01/06/2021 09:53 BST | Updated 01/06/2021 10:45 BST

Holly Willoughby Reveals Original This Morning Terror: 'I Was So Scared Of Asking Important Questions'

The presenter succeeded Fern Britton on the popular ITV daytime show in 2009.

Holly Willoughby has revealed her terror when she first took the helm of This Morning, saying she felt scared of “looking stupid” in the show’s more serious segments. 

The TV host took over from Fern Britton on the ITV daytime show in 2009, forming a presenting partnership with Phillip Schofield, which has been characterised by the pair’s shared sense of humour and famous giggling fits.

And while Holly was an immediate hit with viewers, she has now admitted she was initially afraid of “asking important questions” and only felt at home in the magazine show’s lighter items. 

Ken McKay/Shutterstock
 Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield hosting This Morning in 2009

Speaking to the Radio Times, Holly said: “When I started, I was terrified. I only ever felt comfortable in cookery and fashion – I was so scared of asking important questions for fear of looking stupid.

“I was quite young and I think some people were questioning whether I was the right person for the job. Luckily, Phil believed in me from the get-go.”

Holly, who celebrated her 40th birthday on air earlier this year, also spoke of the anxiety the This Morning team felt when they were broadcasting at the start of the pandemic. 

She said: “When this started, we had as much fear and anxiety as everybody else. At one point we had cameras put into our homes so we could broadcast from there if we couldn’t get into the studio.”

Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
The pair on the popular daytime show last month

Her co-presenter Phillip added: “We watched the team drift away and suddenly it was just Holly and I getting ready in make-up – and that was like a therapy session. But right from the start, we said we didn’t want to do hysteria broadcasting. Not doom and gloom, but honest and challenging.”

Phil also welcomed the inclusion of a new daytime category at this year’s TV Baftas, which will recognise the important role that it plays in the lives of viewers.

“I would hope there has been a bit of a sea change. Now people know what we do and who we are. I do think that will break down some of the snobbishness,” he said. 

However, This Morning lost out on a nomination for the award, with Richard Osman’s House Of Games, The Chase, The Great House Giveaway and Jimmy McGovern’s Moving On competing in the category. 

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV. Read the full interview with Holly and Phillip in this week’s Radio Times, on sale now. 

Radio Times