Holly Willoughby

Holly Willoughby


2/10/1981, Brighton, England, UK

Birth Name

Holly Marie Willoughby



Also Known As

Holly Baldwin
  • Holly Willoughby, Leigh Francis and Fear...
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Holly Willoughby is an English television presenter, best known for the ITV ice skating show Dancing on Ice and the children's show Ministry of Mayhem.

Holly started out as a lingerie model before getting her break into TV. She is also an experienced magician's assistant, having often…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In April 2011, she gave birth to her second child, a daughter named Belle.

    • In May 2010, Holly caused a minor media stir by apparently making a Nazi salute while presenting an episode of This Morning. Explaining the incident, Holly said that it was actually a mixed-up Star Wars and Superman reference that went a bit wrong - She'd mis-read her autocue, seeing "weather forecasters" as "weather force-casters". Trying to joke about the incident, she then got her wires crossed with the two movies, saying "may the force be with you" while raising her arm in what she intended to be a Superman pose.

    • On the November 1st 2010 episode of This Morning, Holly revealed that she was three months pregnant with her second child, due in May 2011.

    • When Holly took over co-presenting This Morning in September 2009, her introduction on the show played on the rumours that Myleene Klass, Melanie Sykes and Kate Garraway had all been considered for the role. Holly's friend, magician Stephen Mulhern, asked presenter Philip Schofield to choose from life-sized posters of Holly, Myleene, Melanie and Kate. When Philip chose the poster of Holly, Stephen attached it to the front of a tall and obviously empty clear-sided cabinet, and Holly then burst through it.

    • Since early 2008, Holly has had an exclusive "golden handcuffs" deal with ITV, said to be worth around £5 Million.

    • In July 2009, Holly and Fearne Cotton began appearing in a series of TV adverts for online retailer Very.co.uk.

    • She's a big football fan, and supports Arsenal FC.

    • In both 2007 and 2008, she presented sections of the National Television Awards.

    • In August 2008, Holly and best friend Fearne Cotton began a series of TV adverts promoting the Imagine game series for the Nintendo DS games console.

    • At the 2007 Royal Variety Performance in London, she assisted magician and illusion designer Franz Harary with a performance of a modified version of the Harary-designed Criss Angel lengthways sawing in half she'd taken part in on This Morning. In this modified version of the illusion, Holly, wearing a silver miniskirt and belly-baring top, was placed in a vertical box with translucent front and rear panels, and from which her hands and lower legs projected at either end all through the illusion. Before the box front was closed, a bright light was switched on behind the box, so that when the front was closed, Holly could still be seen in silhouette within the box. A circular saw was then used to divide the box vertically, passing right through Holly's silhouette from between her legs to above her head. Two large steel divider plates were then inserted through the saw cut, and the box halves pulled apart. With the box halves separated, the front, side and rear panels were opened to show Holly within, cut in two lengthways with the divider plates passing right through her. The box halves were then pushed back together, the front, side and rear panels closed and the dividers removed. The front panels were then opened once more to show Holly back in one piece and apparently none the worse for just having been sawed in half.

    • In March 2008, she helped to promote the Be Water Wise campaign, aimed at encouraging the UK to save more water, by taking a three-minute shower in a glass-sided cubicle set up in front of the fountains in Trafalgar Square.

    • Her measurements are 34D-24-35.

    • In January 2008, ITV received a small number of complaints about the low cut style of the dresses Holly wore to present Dancing on Ice.

    • Her first car was a battered VW Golf, that she used to drive to college with the theme to Wonder Woman playing at full volume on the stereo.

    • At college, she gained a reputation for turning up dressed in outrageous costumes. She once turned up dressed as a Playboy Bunny, another time as a cavegirl, and dressed in corset and suspenders for the college's 1997 Rag Week "Kinky Day".

    • She experienced an embarrassing incident during the final episode of Ministry of Mayhem when, while taking part in one of Stephen Mulhern's illusions, she accidentally exposed one of her breasts. The incident happened when Stephen, dressed as a comical executioner, grabbed Holly to strap her into a guillotine to "have her head chopped off". Because Holly, dressed as a sexy schoolgirl, had had her hands cuffed behind her back, she was unable to cover up when her breast "popped out" (as she later described it), and CITV received a number of complaints about the incident.

    • When she was 17, she was voted "Most Fanciable Female" at her school.

    • Her favorite designer is Diane von Furstenberg.

    • On March 14, 2005, she took part in the launch of a set of magic-themed stamps for the Royal Mail. At the press launch, held at the Magic Circle headquarters, she was levitated by her Ministry of Mayhem co-presenter Stephen Mulhern while holding a large version of one of the stamps.

    • At the start of her modeling career, she appeared in teen magazines such as Mizz, Just Seventeen and More!.

    • She was educated at Burgess Hill School For Girls, near Brighton. When she was 16, she attended The College of Richard Collyer, also near Brighton.

    • When she was 16, she became the first girl at her school to have her belly button pierced.

    • She has both ears pierced twice, and her favorite earrings are large hoops.

