Holly Willoughby: ‘I felt so uncomfortable’ This Morning star in unlikely career admission

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Holly Willoughby, 39, opened up to the July issue of Red on her days as a teenage model, attending castings for commercials and how she would often feel “uncomfortable” in front of people. Although the This Morning host nowadays may appear the epitome of glamour and confidence, that was not always the case for the star.

I never really had the confidence to speak up

Holly Willoughby

Holly revealed there were days as a young adult where she struggled to “look people” in the eye when first trying to make a name for herself in the showbiz world.

She admitted: “Looking back on my career, I realise that I’ve only got to this point by putting myself in uncomfortable positions. 

“I was always very shy and I never really had the confidence to speak up for myself when I was younger,” she added

Holly began her career in 1998, aged 17 when she was signed by Storm Model Management and began modelling underwear for clients including Pretty Polly.


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“I started modelling in my teens, just so I could earn some money to go on a gap year, and I’d go to castings for things like toothpaste commercials and sit in the waiting room, barely able to look anyone in the eye, thinking, ‘Oh my God, I don’t know what to do,’ while all these other girls walked in looking super-confident.”

Holly had her first break in television when she won an audition for a show on CITV called S Club TV, before going on to co-present Ministry of Mayhem.

“I felt so uncomfortable, but I didn’t give up – I pushed myself to keep going, to find that confidence. And I owe my TV career to that.”

After her popularity as a children’s presenter, she landed a role on Dancing on Ice in 2006 alongside Phillip Schofield.

The successful on-screen partnership between Holly and Phil has been an enduring success ever since, with the pair hosting This Morning together since 2009.

She is also a mother to children, Harry,11, Belle, nine, and Chester, five, who she shares with husband Dan Baldwin.

The star confessed often feeling guilty to a heavy work schedule while her children are growing up.

Holly told the magazine that never as a young girl did she imagine becoming a “working” mum.

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Owing to her packed timetable she has had no “time” to drop off her children to school.

“I hate that I wasn’t there because those memories you can’t get back.”

However to cope with the feelings of guilt she had “to accept that sometimes I don’t get it right, and that’s fine”.

The presenter is turning 40 next year and admitted she has no qualms about getting older.


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“I’m really looking forward to it.” 

“My 30s have been all about the kids bringing them up, keeping all these balls afloat but now they’re getting older, there’s a bit more space where I can start focusing on things that are happening for me.

“I see my 40s as a chance to find myself again and figure out who I am.”

Read the full Holly Willoughby interview in the July issue of Red, on sale now. It is available in all supermarkets and online at MagsDirect – https://magsdirect.co.uk/magazine-category/lifestyle/red/ 

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