What's next for Holly Willoughby?
EXCLUSIVE: What’s next for Holly Willoughby? This Morning star could step away from TV screens for good and make millions from her lucrative lifestyle brand and all-female talent agency
Holly Willoughby has announced the shock news that she will not be returning to This Morning.
Walking away from a reported £1million a year contract and the lead presenter role following Phillip Schofield’s departure was a bold but necessary decision for Holly, who cited her family as the number one reason for her stepping away.
While the star is expected to lay low for awhile, following the horrific news of an alleged kidnap and murder plot against her, ITV’s golden girl will no doubt be planning a comeback.
But will it be on front of the camera? Twenty years on screen is an impressive milestone for the star who started her career on kids TV, but after her year from hell it may be time for a new chapter for the Willoughby brand.
Holly has been quietly making moves behind the scenes for years, securing a lucrative life beyond the This Morning sofa.
New ventures: Holly Willoughby has announced the shock news that she will not be returning to This Morning but what’s next for ITV’s golden girl
Quit: Walking away from a reported £1million a year contract and the lead presenter role following Phillip Schofield ‘s departure was a bold but necessary decision for Holly, who cited her family as the number one reason
While her exit was more sudden than anyone on the show would have hoped, her side projects will ensure the star’s power hold steady.
Just last month the star celebrated the two year anniversary of her Wylde Moon lifestyle brand.
Branding and Culture expert Nick Ede believes that Holly will now make the brand her number one focus.
‘Once Holly feels more settled I think that she will be most likely to concentrate on her brand Wylde Moon and develop that even more,’ he told MailOnline.
‘It’s a lucrative business that makes her a good amount of money and it’s her passion project.’
Launched in 2021, Wylde Moon is Holly’s homage to Gwyneth Paltrow’s hugely powerful Goop brand – sending out weekly inspirational newsletters to subscribers and flogging £65 candles which will bring ‘Mother Nature’s Magic’ into your home.
Posting a celebratory message on Instagram last month for her fellow ‘wylde one’s’ Holly gushed that she ‘loves sharing with you all those things that make my heart sing… from day 1 it’s been a space that felt important to me and over the last 2 years that feeling continues to grow.’
The Wylde Moon Instagram account boasts 181k followers, with Holly said to have been inspired to launch the brand after finding a love of spirituality while in Australia to present I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! back in 2018.
Passion project: Just last month the star celebrated the two year anniversary of her Wylde Moon lifestyle brand
Two months before heading Down Under Holly made headlines when she announced she was stepping away from Truly, a lifestyle brand set up by her friend Dragon’s Den star Peter Jones, which she was set to be the face of.
She announced she was quitting the reported £10million deal just a week before the website was due to launch, later telling Stella Magazine that she had become overwhelmed with juggling too many projects.
‘You cannot have it all. I’ve had the most incredible opportunities this year but it’s also overwhelming,’ she explained.
‘Truly was something I was very passionate about, but my husband has a really high-pressured, busy job and I have three kids and other projects. My son Harry has really got into football and I want to be able to take him there so her can do what he loves,’ she said.
‘I didn’t want to be in a position where I was working in the evenings and couldn’t be with them. It’s not just about me having my dream and everyone fitting round it, it’s about putting family first and making that choice.’
Now, after quitting her daytime role on This Morning, Holly will have more time to dedicate to her passion project, fitting in the work between the school runs, which she has long prioritised.
Nick Ede says the nature of the business means Holly will not have to place herself directly in the limelight, explaining: ‘It’s not so public facing which means there is less pressure on her and she can use her social media and her name to build the brand rather than personal appearances.’
Holly shares three children with her TV producer husband Dan Baldwin – Harry, 14, Belle, 12, and Chester, nine and has always prioritised her role as a mum.
Her hours at This Morning made it very much the dream role for a working mum, allowing her to pick up her kids from school and ferry them to their evening playdates and clubs.
Then there were the school holidays ITV afforded her, with the star taking three months off every summer to decamp to the family’s Portugal villa.
Would she be willing to eat into that precious family time by taking on prime time TV roles?
Prime time: It is yet to be confirmed if the star will be back to host Dancing On Ice in January, the Saturday night show which propelled her ITV career
It is yet to be confirmed if the star will be back to host Dancing On Ice in January, the Saturday night show which propelled her ITV career as well as her TV partnership with Phillip Schofield.
Kevin Lygo, managing director of media and entertainment at ITV, hinted that Holly may return in a statement released on Tuesday night, calling her ‘a much loved member of the ITV family’ and saying ‘we look forward to continuing to work with her in the future’.
Holly won’t have long to decide if she will make a return for the 2024 series which has already announced its celebrity cast.
If Holly does return to screens she has ensured she banks the most cash she can from her lucrative contracts.
Three years ago Holly quit the showbiz agency that she shared with former This Morning co-star Phillip, making plans to manage herself.
Holly walked away from YMU, who were previously known as James Grant, and has a number of big name stars on the books, including ITV superstars Ant and Dec.
She now manages herself through her own company Roxy Media Ltd, of which she and her husband are sole directors – Holly owns 80 per cent of share and Dan owns the remaining 20 per cent.
The company is reportedly made up of an all-female team.
Family: Holly shares three children with her TV producer husband Dan Baldwin – Harry, 14, Belle, 12, and Chester, nine and has always prioritised her role as a mum
Power couple: Holly manages herself through her own company Roxy Media Ltd, of which she and her husband are sole directors – Holly owns 80 per cent of share and Dan owns the remaining 20 per cent
Holly was reportedly horrified by YMU’s claims that they were entitled to a percentage of her future earnings under a ‘sunset clause’.
Ede suggests now would be the perfect time for Holly to build her management agency, telling MailOnline: ‘I can see her developing Roxy Management and taking on more talent whether up and coming or established and with her TV producer husband creating a hub for talent, brand and content development.’
Dan, who already owns television production company Hungry Bear Media, has also started a new venture named HB Talent Agency.
In 2014, he established the production arm of his brand – Hungry Bear Media alongside colleague Juliet Denison and Dragons Den star Peter Jones.
Accounts obtained by MailOnline in 2021 showed Hungry Bear Media boasted around £3.4 million in cash at the end of 2020, with at least £1.8 million in assets.
Holly has been working on shows with Dan through Hungry Bear Media for years, most recently fronting Freeze The Fear With Wim Hof last Spring.
BBC show: Holly has been working on shows with her husband Dan through his production company Hungry Bear Media for years, most recently fronting Freeze The Fear With Wim Hof last Spring
The show married with Holly’s Wylde Moon ethos as it challenged eight celebrities to taken on daunting, cold challenges designed to push their minds and bodies to the limit.
Freeze The Fear aired on BBC One, marking a significant move away from ITV for the star. Working with Dan’s production company would also allow the star much more control where she could have her pick of passion projects.
Ede says it is an exciting future for Holly whose brand remains very much intact.
‘Holly is a in a very special position where she is the brand and people buy into it and her lifestyle too.’
‘She is such a shining light on our screens and others lifestyles that I can see her building her brands to become multi million businesses that have worldwide reach.’
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