Holly Willoughby kicks off her ‘year of fun’

The star is breaking free from her squeaky clean image

Holly's breaking free of her squeaky clean image

by Charlotte Roberts |
Updated on

While her return to Dancing On Ice may not have been quite as triumphant as she’d hoped, Holly Willoughby seems to have solidified her TV comeback with a thrilling new Netflix deal. Free of the shackles of This Morning, we’re told she’s ready to live her best life and truly let her hair down.

Last week, Holly was pictured knocking back pints of Guinness as she celebrated St Patrick’s Day with close friends, including former Love Island host Laura Whitmore. The duo stepped out for a night of fun, attending former This Morning colleague and Irish chef Clodagh McKenna’s bash and it seems Holly, 43, had a lot more reason to party.

It was recently revealed the presenter has signed a lucrative deal with Netflix, and is set to host a jungle-based survival show with Bear Grylls. With her career on the up again, we’re told Holly’s close friends and family are urging the mum of three to finally have some fun – with husband Dan Baldwin, 49, holding down the fort at home.

Our source says, “Holly is feeling that a lot of the old pressure is off her shoulders now that she can put all the drama of This Morning in the past. One thing she’s keen on doing is reconnecting with her friends and having a bit of fun. Her husband Dan has encouraged her to take girlie trips with her mates and just enjoy the summer. He feels like Holly has been to hell and back, and he wants her to have some time off from both work and family life.”

Last summer, Holly found herself in the centre of a scandal after it was revealed that co-host and close friend Phillip Schofield, 61, had been involved in an affair with a much younger colleague. Months after Phil resigned from the ITV show and – following her own ordeal with an alleged kidnap plot – Holly stepped away from the show after 14 years.

holly and Phil
holly and Phil ©Shuttershock

Now, we’re told the TV star has plans to make this summer her best one yet. “For the first time, Holly can really let her hair down and not worry if she’s pictured out drinking, because she no longer has to uphold this image of herself as being perfect,” we’re told. “She wants to enjoy the fact her career isn’t as regimented as it once was, yet she’s still set to earn a fortune from Netflix, who are known for having bags of cash for talent. She wants to spend more time with Fearne Cotton, as well as reuniting with pals like Nicole Appleton, Emma Bunton, Rachel Stevens, and Christine Lampard. She even wants to get a gang of them together to go to Glastonbury this year.”

The star is known for having a wild side, and has previously been pictured dancing at Glastonbury, as well as enjoying a tipple with the likes of Rylan Clark, 35. However, her antics didn’t always land well, with some fans questioning how real the star’s squeaky-clean TV image was. We’re told, “When she was on This Morning, Holly felt people were watching her every step, and accusing her of pretending to be someone she wasn’t – especially in terms of how she was seen on This Morning, versus when she was pictured at Glasto or one of Jonathan Ross’ raucous Halloween parties. Holly wants to lean into that side of her now. She just doesn’t care as much as she used to, which is a big relief.”

They add, “Her new Netflix show could be seen as a direct competitor of I’m A Celeb, but Holly has said it’s not about revenge against ITV – it’s about coming into her own and letting the public know she’s a genuine person, who has flaws like everybody else. As far as she’s concerned, she’s washed her hands of the Phil and This Morning drama. She cooperated with the internal investigation, and knows she did nothing wrong.

“Holly’s looking forward to finally putting it all in the past and enjoying what’s to come.”

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