As Holly Willoughby turns 40, she's wholesome yet sexy with £20m fortune in the bank
AS she contemplated turning 40 today, Holly Willoughby told TV viewers she had become the “best version of myself”.
Looking effortlessly stylish in a red, floral-patterned dress, her blonde hair tucked behind her ear, few would disagree.
Juggling three children with her high-octane media career, the daytime telly queen has grown into a fashion icon — hailed as more influential than the likes of Meghan Markle.
She is wholesome yet sexy, someone other women aspire to be.
Making the most of her easy charm and natural glamour, This Morning’s co-host has banked an estimated £20million fortune through deals with brands including Garnier and Oral B.
Two years as an ambassador for Diet Coke netted her £450,000 and she has a £1million contract with High Street giant Marks & Spencer.
PR guru Mark Borkowski believes Holly’s appeal lies in combining the relatable with the aspirational.
He said: “She’s the sort of girl you could imagine going to the pub with and having a pint.
“She’s cheeky, she’s funny but she’s also glamorous and highly influential.
“Many This Morning viewers will be excited every morning simply to see what she’s wearing because she has turned herself into a style icon.
“Brands are desperate to work with her because she has an authenticity about her the public really tap into.
“If she wears something, people are going to want it.”
DESPITE her busy filming schedule and the demands of motherhood, Holly only gets more glamorous with age.
She never discusses her weight, which she considers a private matter — and says she “doesn’t want to encourage eating disorders”.
But she became noticeably slimmer after having her youngest son Chester in 2014.
Celebrity Juice co-star Keith Lemon said he had heard a “rumour” Holly honed her body with boxing.
Reports suggest Holly puts on the gloves at least three times a week.
An insider revealed: “Holly loves kickboxing and finds it an easy way to stay trim. She has a kickboxing bag in a spare room so she can work out at home.”
She also stretches out with Pilates. After giving birth to her daughter Belle, now nine, she took up sessions with coach Lynne Robinson.
Lynne said: “I worked with Holly for several months, teaching her privately at her home once a week.
“Holly had postnatal mat work classes, which concentrated on strengthening and toning her core.”
Sources suggest Holly sticks to a low-carb diet, eating plenty of chicken and fish, served with lots of vegetables.
Holly has said: “Everybody knows what leads to a healthy lifestyle.
“It’s not up to me to give you a blow-by-blow account of what I’ve eaten. It’s not helpful and it’s not what’s important.”
PINS AND POSITIVITY
THE star is not shy of showing off her enviable figure, sometimes raising eyebrows with her choice of outfit.
The daring pink gown she wore last month for the series opener of Dancing On Ice sparked complaints to Ofcom from more than 50 flustered viewers who felt it was too racy for primetime.
But fans find her body-confidence reassuring, experts suggest.
Cosmetic surgeon Fulvio Urso-Baiarda, of the Eterno 360 clinic, said: “We’ve seen Holly in a variety of weights and she looks good in all of them, which is a positive message.”
While dubbed “Holly Willough-booby” during her stint on cheeky comedy panel show Celebrity Juice, she is now more likely to show off her pins.
Plunging necklines have been swapped for higher hemlines.
For her debut presenting I’m A Celebrity alongside Declan Donnelly in 2018, she wore a short lacy dress.
Good Morning Britain’s Piers Morgan claimed she had chosen the outfit to draw attention to her enviable legs.
He said: “If you’re going to wear what she wore last night and show off her very long and very sizzling legs, then it’s probably a little too much to expect people not to comment on your long sizzling legs.”
Holly has laughed off discussion of her figure with typical good humour. Of the “booby” nickname, she said: “In all seriousness, it’s very nice and I’m proud that a mother who has breastfed children can have that ‘accolade’ . . . if you can call it that.”
HOLLY burst on to our screens in 2004 as co-presenter on ITV’s Saturday morning kids’ show Ministry Of Mayhem.
It was there she met her future husband, producer Dan Baldwin, 46.
Curvy and giggly, she was predictably labelled a “girl next door” type. But as she made the jump to primetime presenting, Holly became increasingly chic.
With seven million Instagram followers and her own #hwstyle hashtag, she is among the most-followed presenters on social media, as well as one of the best dressed.
One New Look dress sold out within an hour of Holly posting a picture of herself wearing it.
And a recent poll suggested she was more influential than the Duchess of Sussex.
Seizing on her appeal, M&S signed her up in 2018. Her range for the retailer is sold as “Holly’s Must Haves”.
PR expert Mark said: “She’s incredibly brand-friendly.
“Research shows women love her and she has a huge demographic, from teens to grannies. She’s sexy but also unobtainable.
“She has a happy family life and is incredibly professional. It all works for brands.”
A natural brunette, Holly sported long golden locks when she burst on to TV.
But she freshened things up with a dramatic chop in 2018.
The “lob” was lighter and brighter, with the blunt cut winning her extra style points.
Hair colour expert Iain Sallis says the shade and shine of her hair combine to create a “halo effect”.
He said: “This is not just because it’s a lighter colour but because she uses styling products on top, her hair then shines and reflects light.”
In lockdown Holly touched up her roots at home with Garnier Nutrisse, the dye she advertises.
She said on Instagram: “I’m not an expert but you don’t have to be. That’s the point of home-colouring. Had it not been for lockdown, I’m not sure we would have done this on camera. But now people know we actually do it at home.”
HOLLY, who writes books for kids with sister Kelly, 42, has said: “My nickname from my management team is ‘Little Miss No’ because I turn down so much. I’m at home more than I’m at work.
“I love work but the most important thing is my family. If that doesn’t feel right, I put the brake on and pull back. Being a mummy is my favourite job.”
But PR man Mark said: “The scarcity makes her more in demand and she can pick and choose which deals she pleases.
"She only lends her name to big, legacy brands. She’s gone for big deals but absolutely kept her own brand intact.”
A rare off-note came with rumours of tension with Phillip Schofield, her screen partner of more than a decade.
But she gave sincere support to Phillip as he opened up about his sexuality last February, wrapping her arms around her emotional co-host.
Things were more lighthearted on This Morning yesterday when Holly joked that she could still run in heels on the eve of turning 40, telling viewers she had “still got it”. She certainly has.
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