Holly Willoughby left in tears as Phillip Schofield and the ITV team surprise her on her 40th birthday

Her ITV family pulled out all the stops on her birthday

Holly Willoughby, The Fashion Awards 2019, Royal Albert Hall, London, UK, 02 December 2019
(Image credit: Photo by Richard Goldschmidt via Alamy)

Today marks Holly Willoughby’s 40th birthday and the This Morning star was left more than a little tearful after co-host Phillip Schofield gave her an incredible backstage surprise. The two hosts have been firm favourites with This Morning viewers for many years, as their close friendship and sense of humour bring a sense of warmth and positivity to all who watch.  And it seems like Phillip and the ITV team weren't prepared to hold back when it came to showing Holly how much she means to everyone when she turned 40 today.

Taking to Instagram Stories, Phillip shared all the behind-the-scenes details of Holly’s big birthday surprise backstage at the studio prior to her arrival. 

He announced: "The birthday girl is about to arrive, everything is ready. She doesn't know about this."

"She is about to walk through that door."

He then showed off the amazing decorations that had been set up for her, including balloons and a huge light-up 40 sign. Holly’s ITV family were lined up in a social distanced manner ready to surprise her when she arrived and it seemed to have gone better than anyone could’ve hoped.

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Holly was left speechless as she spotted the This Morning crew lined up along the corridor, clapping and calling out Happy Birthday. With Stevie Wonder's ‘Happy Birthday’ playing in the background, they then began to sing along.

Overwhelmed by the amazing gesture from Phillip and her ITV family, Holly tearfully responded: "Thank you. I'm just going to go in here and cry.”

Upon seeing the beautiful 40 sign set up, she then emotionally added, "I'm going to spend all day in tears, aren’t I?"

This wonderful surprise comes after Holly’s 40th birthday celebrations kicked off a little early with a surprise from the Dancing on Ice team. Posting on Instagram, the presenter shared a snap of her standing in front of large white letters that spelt out ‘Holly’, complete with blow-up pink flamingoes and balloons.

In her caption, she wrote: ‘Thank you @dancingonice for making me feel so special... it’s kicked off my birthday week in style... honestly felt overwhelmingly spoilt today with all the decorations and cake!!!! Thank you.... love you to bits! 🎂 💗🦄🦩🌸✨🍭🥂 ‘

Holly first started presenting the ice dancing show back in 2006 and continued until 2011, before returning once again in 2018. She and Phillip have hosted This Morning together since 2009.

Happy Birthday, Holly!

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with five years experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, GoodToKnow and My Imperfect Life.


Before she joined Future Publishing, Emma graduated from the University of Warwick with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Comparative Literary Studies. After leaving education, she started out her publishing career in the world of books, working as a Publisher for an independent digital publisher specializing in back-list and debut commercial fiction novels. With a huge book list and a passion for bringing the best stories to the broadest audience possible, Emma filled her spare time with reading the latest best-sellers and catching up on hit adaptations.


In 2017 she joined TI Media as a fiction writing coordinator on Woman’s Weekly and Woman’s Weekly Fiction as part of the features team. From here, she used her love of books, working to bring short stories to our dedicated readers and began writing for the books pages of Woman, Woman’s Own and Woman&Home, as well as online features ranging from genre round-ups to travel pieces for womanandhome.com. 


After honing her skills, Emma branched out online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first. When she’s not writing about the next big lifestyle trend, she enjoys cooking, long walks and watching as many crime dramas as she can!