Holly Willoughby has enjoyed national treasure status during her 13 years presenting This Morning, rising from her roots in children’s television to queen of daytime TV.

The bubbly blonde presenter, 42, first entered the limelight when she was scouted by a modelling agency as a teenager before breaking into television in the noughties when she starred in CITV show S Club TV, a spin-off drama based on the lives of pop group S Club 7.

She began hosting children’s game show Xchange on the BBC and also starred in the children’s version of talent show Fame Academy, before jumping ship in 2004 to present ITV’s Saturday morning children’s show Ministry Of Mayhem alongside Stephen Mulhern.

The Magic Roundabout UK Premiere – Vue West End – Leicester Square
Ministry Of Mayhem presenters Stephen Mulhern and Holly Willoughby (Yui Mok/PA)

Willoughby took over from Cat Deeley on children’s music chart show CD:UK a year later before ITV bosses handed her a presenting slot on newly launched Dancing On Ice in 2006.

The move saw her matched with Phillip Schofield for the first time, with the pair’s on-screen warm chemistry providing a glimpse into what was to come on This Morning.

Willoughby has since been at the centre of the This Morning furore following co-host Schofield’s bombshell exit after he admitted to an “unwise, but not illegal” affair with a younger male colleague.

His departure from the show came after weeks of speculation over a feud with Willoughby, who has said she will remain on the show but is taking early half-term holiday leave.

On Saturday, she posted on Instagram saying Schofield’s admission about his relationship with a younger ITV colleague was “very hurtful”.

She said: “When reports of this relationship first surfaced, I asked Phil directly if this was true and was told it was not. It’s been very hurtful to now find out that this was a lie.”

Willoughby first shared the sofa with Schofield in 2009, after the departure of Fern Britton, which saw the pair’s friendship blossom earning them Bafta and National Television Awards gongs.

In 2016, they famously appeared on air in the outfits they had worn the previous night at the NTAs and shared stories with viewers from a raucous after-party hosted by Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly.

National Television Awards 2019 – Press Room – London
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby with the award for best daytime show in the press room at the National Television Awards 2019 (Ian West/PA)

The presenters’ close bond appeared to be cemented even further in 2020 after Schofield came out as gay in an emotional on-air chat with Willoughby.

He later thanked Willoughby and said he “couldn’t have done that with anyone else… sitting by the side of me”.

Willoughby has had a number of other TV roles, including co-hosting I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! in 2018, stepping in for McPartlin who took a break from ITV commitments and public appearances following a drink-driving conviction, which saw him banned from the road for 20 months and fined £86,000.

Willoughby has three children, Belle, Harry and Chester, with husband Daniel Baldwin, who she married in 2007.