fern Britton. Playing on rumours that Myleene Klass, Melanie Sykes and Kate Garraway had all been considered for the role, Willoughby was introduced in a segment with former Ministry of Mayhem co-star Stephen Mulhern. This Morning co-host Philip Schofield was asked to choose from posters of the four women, choosing a poster of Willoughby in her infamous Dancing on Ice dress, which Mulhern then attached to the front of a clear-sided cabinet. Willoughby then burst through it.[4]

All programmes listed below are broadcast on BBC channels.

  • Junior Eurovision (2004)

All programmes listed below are broadcast on ITV (ITV1 and ITV2 channels).

  • CD:UK (2005)
  • Celebrity Wrestling: Bring It On (2005)
  • Dancing on Ice (2006-present)
  • Lip Service (2006)
  • The Westlife Show: Live (December 2007)
  • Greased Lightnin (2007)
  • Streetmate (2007)
  • Holly & Fearne Go Dating (2007)
  • The Xtra Factor (2008-present)
  • Celebrity Juice (2008-present)
  • The National Television Awards (2007 and 2008)
  • Here Come the Boys (2008-present)
  • This Morning (2009-present)

Guest appearances

  • Contestant Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway (29 September 2007)
  • Contestant All Star Family Fortunes (3 November 2007)
  • Guest presenter This Morning (5 December 2008)


  • BAFTA children's TV presenter (2006).[5]

Other notable achievements

  • She was voted 71st in FHM's 100 Sexiest Women In The World poll in 2005; 30th in 2006 and 100th in 2008.
  • She turned on Brighton's first Christmas lights for 25 years on 16 November 2006.
  • In August 2008, she and Fearne Cotton began a series of television advertisements promoting the Imagine game series for Nintendo DS.

Personal life

At the age of 23, Holly became engaged to Dan Baldwin, a former producer of Ministry of Mayhem, the same day that the couple moved into a flat in South London. Holly announced their engagement live on Saturday Showdown, on 6 May 2006. The wedding took place on 4 August 2007 at Amberley Castle, West Sussex. Fearne Cotton and Sarah Cawood were two of the bridesmaids and Dermot O'Leary was an usher. At the reception, guests were entertained by Holly's co-star Stephen Mulhern, who performed a number of tricks and illusions including sawing the chief bridesmaid, Holly's sister Kelly, in half - Holly later revealed that Stephen's original plan was to saw her in half, but she'd told him that while she didn't mind being sawed in half by him any other time, he wasn't going to do it at her wedding, and suggested that he use her sister instead.

Whilst she was presenting The Xtra Factor on 1 November 2008, offhand comments by judges Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh led Holly to confirm that she was pregnant with her first child. Holly gave birth to a boy named Harry James Baldwin, weighing 7 lb 4oz, on 11 May 2009.[6]

It was announced on This Morning on 1 November 2010 that Holly and Baldwin are expecting their second child, a girl, due in May 2011, Phillip Schofield announced via his Twitter on 12 April 2011, that Holly did not go into work on This Morning as she had gone into labour.[7] Phillip later confirmed that Holly in fact was in labour, and would probably give birth soon. On Thursday the 14th of April, Holly posted on Twitter that baby Belle Baldwin was born at 17:10, weighing 5 lbs 2oz.[8]

On 14 March 2014, Holly announced via her official website that she and her husband are expecting their third child.[9]


  • Her nickname at school was 'flat-chested Willoughby'.
  • Holly is 5' 8" tall.
  • She's good friends with Jack Osbourne.
  • She is dyslexic.[10]


  • I have boobs and hips and I dress to accommodate them. That's not going to change.
  • The only time I ever got in trouble was when I threw my shoe across the classroom. Hardly sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.
  • Working with Stephen is certainly a lot of fun – Although I’m sure that, if he had his way, he’d probably want to saw me in half every week! As it is, I’ve lost count of how many times he’s cut me in half, chopped my head off, stuck spikes through me or had me floating fifteen feet off the ground. But, apart from that, it’s fun and I never know what’s coming next.
  • (On how she breaks in new shoes by wearing them while making love with her husband) My rule is that whenever I buy a pair of shoes they should always be worn in the bedroom before anywhere else - during the sex act.
  • Before the first time that Stephen sawed me in half, I always thought that it was a trick and the girl in the box curled up in the top half out of the way of the saw. So imagine my surprise as I'm laying there in the box for the very first time, waiting for Stephen to tell me to curl up, when he suddenly starts to saw through it. I barely had time to yell his name before I felt the saw begin to cut into me, and I just lay there in shock feeling the saw slicing through my waist. It was at that moment I realised it wasn't a trick, I actually was being sawed in half, and the girl in the box really does get split into two pieces.




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