Holly Willoughby’s career: From children’s TV host to daytime TV queen

The bubbly blonde has been in TV for two decades

Holly Willoughby

by Heat |

We love handing over control of our weekday mornings to Holly Willoughby. We feel like the 35-year-old presenter is a safe pair of hands as she talks us through real life stories, celebrity news, and kitchen skills while hosting This Morning on ITV.

And that’s all before even mentioning her impressive wardrobe (she really does kill it in the style stakes day after day). But This Morning isn’t the only show Holls has fronted and her rich career actually stems back to the turn of the century when she first burst onto screens in a kids TV show.

In celebration of the past 20 years of her career, here are our highlights of Holly Willoughby’s successes with our career timeline!

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Holly Willoughby career timeline stacked

Holly Willoughby career timeline
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CREDIT: u00a9 19 Television

Back when Tina was doing her dance, and Jon was looking for romance, Holly was doing a pretty impressive job as a stand in member of S Club 7 for their TV movie S Club 7: Artistic Differences. In the children's comedy, the band split when artistic differences tore them apart (Paul heading off to start a rival band, Rachel leaving to get married) – but Holly helped keep the peace as a character named Zoe.

Holly Willoughby career timeline
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CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Originally called Ministry of Mayhem, Holly and Stephen's Saturday Showdown was a mad cap CiTV game show that saw the show hosts camp it up as housemates that welcomed boys and girls teams in to their living room for an assortment of competitions.It is also the setting where Holly met her future husband, Dan Baldwin (they tied the knot in 2007 and have three children), and gave co-host Stephen Mulhern a platform to show off his magic skills. Fancy!

Holly Willoughby career timeline
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CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

Now we're not saying Cat Deeley can be replaced... but Holly was a pretty great successor to the fellow 40-year-old TV host. Holly helped many a hungover adult get through Saturday morning's by presenting the children's music chart show.

Holly Willoughby career timeline
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CREDIT: u00a9 ITV

A glimpse of what was to come – Holly was paired with hosting icon Philip Schofield on the ice skating dance show that saw celebrities compete on skates under the tutelage of Olympic legends Torvill and Dean. Holly and Phil's warm chemistry was a hit with fan – pulling in over 12 million viewers at the show's peak.

Holly Willoughby career timeline
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CREDIT: u00a9 ITV2

After Fearne Cotton but before Konnie Huq, Holly hosted The X Factor spin off show the year that music fans were thrilled by the likes of Alexandra Burke, JLS and Diana Vickers. The star arguably co-hosted with her first son, Harry, as she was pregnant with him while the show aired in 2008 – with her first baby arriving in May the following year. She returned to host again for series six – which was when Joe McElderry won.

Holly Willoughby career timeline
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CREDIT: u00a9 ITV2

The mad cap mayhem of presenting children's television shows was probably a good training ground for Holly to deal with the juvenile antics of Keith Lemon (aka Avid Merrion). Holly serves as a team captain on the bonkers late night game show with best friend Fearne Cotton championing her opposing team. The trio were a hit with viewers, until Fearne announced her departure from the show in December 2018.

Holly Willoughby career timeline
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CREDIT: u00a9 ITV

As well as delighting late night viewers, 2009 saw Holly enter the weekday TV format as she started hosting This Morning with Philip Schofield after the departure of Fern Britton. Fans of the pair have seen their friendship blossom on-screen as they still present together to this day – and have helped the magazine entertainment show scoop NTA, TRIC, TV Choice, and Freesat Awards along the way.

Holly Willoughby career timeline
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CREDIT: u00a9 BBC

Holly and Reggie Yates were the face of The Voice when it first launched in the UK on the BBC back in 2012. The duo held the show together for the first two years and worked alongside show coaches Sir Tom Jones, will.i.am, Jessie J and Danny O'Donoghue as they found champions Leanne Mitchell in 2012 and Andrea Begley in 2013.

