Holly Willoughby may be spending her 40th birthday in lockdown, yet there’s still plenty to celebrate.
The much-loved This Morning host is celebrating with husband Dan Baldwin and their three kids; Harry, Belle, and Chester.
As the family tuck into cake, we take a look at Holly’s most interesting facts to date.
Holly Willoughby birthday: 40 facts you need to know
2. She is one of UK’s most popular presenters – and also has the bank balance to go with it.
Holly is thought to earn around £1 million a year from her TV work.
3. Holly previously admitted she hates exercising to stay in shape. Instead, the star eats healthily and dabbles in fun boxing classes at the gym.
4. It hasn’t always been easy for lovable Holly. In fact, she was known as “flat-chested Willoughby” in school. Opening up, Holly previously said: “It’s ironic that I became a Wonderbra model!”
5. Unlike some celebrities, Holly has a good relationship with the paps. She once said: “On the night of the BAFTAs in 2006 there was a Tube strike and I was standing outside the station wondering how I was going to get to the show on time. This photographer happened to say: ‘Are you going to the Baftas? I can give you a lift.’ Since then, I’ve had an understanding with the paps.” However, the star draws the line when it comes to having them on her doorstep.
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6. Before hitting the big time, the presenter dreamed of becoming a psychotherapist. Speaking to Fabulous, she said: “My dream was to open a cattery in Brighton with a therapy room at the end. Cats and psychology were the two great loves of my life. I’ve always been good when people come to me with their problems.”
7. Holly loves wearing high heels – even in the bedroom! She once admitted: “I do enjoy saucy games with my hubby but I have found the best way to break in new shoes is to wear them during sex.” Oh, Holly!
8. She once had an awkward encounter with Johnny Depp. Speaking about the moment, Holly shared: “I was interviewing him and he needed to pop out for a few minutes. As I went to get up I banged my head really hard on the overhanging lights.”
9. Holly’s glamorous life is a far cry from her parents’ career paths. Her mum, Linda, was an air stewardess, while her dad, Brian, ran his own double glazing company.
10. The host previously had a huge fear of flying. However, the Speakmans managed to work with Holly and even reportedly cured her!
Holly Willoughby birthday: How did the presenter get into showbiz?
11. Her break into showbiz came at the age of just 14 during a visit to the Clothes Show Live in 1995.
She was spotted amongst the crowds, where a photographer encouraged her to visit the Storm modelling agency. And the rest is history!
12. While she appears to be a pro on This Morning, Holly actually battles dyslexia. She told Red magazine: “It still happens now – most of the mistakes I make on This Morning are because of it. But it doesn’t do what it did to me back then because I don’t let it have power.”
I know that sounds slightly bonkers now but that was my plan, which is quite far away from where I am now.
13. Back in 2005, Holly graced the final cover of FHM. In fact, the men’s mag holds a special place in her heart. In their final issue, she explained: “We’ve both grown up together – I’ve had three children and you’ve had 314 issues but now, with a heavy heart, it’s time to bid you a fond farewell.”
14. Before finding fame, Holly was a receptionist and previously wanted to study psychology.
She said: “I know that sounds slightly bonkers now but that was my plan, which is quite far away from where I am now.”
15. Before meeting husband Dan Baldwin, the star previously went on a date with a cowboy.
However, it didn’t end very well! In an interview, she explained: “It was my worst date as I’d met him on a plane when he was wearing normal clothes and looked gorgeous. There was no sign of a cowboy connection and I was very excited about seeing him again. When we met later at a restaurant he was wearing all the gear. I thought about turning round and doing a runner but I have good manners.”
Was Holly an awkward teen?
16. Just like many of us, the presenter went through an awkward teenager phase. As well as wearing a head brace, she also sported a plaster because she had short tendons!
17. Holly is actually scared of public speaking. She previously revealed she was “terrified” at the thought, but something she had to learn. We’d never have guessed!
18. When Holly first met her husband Dan Baldwin, she wasn’t attracted to him! Talking about when they first met on the set of Saturday Showdown, the TV presenter told Woman & Home: “At first, I didn’t fancy Dan at all – I didn’t even think about it.”
19. She can whip up a yummy roast dinner. “I love cooking and having people over and it means you don’t have to get a babysitter,” she once told Cosmopolitan. “To be honest if given the choice, I’d rather everyone come to us.”
20. The mum-of-three showcased her acting abilities alongside S Club 7 back in 2000. She played Paul Cattermole’s girlfriend Zoe, who was later dumped by the pop star. Holly would have been around 19 at the time of filming – and was just as stunning back then.
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Holly Willoughby birthday: She isn’t the only Willoughby in showbiz!
