Holly Willoughby career and life: From children’s presenter to mother-of-three and daytime TV queen

Holly Willoughby is notoriously tight-lipped about her personal life and rarely speaks about raising her three children with husband Dan Baldwin, but in recent months she has opened up.

The mum-of-three previously spoke about her decision to hire a nanny, hitting out at the 'mummy brigade' shaming her for paying for childcare while also working full-time.

She also shared her own 'mum-guilt' about missing out on moments from her children's life because of her busy television career.

And while the 39 year old tends to keep things fairly private, her life has pretty much been documented on screen from the beginning of her presenting career on Ministry of Mayhem to hosting This Morning with Philip Schofield.

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Children's television

Holly started out on children's television alongside her longtime pal Stephen Mulhern in 2004, where they hosted a show together known as Ministry of Mayhem.

It was later renamed Saturday Showdown, and was where Holly first met her future husband Dan Baldwin, who worked on the show at the time.

She then moved on to CD:UK as Cat Deeley's successor, bringing Stephen with her, to present the children's weekend music show which had formerly been hosted by Ant and Dec.

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Dancing on Ice and wedding

Holly stepped up her career to host Dancing On Ice from 2006 alongside Phillip Schofield, marking the beginning of one of the longest presenting partnerships on British TV.

In 2007, a 26 year old Holly tied the knot with Dan Baldwin – who was 31 at the time – in a glitzy ceremony, which was covered by OK! Magazine.

Holly told OK! of her venue, Amberley Castle, in West Sussex: "We used to go there when I was little for lunch every time there was a special occasion. I think I just knew I would get married there."

Her best friend, fellow TV star Fearne Cotton and MTV presenter Sarah Cawood were bridesmaids along with her sister and friends.

Holly also hosted the Xtra Factor spin-off in 2008 when Alexandra Burke, JLS and Diana Vickers starred on it and in May 2009 she was pregnant with her first son Harry.

This Morning

Alongside presenting cheeky comedy panel Celeb Juice in 2009, Holly also bagged a primetime role on This Morning alongside her Dancing On Ice co-host Phillip after giving birth.

He had recommended her for the job after Fern Britton stepped down, and their chemistry proved incredibly popular.

She fell pregnant with her second child the next year, announcing the news on the ITV daytime show in November 2010, and going on maternity leave in 2011.


Jenni Falconer and Ruth Langsford stepped in to cover Holly after she gave birth to daughter Belle.

After four years of hosting This Morning with Phillip, Holly announced she was pregnant again with her third child, giving birth at the end of September 2014.

She continued presenting the show while heavily pregnant, leaving just a few weeks before Chester arrived. She was temporarily replaced by Christine Lampard and Amanda Holden, who helped Phillip host the ITV show.

I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

As well as stints as a host on The Voice UK, a revamp of Cilla Black's Surprise Suprise, and her own dating show, Meet the Parents, Holly has proved herself as one of the hardest working presenters on television.

In 2018 she was the first choice to replace Ant McPartlin on I'm A Celeb when he took a year out from the show following his drink-driving conviction.

She left behind This Morning in the capable hands of Phillip and Rochelle Humes to fly to the Australian jungle to host alongside Declan Donnelly.

The mum didn't go without her family either, with her three children and husband Dan all joining Holly in Oz during the 22-day series.

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Her decision to fly her three children to Australia during school term sparked a parenting debate as people accused her of flouting rules, but others pointed out that she most likely had a private tutor with them so they didn't fall behind on school.

On This Morning, Holly said of her decision to take the job: "The weird thing is, when I first found out, it's very exciting… and then you're working out the logistics of how you're going to go and how long for, and the kids are coming with me.

"I was speaking to the school and how that's all going to work and Dan and my mum and dad who are coming out as well and suddenly all logistics are sorted."

Balancing motherhood and her TV career

A busy Holly also returned to presenting Dancing On Ice in 2019, which meant she was working nearly seven days a week on television.

As well as a role working with M&S as their fashion ambassador, Holly still hosts This Morning alongside Phillip.

She shared her decision to hire a nanny due to her full-time work, saying: "Working mums and stay-at-home mums get a tough time. You're damned if you do and damned if you don't. You just have to do what's right for you and not listen to what the mummy brigade say."

"My job as a mother isn't just to provide for my children, it's to be there for them, too – someone they can speak to, hang out with, and lean on. When it comes to the kids, I don't ever want to feel like I'm missing out on stuff,” she told Closer magazine.

And in a new interview with Red Magazine, Holly revealed she knew she wanted to be a mum when she was a child, but had no idea of the challenges.

She told Red magazine: “Becoming a mum was the only thing I knew I definitely wanted when I was growing up, but the image I had never involved me being a working mum. That’s the biggest challenge.

“I’ve been riddled with guilt about getting that part wrong. You love them so much and you don’t want to mess them up.”

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