Why Holly Willoughby almost turned down the job on This Morning

Remember the heady days when Holly hosted The Xtra Factor?

Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield on This Morning 2005
ITV

When Fern Britton stepped away from This Morning after 10 years, there was only one replacement according to Phillip Schofield – his other "telly wife" Holly Willoughby.

Back then, as well as Dancing on Ice with Phil, Holly was hosting The Xtra Factor, and working alongside a judging panel which included Louis Walsh, Cheryl, Dannii Minogue and, of course, boss Simon Cowell.

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ITV

And although Phil was adamant that Holly was the only possible contender to be his co-host on This Morning, Holly admitted on last night's This Morning – 30 Unforgettable Years that Cowell tried to advise her against it.

"I said, 'I'm not doing it with anyone else', it has to be you or I'm not doing it anymore," Phil revealed on the This Morning special.

"And I have you to thank for that," Holly said. "If it wasn't for you, there's no doubt I wouldn't be doing this."

Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield on This Morning
ITV

Holly recalled: "I was doing Xtra Factor and I remember it got to the point where I had to let Simon know that I was coming to do This Morning. And he said, 'I think that will be a really big mistake'."

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A stunned Schofe exclaimed: "No way!"

"Yes he did," Holly affirmed. "Got that wrong!"

Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield
ITV

Describing her first day on the show, Holly confessed: "It was so scary... I know I had [Phil] by my side, which was honestly the only reason why I stood there and anything came out of my mouth."

The hosts had been presenting Dancing on Ice for three years before Holly joined This Morning. Almost a decade later, and the duo are still going strong.

This Morning – 30 Unforgettable Years explored the legacy of one of the country's longest-running and most famous shows, unearthing surprising moments and never-before-heard secrets along the way.

This Morning airs weekdays at 10.30am on ITV.

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