Holly Willoughby has returned to social media after three months of radio silence. Taking to Instagram on Friday, the presenter – who departed This Morning in October – shared a snap of her first show script for Dancing on Ice. “And so it begins…” she penned in the caption.
Shortly after posting, Holly, 42, was inundated with messages of support. “Wonderful news, you’ve got this Holly” replied a fan. “We’ve missed you, Holly, so happy that we are seeing you on our screens again,” added another. Meanwhile, a third commented: You’ve got this, supporting you all the way.”
Set to air on Sunday 14 January, the opening episode of Dancing on Ice will mark Holly’s first TV appearance of 2024, as well as her first presenting gig since quitting This Morning. The ice skating competition will look a little different this year too, with Stephen Mulhern replacing Holly’s former co-host, Phillip Schofield.
A match made in heaven, the pair previously worked together on the children’s show, Ministry of Mayhem, later known as Holly & Stephen’s Saturday Showdown.
“Holly and Stephen are two of our best loved presenters, so reuniting them 20 years after they first appeared on screen together to host Dancing on Ice marks the start of an exciting year for the show,” Katie Rawcliffe, head of entertainment commissioning at ITV, said in December.
Holly’s return to Dancing on Ice comes as a welcome surprise, following months of speculation that she was leaving the show. Her future on the series was first called into question after she announced her plans to quit This Morning.
Before her departure in October, Holly had been absent from the ITV breakfast programme, after a plot to kidnap her was unveiled. Police explained the threats against the mum-of-three to producers, and she was subsequently replaced by her co-star, Alison Hammond.
A 36-year-old man, Gavin Plumb, from Harlow, Essex was subsequently arrested days later, following the discovery of text messages in which he threatened to cause “serious harm” to Holly. He was later charged in Chelmsford Magistrates Court.
A terrifying experience, Holly subsequently quit the show: “I’ve let ITV know today that after 14 years, I will not be returning to This Morning,” she explained in a statement. “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.”
She concluded: 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.”