Holly Willoughby on broadcasting during Covid

Holly Willoughby has told how cameras were placed in her home as a precautionary measure in the event This Morning was not able to broadcast due to the coronavirus pandemic.

She and co-host Phillip Schofield have fronted the popular ITV breakfast show throughout the pandemic, presenting it from the studio.

Other daytime shows such as Good Morning Britain and BBC Breakfast have also continued to broadcast, while shows like Loose Women were forced to take a break from airing live for six weeks due to the pandemic.

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Willoughby, 40, told Radio Times: “When this started, we had as much fear and anxiety as everybody else. At one point we had cameras put into our homes so we could broadcast from there if we couldn’t get into the studio.”

Her long-time co-presenter Schofield added: “We watched the team drift away and suddenly it was just Holly and I getting ready in make-up – and that was like a therapy session. But right from the start, we said we didn’t want to do hysteria broadcasting. Not doom and gloom, but honest and challenging.”

He also welcomed the addition at this year’s Bafta Television Awards of a new daytime category, which will recognise the important role that daytime programming plays in the lives of viewers.

This week’s issue of Radio Times magazine (Radio Times)
This week’s issue of Radio Times magazine (Radio Times)

Schofield, 59, said he hoped the new category would help to “break down some of the snobbishness” around daytime TV, telling the magazine: “I would hope there has been a bit of a sea change. Now people know what we do and who we are. I do think that will break down some of the snobbishness.”

The pair have fronted This Morning together since 2009.

Willoughby said: “When I started, I was terrified. I only ever felt comfortable in cookery and fashion – I was so scared of asking important questions for fear of looking stupid. I was quite young and I think some people were questioning whether I was the right person for the job. Luckily, Phil believed in me from the get-go.”

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In February 2020, Schofield spoke publicly about his sexuality for the first time. After revealing on his Instagram stories that he had “been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay”, he sat down with Willoughby on This Morning to speak about his announcement.

He told Radio Times: “I think what’s important is that you realise that, in the space of a year, just how big other things can be – look what we’ve all gone through as a nation. There are much, much bigger things in the world than our own personal struggles.”

This year’s Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards ceremony takes place on June 6 on BBC One.

The full interview is in Radio Times magazine, out now.