Holly Willoughby exclusive: “I realised something was missing”

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Megan Conner
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Holly Willoughby in Stylist Magazine

As she launches her website Wylde Moon, TV presenter Holly Willoughby appears on the cover of Stylist to talk about losing touch with her identity, and her two-year journey to reconnect with herself.

We all like to think we know Holly Willoughby; if you watch television, shop at Marks & Spencer or you’re one of the presenter’s 7.3 million Instagram followers, it’s hard not to feel her influence. 

In the last 18 months, alongside presenting partner Philip Schofield, she’s been a comfort to many as they switched on daytime TV shows like This Morning to help them navigate their way through the Covid crisis at home, but she’s been at the helm for some of the biggest moments in TV entertainment over the last 20 years. “When you’re doing a job like mine, you are familiar to people,” she tells Stylist in this week’s issue, available to buy here. “They see you all the time and people think they know you.”

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So, imagine what it felt like to gently come to the realisation that although she knew her purpose – her role at work, as a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife – Willoughby didn’t quite know herself.

“A couple of years ago I found a bit more time to step back and reflect a little bit,” she explains to Stylist, “and what I realised was that I’d been so busy, on this treadmill so long, getting everything done, I’d actually lost touch with who I was, and the things that I like. Something was missing – nothing horrendous – but there was a little hole there. And that hole was the part of me that I’d given over to everything else in my life.” 

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It’s a predicament that many of us will be familiar with, and one that Willoughby has decided to explore in her brand new magazine-style website, Wylde Moon, launching on 20 September – the same day as her cover with Stylist.

“One of the things that’s really helped me in this journey to reconnecting with myself is throwing myself into things that have made me feel alive again,” she explains, “so I wanted to create a space where I could share that.” In part a destination for recommending the things that she loves – everything from fashion and beauty to interiors – the website is also intended to be a place to ignite meaningful conversations. “It’s kind of a collection of different things divided into areas and sections,” says Willoughby. “So it’s me rediscovering what films and books and TV shows I love, but there’s also a conversational aspect; a need to listen to other women’s stories and to feel like you’re sitting with us.”

Holly Willoughby in Stylist magazine
Holly Willoughby in Stylist magazine

In tandem, Willoughby will launch her first podcast, a project she says has been a long time coming. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do for ages – that was always part of the journey,” she explains, “So I’m looking forward to that. All in all, I’ve been working on this project for two years – I’ve got notebooks and notebooks full of ideas all over my house. Now, I’m excited to see them all come to life.”  

Buy your issue of  Stylist, including an exclusive interview with Holly Willoughby, here.

Wylde Moon launches today (; @wyldemoon

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Photography: Chantel King