holly & Phil on tricky guests, nights out and fam­ily fun

Woman & Home - - In This Issue… -

2018 is a big year for Holly Wil­loughby. She’s about to head to the jun­gle to host I’m A Celebrity with De­clan Don­nelly, and This Morn­ing is cel­e­brat­ing its 30th an­niver­sary. We talk ex­clu­sively to her and co-host Phillip Schofield about tricky guests, pulling pranks – and their un­break­able bond…

They go to­gether as nat­u­rally as fish and chips or a horse and car­riage. Phillip Schofield and Holly Wil­loughby’s easy chem­istry on ITV’s This Morn­ing has, over the past nine years, made them one of the most pop­u­lar duos on TV. And off-screen they’re just as close, hang­ing out with each other’s fam­i­lies and even meet­ing up on hol­i­day. Holly, 37, is mar­ried to pro­ducer Dan Bald­win, and they have three chil­dren: Harry, nine, Belle, seven, and Ch­ester, three, while Phil, 56, is mar­ried to Stephanie Lowe and they have daugh­ters, Molly, 25, and Ruby, 22.

And with This Morn­ing cel­e­brat­ing its 30th an­niver­sary this month, the pair will also be part of a prime-time doc­u­men­tary, This Morn­ing – 30 Un­for­get­table Years. Here, they talk to us about the ins and outs of their on- and off-screen re­la­tion­ship, and why they be­lieve This Morn­ing has be­come one of the long­est-run­ning day­time shows in British his­tory.

What are your ear­li­est mem­o­ries of watch­ing This Morn­ing?

P: I watched the launch day. I was at BBC Tele­vi­sion Cen­tre for Go­ing Live! [Phil pre­sented the show un­til 1993] and we all stopped the meet­ing to watch it. It was re­ally ex­cit­ing, a two-hour live TV show, and we wanted to see what it was like.

H: I would have been seven years old at that time, so I would have been at school, not watch­ing day­time telly. The only time I got to see the show was if I was off sick. I do re­mem­ber those days un­der a du­vet, sit­ting with This Morn­ing on, and my soup or what­ever, feel­ing poorly. Not at any mo­ment then did I think that 30 years later, I might be host­ing it. It’s bizarre. >>

Why do you think it was a suc­cess straight away?

P: They quickly un­der­stood the au­di­ence. Through­out the years, who­ever was pre­sent­ing it, it al­ways re­mained cur­rent and still had a mas­sive heart.

H: Ob­vi­ously the orig­i­nal pre­sen­ters Richard and Judy were mar­ried, but it was a fam­ily in a broader sense: they had Dr Chris, the fam­ily GP, they had [agony aunt] Denise [Robert­son]. It was a real fam­ily af­fair, not a man­u­fac­tured show.

You started pre­sent­ing at dif­fer­ent times: Phil with Fern Brit­ton in 2002 and Holly in 2009. Do you both re­mem­ber your first days?

H: I re­mem­ber be­ing ut­terly ter­ri­fied! I was a huge fan of the show by then. Watch­ing This Morn­ing is just what you do, whether you’re avidly watch­ing an item that’s re­ally grabbed you, or it’s on in the back­ground as you’re pootling around. And I just re­mem­ber think­ing, “How am I go­ing to do this?” be­cause I didn’t want to muck it up. I felt a lot of pres­sure.

P: I was eased in a bit be­cause I’d been a guest a num­ber of times, and then

I was an oc­ca­sional stand-in host a few days, be­fore I started pre­sent­ing on Fri­days with Fern. It hap­pened grad­u­ally. Did Phil look after you on your first day, Holly? H: No, he bloody didn’t! I was sort of hold­ing onto him for dear life and just be­fore we went live he went, “I’m off”, and he ran away!

P: I knew she’d be fine.

H: You have to learn pretty quickly, but I did have the mas­ter teach­ing me, so I knew I was in safe hands. You’d al­ready pre­sented ITV’s Danc­ing on Ice to­gether for three years, of course.

P: Yes – and we got on straight away. I re­mem­ber the first prank I pulled on Holly. She came to work in a brand new car.

H: A black Bee­tle! It was con­vert­ible, with a cream leather in­te­rior, it was the most beau­ti­ful car. It was my baby. P: So if you get gaffer tape, and you pick the edge and you peel it, a sil­ver strip comes off. And if you put that onto the side of a black Bee­tle, it looks like the most hor­rific scratch. We all stood around her new car and went, “Oh my God! Holly, what’s hap­pened?” And you fell for it, Holly? H: Com­pletely! And I’ve gone on to be­lieve ev­ery­thing that comes out of his mouth. Be­cause he’s con­tin­ued to prank me for the past 12 years. You could al­ways prank him back?

H: It’s im­pos­si­ble. He will never fall for any­thing. And he’s cool as a cu­cum­ber. A man once brought on an al­li­ga­tor and it thrashed and Phil jumped. I stood up and got off the sofa when it hap­pened, and his shoul­ders just went up a bit. That’s the only time in the his­tory of This Morn­ing that I’ve ever seen him even slightly flinch. Have you ever had an ar­gu­ment? H: No, it’s re­ally odd, isn’t it? I do think for the amount of time that we spend with each other, at some point we should have done. P: If we dis­agree on some­thing, which is rare, we very quickly see the other per­son’s point of view. And we don’t have egos be­tween the pair of us – there’s none of that non­sense. What are your favourite things about each other?