Holly Willoughby career timeline
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CREDIT: u00a9 ITV

When the long-running show was resurrected in 2012, Holly seemed like the natural choice to fill the shoes of Cilla Black. With her approachable demeanour and warm personality, Holly shone as she fronts the light entertainment show as members of the public have dreams made true.

Holly Willoughby career timeline
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CREDIT: u00a9 ITV

Proving herself as one of the hardest working women in showbiz, Holly doesn't slow down when the weekend arrives despite hosting This Morning four days per week. The hostess has most recently been helping singletons find love on the ITV dating show that sees parents vet prospective dates for their children.

Holly Willoughby career timeline
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CREDIT: u00a9 ITV

In 2018, Holly had a cameo in beloved ITV soap Coronation Street, along with her co-host Phillip Schofield. The pair interviewed the characters of Rosie Webster, Craig Tinker and Gemma Winter as part of Rosie's exit storyline.

Holly Willoughby career timeline
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CREDIT: u00a9 ITV

When Ant McPartlin announced he would be stepping down from all TV duties to focus on his addiction recovery, Holly was the first choice by Declan Donnelly to replace him. She was a HUGE hit with viewers - and many even called for her to have a full-time role on the show in the future.

HOLLY AND Phillip Schofield
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CREDIT: u00a9 ITV

As well as presenting This Morning Monday-Thursday with Phillip Schofield, Holly also returned to the ice when Dancing On Ice made a comeback in 2019. Both Holly and Phillip then returned for the 2020 series, which ended in March.

Holly Willoughby's book Reflections
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CREDIT: hollywilloughby u00a9 Instagram

In early April 2021, Holly revealed that she would be taking an extra week off from This Morning to work on a secret project, with Rochelle Humes keeping her side of the sofa warm. A week later, the star announced that the secret project was in fact a brand new book, called Reflections, set to be released in October.

Take Off
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CREDIT: u00a9 BBC Pictures

Holly joined forces with Bradley Walsh in July 2021 to host BBC game show Take Off, with the pair trying to make people's holiday dreams come true.

WYLDE MOON
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CREDIT: u00a9 hollywilloughby Instagram

In September 2021, Holly announced that she is embarking on a brand new career project as she launched WYLDE MOON. Holly described WYLDE MOON as 'a space full of things that I love and people that inspire me... from beauty and fashion, to energy and healing.' She also said: 'In creating WYLDE MOON for you, I've filled a need in me. I'd lost a part of who I was and that rediscovery has led me here, to a whole new place of beauty and power'.

Holly Willoughby perfume
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CREDIT: u00a9 hollywilloughby Instagram

On 8th February 2022, Holly revealed that her first perfume (borrowed from) The Wild had officially been released! Admitting that she has been wearing the perfume since the day she got the scent, Holly revealed (borrowed from) The Wild 'enlivens the senses with notes of Bergamot, Geranium, Blackcurrant, Jasmine, Rose and Mint.'

Freeze The Fear
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CREDIT: u00a9 BBC Pictures

Holly was absent on This Morning for a number of weeks at the start of 2022 so she could take part in BBC reality show Freeze the Fear with Wim Hof. Holly took part alongside the likes of Lee Mack, Tamzin Outhwaite and Gabby Logan, as the celebs embarked on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in the Italian mountains in sub-zero conditions.

The Games
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CREDIT: u00a9 ITV Pictures

Holly hosted ITV's revival of The Games in May 2022, which involved 12 celebrities taking part in Olympic Game style activities to be crowned the winner!Holly hosted the show alongside former England cricketer Freddie Flintoff.

With so many successes under her belt in little over a decade and a half, we can’t wait to see what Holly’s next achievement will be. Will she take up the reins on I'm A Celeb! after being such a hit in 2018? Will she stay on Celebrity Juice now that Fearne has gone? So many questions...

NOW WATCH: Phillip Schofield dishes the dirt on Holly Willoughby

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