Holly Willoughby’s tears: ‘I feel like I’ve lost everything’

Pals say Holly Willoughby is still struggling with regret over leaving This Morning as she looks to her future

holly willoughby

by closer |
Published on

She’s had the adventure of a lifetime filming in a tropical jungle in a sun-soaked paradise – but insiders tell Closer that Holly Willoughby has been fighting back the tears as she worries about her future.

Last month Holly, 43, flew to Costa Rica to film her new reality endurance series with Bear Grylls for Netflix, but despite that being a hugely exciting move, it also left the star feeling emotional, especially as it took her away from her husband Dan Baldwin and their three children – Harry, 15, Belle, 13, and nine-year-old Chester – for two months.

And now sources tell us that the reality of not having her familiar This Morning routine has taken a toll on the star, leaving her questioning her decision to quit ITV’s flagship daytime show at the end of last year.

Holly Willoughby
Holly Willoughby ©(Photo by Joe Maher/WireImage)

“It’s been a month since Holly got back from filming in Costa Rica and she’s been enjoying some much- needed family time – but she can’t help but feel the pressure about what she’s doing next, career-wise,” our insider says. “She loved working on the show with Bear but it was very different to what she was used to on This Morning – it was long hours and a lot of very last-minute changes.

“She really struggled being away from the kids. It was her eldest son’s birthday while she was gone and she feels guilty about missing these milestones. It feels especially hard as the children are growing up so quickly. She’ll have to think long and hard about working abroad again for such a long time.

“On the plus side, being away was a chance for her to escape any reminders of the lows of the past year. But of course, it continues to have a huge effect on her and she still gets teary. Without This Morning in her life, she feels like she’s lost everything that was familiar.”

Holly and Phil on This Morning
Holly and Phil on This Morning ©Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Holly’s 14-year stint on the morning show alongside estranged best friend Phillip Schofield saw the duo work Monday to Thursday, with their contracts granting them Fridays and school holidays off.

But last year their friendship was reduced to tatters amid news of his “unwise but not illegal” affair with a younger male colleague. While Phillip, 62, resigned from ITV, Holly became mired in the scandal by default, with many accusing her of having known about the affair – something both she and Phillip maintained was untrue.

While she held the fort on This Morning for five months after Phillip left, Holly quit in October. She called it a “difficult goodbye” but revealed she’d felt she had to make the decision for herself and her family.

Holly Willoughby
Holly quit This Morning last October ©HGL/GC Images)

Taking to Instagram at the time, she wrote, “I have let ITV know today that after 14 years, I will not be returning to This Morning. To everyone who has ever worked on the show over the years, thank you so so much. This is such a difficult goodbye, you are incredible and I forever will be proud of what we’ve done together. Thank you to everyone at ITV for being supportive. To every guest who has sat on our sofa, thank you.

“It’s been an honour to just be part of its story and I know this story has many chapters left to go. Sadly, however, I now feel I have to make this decision for me and my family. I will miss you all so much.”

The mum-of-three has previously opened up about grappling with working-mum guilt, admitting on The One Show, “What I’m feeling guilty about, is that in some way I’m telling myself that I clearly don’t love my kids because I love my career more than my children, which is why I’m choosing to do this.

“I know that’s not the case because I know I love my kids more than anything on this planet. So why am I thinking like that? And it’s because I believe that’s what everyone else is thinking.”

closer magazine

Holly has enjoyed a varied and colourful career since bursting onto TV screens in the early noughties. As well as This Morning, she has presented Dancing On Ice, starred as a panellist on Celebrity Juice and bagged countless brand deals, although she has reportedly taken a break from her £1 million partnership with Marks & Spencer.

In 2021, she launched her lifestyle brand, Wylde Moon, which is centred on “guidance to help you reconnect with yourself” and includes products such as perfumes, candles and crystals.

Once a regular social media user, Holly’s Instagram grid has been notably devoid of content over the past few months, aside from plugging the occasional Wylde Moon product.

Our source shares, “Fans keep asking where she’s gone from social media, which is frustrating. Holly is so ambitious and can’t wait for people to see what she’s been up to when the Netflix show comes out. But in the meantime, she feels like all eyes are on her for her next move.”

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