    • Announced in November 2008, that she and her husband Dan Baldwin were expecting their first child together. Their son, Harry James Baldwin, was born on May 11th, 2009.

    • When she appeared on the 29 September 2007 episode of Ant & Dec's Saturday Showdown, she took part in the world premiere of a new version of Sawing a Woman in Half. In the illusion, Holly and her best friend Fearne Cotton, wearing different-coloured costumes, were both sawed in half by magician (and Holly's friend) Stephen Mulhern while locked inside clear-sided boxes that were never covered at all during the illusion. Having sawed both Holly and Fearne in half and seperated their halves, Stephen then reassembled them with their bottom halves switched. When they got out of the sawing boxes at the end of the illusion, Holly was wearing the bottom half of Fearne's costume, and Fearne the bottom half of Holly's. This was the first time that such a "double sawing" had ever been performed using clear-sided boxes.

    • Holly is good friends with Jack Osbourne.

    • Holly said if she wasn't a TV presenter then she would have been a psychotherapist.

    • Her nickname at school was 'flat-chested Willoughby'.

    • Holly's big break came when she was spotted on a school trip to the Clothes Show Live exhibition when she was 14.

    • Holly is 5' 8" tall.

    • Holly's best friend is TV presenter Fearne Cotton.

    • Holly appeared in commercials for Always sanitary towels when she was a teenager.

    • Holly and Dan got married in August 2007 at Amberley Castle in West Sussex. Many of Holly's show-business friends attended the wedding and reception. TV presenter Dermot O'Leary was an usher at the wedding, while Fearne Cotton and Sarah Cawood were two of Holly's bridesmaids. At the reception, Holly's co-presenter Stephen Mulhern entertained the guests with a number of illusions including the sawing in half of Holly's chief bridesmaid, her sister Kelly.

    • On 14 November 2006, she interviewed magician Criss Angel for ITV morning show This Morning. At the end of the interview, she assisted Angel with a brand-new version of Sawing a Woman in Half, specially created for Angel by noted illusion designer Franz Harary. In this illusion, Angel strapped a bikini-clad Holly to a long table and covered her with a box with translucent glass sides, through which she could be seen in silhouette. The box was then sawed in half lengthways by a five-foot circular saw, before the box sides were opened to show the saw completely through Holly from above the top of her head to between her legs.

    • Holly came 30th on FHM's 100 Sexist Women in the World poll in 2006.

    • In 2006 Holly announced her engagement live on air on Saturday Showdown.

    • In November 2006, Holly turned on Brighton's first Christmas lights for 25 years.

    • Holly lives in South London with her husband Dan Baldwin, who she met backstage at a Travis concert.

    • Holly is married to Dan Baldwin, who produced Ministry of Mayhem.

    • In 2006 Holly won the BAFTA for Children's TV Presenter

    • She is good friends with magician Stephen Mulhern, who is her co-presenter for the CITV Saturday show Ministry of Mayhem (later Holly and Stephen's Saturday Showdown). She often acts as Stephen's special guest assistant for his various illusions. Although she's taken part in a number of different illusions, the most common illusion that she has performed with Stephen, and the one that she's said is her favourite, is being sawed in half in his Clearly Impossible illusion.

    • Her first adult role away from children's TV was Celebrity Wrestling, with Jack Osbourne.

    • Holly's father is called Brian and is a manager of a double glazing company, while her mother's name is Lyn and was an air stewardess. She has a younger sister called Kelly, who works in music management.

  • Quotes

    • Holly: (On performing the Clearly Impossible sawing in half with Stephen Mulhern) Traditionally, when magicians chop someone in half, the assistant curls up inside the box and mirrors trick the audience into seeing what the magician wants them to. But Stephen's Clearly Impossible sawing is very different. The first rule of magic is never to reveal the secret, so I won't say exactly how the illusion works, but I can promise there are no mirrors involved and I'm not curling up inside the box. I lie on a table before two clear boxes are placed over me, meeting halfway along my body. Stephen then runs a saw and two blades between the boxes and separates them, walking through the gap, and the clear boxes mean that people can see inside and that I really have been cut in two - he can even get people to feel my feet and confirm that they are real. It's totally amazing and I love performing it, although the first time was a bit scary.

    • Holly: Kelly and I were both a couple of drama queens growing up, always putting on shows at home for our parents and making up stories together.

    • Holly: (On the novel 50 Shades of Grey) I finished the first book and thought, 'This is the best thing I've ever read.' I was completely obsessed. Literally couldn't put it down. Then I read the second, and the third... I mean, bloody hell, you learn a lot - I think every woman should read them!

    • Holly: I'm going through a phase of paring everything back and I like it. I haven't got false nails, I don't have hair extensions, I've even stopped wearing false lashes for work. When my teeth went a bit crooked recently I had a brace because veneers aren't right for me - I just want a natural, friendly-looking smile, nothing fake. I feel my best when I'm enhancing what I've got in the most natural way I can.

    • Holly: I don't take the compliments or the criticism seriously. As long as I look in the mirror and think I look all right I'm happy.