H: I like that Phil ti­dies up my stuff, he or­gan­ises my life. And I like the fact he’s al­ways look­ing out for me. If some­body dis­misses a ques­tion that I’ve asked, he’ll go, “I’ll pick up on what Holly just said.” P: I like that we have the same sense of hu­mour, which hap­pens at the same speed. We’re un­can­nily able to say the same thing at the same time. I’ll never get used to the early morn­ings, but I gen­uinely look for­ward to walk­ing in and see­ing Holly every day.

What would you change about each other?

P: I’d make her neater. I swear to God. She’ll leave her phone, her purse, ev­ery­thing in the stu­dio, we get half way down the cor­ri­dor and she re­alises. H: I’d like him to be a bit more gullible oc­ca­sion­ally, so I can at least get my own back, have the odd mo­ment of glory where I make you have a slight squeal or jump, or make you cry with fear.

P: You want to make me cry? That’s a bit harsh!

H: Well, you want to make me swear. You’re al­ways try­ing to make me jump, so I say a rude word on TV.

What kind of a friend does that?

You go out with each other’s fam­i­lies, don’t you?

H: My kids love Phil. It’s re­ally nice. We like go­ing on hol­i­day to the same place,

so we meet up when we’re there.

P: Holly has the most de­light­ful chil­dren. She’s an amaz­ing mum, and Dan is an amaz­ing dad, and the chil­dren all love get­ting to­gether.

You fa­mously like to have a few drinks. When was the last time you were drunk to­gether?

P: It’s not been for a while, ac­tu­ally! It’s been the most crazy busy few months for both of us, so there hasn’t been an op­por­tu­nity. We’re so over­due one.

H: The last time we had a few G&Ts to­gether in the sun­shine, but we had an early night – it was very civilised.

Who are your dream guests?

P: Judi Dench is mine, but she just doesn’t do chat shows. She sent me a pic­ture once when I was in the [CBBC] Broom Cup­board and it says “To Phillip from your most ar­dent ad­mirer”, which was lovely. She did come on Go­ing Live! once and she was bril­liant, but she was very ner­vous, so I un­der­stand why she wouldn’t want to put her­self through that. H: I think I’d have to choose Kate Mid­dle­ton or Meghan Markle be­cause they’re nor­mal peo­ple who mar­ried princes. I mean, that’s the fairy tale. I want to ask them how they did it!

P: I want to sit be­side you when you in­ter­view them. I’d keep quiet be­cause I know you’d be so enor­mously ex­cited.

Who has been your trick­i­est guest?

P: Dur­ing my time with Fern we had an ac­tor – who shall re­main name­less – he’d been out the night be­fore and came in a lit­tle worse for wear. He was do­ing okay, but then I said, “You’ve got this amaz­ing drama com­ing up with some great cameo guests, who have you got?” And he went, “Yes, we’ve got, er, er…” and he fell asleep! He was asleep for about four sec­onds. H: That’s bril­liant. I think some of our most mis­be­haved guests have been the an­i­mals, ac­tu­ally. We’ve had many an an­i­mal on This Morn­ing that has treated our set like it’s a toi­let.

P: Yes. We had Mar­cus the psy­chic pig on dur­ing the World Cup – my God, what an an­gry pig that was. It was just an an­gry, can­tan­ker­ous old pig, be­grudg­ingly pick­ing the teams.

H: He got his own back though, didn’t he?

P: He did the most enor­mous dump on the floor just be­fore we went live.

As par­ents, what do you love most about work­ing on This Morn­ing?

H: It’s a bril­liant show to do when you’ve got young chil­dren; the hours are per­fect. I get home to do the school run in the evening, I get sum­mer hol­i­days. So for me, self­ishly, that’s pretty unique and I am very blessed that I can do that. P: Also, it does come with this quite high-rank­ing ku­dos. I’m con­stantly amazed at who we meet, whether it’s some­one who has made a movie, or a for­mer pres­i­dent, or what­ever. It gives you ku­dos with your fam­ily and even­tu­ally the daugh­ter might say, “Didn’t you get a lit­tle video mes­sage for me?”

Who have they been most im­pressed by re­cently?

P: We’re all into Love Is­land, so any­thing to do with Love is­land gets that re­ac­tion at home.

H: I had a pic­ture with Harry Kane re­cently. I’m al­ways get­ting lit­tle video mes­sages for the kids.

Do you want to work more or less as your kids get older?

H: I take that de­ci­sion on a day-by-day ba­sis. I feel like my bal­ance at the mo­ment is just right so I’m quite happy. I want to stay just like this. Are there any bucket list am­bi­tions ei­ther of you have? H: I mean, This Morn­ing was the bucket list, telly-wise! But one day, once my chil­dren are older, there will be per­sonal things. I used to do lots of trav­el­ling and mu­sic stuff when I was younger, and

I just don’t any more. So even­tu­ally I look for­ward to kind of ex­plor­ing those things that I liked again, but not right now.

P: It’s tough to come up with a bucket list be­cause we’ve al­ready done so many amaz­ing things, but there are al­ways fun new op­por­tu­ni­ties. We both did a lit­tle cameo in Coro­na­tion Street this year. What a buzz!

If you ever de­cided not to present This Morn­ing any more, who do you think your nat­u­ral suc­ces­sors would be?

H: That’s a re­ally hard ques­tion. Who­ever it is will have to look after it and treat it with the re­spect that it de­serves be­cause it’s an amaz­ing show, and it’s one that I feel very proud to have on my CV.

P: From a pre­sen­ter’s point of view, there’s noth­ing like it. That’s why so many want to do it.

This Morn­ing cel­e­brates its 30th year from 1 Oc­to­ber, 10.30am on ITV. This Morn­ing – 30 Un­for­get­table Years will air 2 Oc­to­ber, 7.30pm on ITV. w&h

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.