21. Holly’s sister Kelly has previously worked as Eamonn Holmes’ PA. Speaking about Holly’s older sis, Eamonn once said: “Kelly basically organised our lives so we missed her hugely when she went to write books.”
22. Tying the knot to husband Dan Baldwin was a truly showbiz affair. Fearne Cotton and Sarah Cawood served as bridesmaids, while Dermot O’Leary was an usher.
23. Holly may be considered one of the most clean-cut presenters, but she used to have a secret wild side during her younger years. Opening up on her past antics on kid’s TV, she said: “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 eith-year-old. That day I was sick live on TV.”
24. The presenter is a sucker for a good detective drama. Holly said: “I would really love to have a part in a murder mystery like Midsomer Murders. I’m a big fan of John Nettles.”
25. As well as her three children, Holly is a mum to two adorable cats – Teddy and Bluebell. However, in October 2016, the star was left devastated after her little furry friend Roxy passed away. She took to Instagram to share the sad news, saying: “Goodbye my friend… RIP Roxy.”
What has the star said about body confidence?
26. The TV star is an advocate for body confidence. Speaking about her post-baby body, she once told Lorraine Kelly: “I see my body very differently to how it was when I was younger. My body gave me my three children.”
27. When it comes to her make-up routine, Holly likes to keep it short and sweet. The host prefers the “simple” approach and always uses SPF. She explained: “I can’t be doing the whole cleanse, tone and moisturiser thing, I just don’t have the time! I always take my make-up off at night before I go to bed and as I’ve gotten older, I have come to appreciate SPF more.”
28. While her looks leave most fans envious, she has a celebrity crush of her own. Holly revealed: “I’ve always loved how Jennifer Aniston looks; bronzed and glowy.” She’s also a fan of Michelle Keegan, who she called a “goddess”.
29. Although the star may be a whiz at home hair dye, she wouldn’t dare do her own waxing!
According to Holly, the procedure is “best left to a professional.” We couldn’t agree more!
30. The Dancing On Ice star can’t stand tinned tuna, so much so, that her children don’t even know it exists! She made the confession during a cookery segment on This Morning, saying: “My kids have never eaten tinned tuna.”
Holly Willoughby birthday: What’s her favourite food?
31. She’s a fan of a good Bolognese – although her mum’s method isn’t exactly up to Gino D’Acampo’s standard. Holly revealed: “My mum, Lynn, would zap the mince in the microwave, pour in tinned tomatoes and purée, then zap it again. There weren’t even any onions! But I still pine for it.” What would Gino think?!
32. She’s visited plenty of posh restaurants in her time, with her favourite being swanky Nobu. The star is often spotted at the London eatery with pal and co-host Phillip. Holly said: “The yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño is my favourite. I often take Phil there – he loves soft-shell crab and good margaritas.”
33. When it comes to hangover cures, the presenter often reaches for “strong flavours”. She firstly starts with macaroni cheese before moving on to Marmite on toast. Yum!
34. Ever wondered what lip colour Holly wears? “My favourite lipstick, which I’m obsessed with and have been all year, is by Burt’s Bees,” she told Woman & Home in 2017. Her favourite shade from the range is Blush Basin – and we approve!
35. The star is a romantic at heart, having previously revealed her favourite holiday was a trip to Venice with Dan. She even went on to label the Italian hotspot “one of most beautiful places”.
What happened at an Elton John concert?
36. The TV star and her hubby were once serenaded by Elton John. Opening up on the moment, Holly shared: “We’re standing there and Elton goes: ‘I’m dedicating this song to Holly and Dan,’ and then played the song. It was one of the most magical moments of my life ever.” Lush!
37. Holly has experienced different labours with all three of her babies. She previously told The Times Weekend Magazine: “I actually really like giving birth. I know, I’m a weirdo but I really like it. Knowing you’re about to meet your baby, it’s just a really lovely time. It’s the best day ever.”
38. And she isn’t afraid to share her embarrassing birth moments! Appearing on Lorraine, Holly once said: “When you go to the loo for the first time afterwards. It’s one of those things where nobody speaks about it. But after you give birth, a nurse will normally come around afterwards and offer you orange juice. Well, I would like to say, when somebody hands you that orange juice, do NOT take it. Do not drink anything acidic!”
39. She’s proven Simon Cowell wrong in the past. It’s believed the music mogul wasn’t best pleased with Holly when she decided to quit Xtra Factor for This Morning in 2009. The host previously explained: “I remember I was doing Xtra Factor and it got to the point where we had to let Simon Cowell know that I was coming to do This Morning, and he said: ‘I think that would be a really big mistake.'”
40. Finally, Holly usually starts off her day with a healthy breakfast of yogurt, granola and berries.
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