‘I will fight viciously for it’ Holly Willoughby will ‘walk off set’ if ‘rule’ is broken

Holly Willoughby says she ‘loves’ anger

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Holly Willoughby, 40, opened up about her commitment to balancing work with her home life on the most recent episode of Elizabeth Day’s podcast, How To Fail. The This Morning host confessed that her rules around personal time were of the utmost importance to her.

When asked about how she managed to juggle it all, the presenter admitted that she was something of a pro when it came to maintaining a healthy work-life balance, claiming that she had always “done well with that”. 

Speaking to Elizabeth, 43, she explained that she had a surprisingly strict policy when it came to leaving enough time to enjoy herself outside of work.

“I’ve always had good rules in place,” she said. 

“There are times where if I’m working in the afternoon I make sure that I get home on the dot of 5 o’clock, so it’s like tea time, bath, bed and I always do that.” (sic)

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She continued: “The majority of the time I fight really viciously for that even if it literally means […] me walking off the set and I’m sure there are people at the time that go, ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe she’s doing that!’

“But I really have to hold onto that, because otherwise there’s too much opportunity for that stuff to slip away and then the person who goes grey inside is you, because you’re the one that hasn’t got that balance right.”

The star then went on to explain how becoming a mother had helped her get used to saying “no” when she felt she wasn’t able to put aside enough personal time. 

Holly confessed that, because she prioritises her children over herself, having them in her life made it easier to stick to her own rules because she was “doing it for someone else”.

The Dancing On Ice presenter also admitted that she felt she sometimes rubs people that she works with the wrong way because of her strict rules. 

“I think I drive people mad that I work with and I definitely know that I am, like, ‘Little Miss No – is what I’m known as.”

“Because I sort of turn down an awful lot of stuff and I walk away from an awful lot of stuff if it feels like it’s getting too much. I’ve always been really protective of that.”

The star also admitted that while she often feels “aware” of when she is taking on too much, she still has “room to do better” when it comes to turning opportunities down. 

Holly learned to say “no” and make tough decisions for herself from an early age, choosing to quit modelling when she was just 17 years old thanks to one particularly nasty wake up call from an agent. 

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The presenter opened up about her past whilst promoting her new book, Reflections: Life Lessons On Finding Beauty Inside And Out, at the Barbican Theatre in London last week.

According to The Mirror, she said: “I had been travelling around the world in Australia and I must have been 17, I was straight up and down. No hips, no boobs, I was tiny.

“And this lady was really nice so I got back to London and I was hoping they would ask me back to do some work.

“I asked if I could go back and my agent said: ‘Maybe not just yet’.

“I asked why, and she said: ‘All they said was they will put your weight down to healthy eating while travelling,’ and I was like, ‘What?’

“I understand now I am not the modelling shape, but at 17 I was very different to my shape now. I was tiny. There are no two ways about it, I was a very slim girl.”

Nevertheless, Holly didn’t give up on the world of showbiz, and just two years later in 2000, the star appeared on a CITV called S Club TV at the age of 19. 

In 2006, Holly got her big break presenting Dancing On Ice alongside her friend Phillip Schofield, and in 2009 the pair went on to start co-hosting This Morning together.

How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is a podcast that airs weekly on Apple podcasts, Spotify and other streaming platforms. 

The signed hardback edition of Reflections by Holly Willoughby is available to buy for a retail price of £20 via WHSmith, Waterstones, Blackwells and other retailers. 

Blurb: “A heartfelt, perceptive book about finding beauty, inside and out.”

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