    • Holly: I don't think we should compare ourselves to anyone else. Women have so many brilliant qualities and so much time is wasted focusing on the shape of our bodies. I don't think it's healthy. It makes me feel very uncomfortable. I sit on the [This Morning] sofa opposite women recovering from anorexia, and the majority say they find the media focus on women's bodies is unhelpful.

    • Holly: One of the strangest experiences I've ever had, in fact probably the strangest, was when Stephen performed the double sawing in half on Fearne and myself. Usually when he saws me in half, I can still feel my lower half even after he's sawed through me, put the divider blades in, and pushed my halves apart. But, when we did the double sawing, as soon as he sawed through me I lost all feeling from my waist down, which is a very scary feeling. And I didn't feel anything at all below my waist until he took the dividers out again - Except, of course, they weren't my legs I was feeling, but Fearne's. And that was probably the oddest thing of all, getting out of the box, looking down, and seeing Fearne's hips, legs and feet in place of mine. Before the show, Stephen told us that it would feel really strange to be walking around on each other's legs, and he was right. So we were both glad when, after the show, he sawed us both in half again and gave us our own lower halves back.

    • Holly: I have a rule. My rule is that is that whenever I buy a pair of shoes, they should always be worn in the bedroom before they are worn anywhere else - during the sex act.

    • Holly: I'd like our family to grow, and I'd like to spend more time at home with them…We had this pipe dream once where we'd move out of London and we'd have a mustard and jam factory! Dan would make mustard and I'd make jam, and then we'd be there with loads of kids and just have a lovely life.

    • Holly: (On being sawed in half lengthways by Criss Angel) While I'd been sawed in half the usual way, through my waist, plenty of times before, being sawed lengthways was definitely a first for me. And when I watched the footage back and saw myself there in two pieces with the huge saw going right through me, even I couldn't believe it. But that's what you expect with Criss - You know he's going to push the limits. It's just a little unsettling when you know you're going to be his victim and he first tells you what it is he's got planned for you!!

    • Holly: (On watching her husband Dan being a good father to their son) Nothing makes you fall in love with someone more. It's a real aphrodisiac, and that means more babies!

    • Holly: The good things in life are the simple things – and they're wonderful. I think people are under so much pressure but if you don't do so much and appreciate what you have, you'll have a great life.

    • Holly: As soon as I hit 17 my hips went 'pang', the boobs went 'pang'. And I remember thinking, 'finally!'

    • Holly: (On the wilder side of working on kid's TV) There were times when we went straight from the hotel bar to going live on air at 6am. It doesn't help when you read the script and find you've got to drink anchovies in custard with some 8-year-old. That day I was sick live on TV.

    • Holly: Dresses suit me best because of my hourglass shape. I'm a 12 on the bottom and a 10 on the top so I have to think about my womanly curves when picking clothes. I also suit shirts – they look good slightly unbuttoned with a cute bra underneath.

    • Holly: (On her co-presenter Stephen Mulhern) 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.

    • Holly: The only time I ever got in trouble was when I threw my shoe across the classroom. Hardly sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.

    • Holly: (on her guilty pleasure) Cheese. I love it, I could eat slabs of cheese all day long.

    • Holly: (on her figure) I like it when people say I have a womanly figure. I'm not going to lie and say I'm absolutely happy with my figure, of course I'd like my bum to be a little firmer, sometimes I'd like to be able to wear certain things that I can't.

    • Holly: Whenever I leave a place I always go to the loo and check my mascara's not running down my face and I've got my lipgloss on.

    • Holly: (on her first home, a flat in London) It was supposed to be nice, but when we moved in we found there was no shower, no flooring and the loo wasn't fixed to the floor - we had to use the loo in a car wash place below us.

    • Holly: When Stephen [Mulhern] and I were first talking about what he could do to entertain the guests at my wedding reception, he suggested that he could always saw the bride in half. I don't know if he was joking or not, but I told him that, while I didn't mind him sawing me in half any other time, there was no way he was doing it to me at my wedding! So, instead, he suggested sawing one of my bridesmaids in half, and I kind of liked the idea of that. I think my sister Kelly, who was my chief bridesmaid, was quite surprised at the idea when I asked her if she'd be up for it, but she's a real sport and said she'd give it a go. So she was the one who Stephen sawed in half at the reception, and we've got a really great picture of Kelly up there on stage, sawed in half, with Dan and I stood there between her halves. I guess there aren't many brides out there who can say that they actually walked through the middle of their chief bridesmaid at the reception!

    • Holly: (on her reaction to her Dancing on Ice dress incident) I'm proud of my curves, I'm not going to wear dresses up to my neck – that's just not me. I have boobs and hips and I dress to accommodate them – that's not going to change.

    • Holly: (on her career plans) My plan is to have children and turn my back on work completely. When I start having babies, I'll have as many as I can.

    • Holly: It's important to encourage young women to accept themselves for who they are and campaign for more positive celebrity role models.

    • Holly: Everyone in children's TV drinks until 5am – it was like being at college, except with money. We didn't feel like grown-ups as we were just being so wild and naughty. There's very little pressure in kids' TV. No one's on your case – if you mess up, no one cares.