Holly Willoughby has revealed that she took two days off hosting This Morning during the week because two of her children were displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
The TV personality, 39, was replaced as Phillip Schofield’s co-host by Davina McCall and Alison Hammond as she awaited test results – which turned out to be negative.
Taking to her Instagram Stories to explain her absence, the star – who has daughter Belle, nine, and sons Harry, 11, and Chester, six, with husband Dan Baldwin – thanked fans for their concern, as she assured that she would be back to hosting on Monday.
Breaking silence: Holly Willoughby has revealed that she took two days off hosting This Morning during the week because two of her children were displaying COVID-19 symptoms
She wrote: ‘Just wanted to say thank you for all your kind messages… over the last few days two of our children were unwell and had symptoms of COVID.
‘In line with government guidelines we were waiting for results of the tests before I could return to work, couple that with just wanting to look after two poorly children, it meant having two days away from @thismorning.’
Holly also went on to explain why she’d remained silent on the matter, as fans expressed their concern in droves over her unannounced absence.
Doting mother: The 39-year-old TV personality is a devoted parent to daughter Belle, nine, and sons Harry, 11, and Chester, six, with husband Dan Baldwin
She said: ‘I chose not to alert everyone to this because my focus was on looking after them… thankfully all tests came back negative and everybody’s feeling much better… see you Monday!’
Holly concluded: ‘Once again thank you for all the lovely messages… Holly xx.’
The star sparked concern among This Morning fans as she missed the show for a second day in a row on Thursday.
Gratitude: Taking to her Instagram Stories to explain her absence, the star thanked fans for their concern, as she assured that she would be back to hosting on Monday
Fan favourite Holly was replaced by broadcaster Davina McCall, 53, on Thursday after Alison Hammond 45, filled in on Wednesday’s edition.
Fans took to Twitter to express their confusion over the last-minute switch as they said: ‘Where the hell is Holly!!! There’s something going on here #ThisMorning.
‘#ThisMorning still no Holly then? Curiouser and curiouser…What’s the craic with holly then….has phil had her banished? #ThisMorning.
‘Definitely something weird going on with Holly #ThisMorning…Holly still on her extended day off I see #ThisMorning.
What’s going on? Holly sparked concern among This Morning fans as she missed the programme for a second day in a row on Thursday (last pictured on the series on Tuesday)
‘Somethings going on with #ThisMorning weird about Holly having ‘days off’ when she was due to be on air and there’s suddenly a lack of celebrities and call ins with agony aunts, weird.
‘Why are they being cagey about why Holly isn’t there? They are usually very open and transparent !!! #thismorning.
‘Holly’s having a day off? She has Friday, Saturday, Sunday off every week and every school holiday.
‘Why not just say somethings going on she’s got personal reasons?? What other reason would she be off 2 days on the bounce? Hope she’s ok?! #ThisMorning.
‘Holly’s having a day off, she’s back on on Monday’: Phillip Schofield, 58, made a brief reference to the 39-year-old presenter’s absence as he joined stand-in host Davina McCall, 53
‘What’s happened to Holly?’ Fans took to Twitter to express their confusion over the last-minute switch
‘What’s happened to holly? They said a break but just come back off holiday back on Monday? Thinking face #ThisMorning.’ (sic)
Big Brother’s Davina last stood in for Holly in June, when she skipped the programme to take her three children back to school after a three-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The ITV veteran had shared an image of herself embarking on the ‘new normal’ school run with Harry, 11, Belle, nine, and Chester, five, after she admitted working mum guilt is her ‘biggest challenge’.
Marking the first time they presented the show together, Dancing On Ice’s Phillip asked: ‘We haven’t done this with me before?’, with co-host Davina confirming: ‘No, I don’t think we have’.
Last-minute: Series reporter Alison Hammond , 45, filled in the fan favourite’s shoes on Wednesday’s edition (pictured)
Media personality Holly has been the face of This Morning since replacing Fern Britton in September 2009, and often takes breaks from work to spend time with her family during half-term periods and summer holidays.
The former Celebrity Juice panellist, who shares her kids with with husband of 12 years Dan Baldwin, discussed experiencing working mum guilt in a candid interview with Red Magazine.
The TV star confessed she never imagined juggling motherhood with a career when she dreamed of having a family.
She explained: ‘Becoming a mum was the only thing I knew I definitely wanted when I was growing up, but the image I had never involved me being a working mum and that’s been the biggest challenge.
‘I’ve been riddled with guilt about getting that part wrong. You love them so much and you don’t want to mess them up.
Holly said her working schedule meant she had missed key days in her children’s lives.
Shake-up: Big Brother’s Davina last stood in for the media personality in June (pictured), when she skipped her stint to take her three children back to school
‘The new norm’:The ITV veteran had shared an image of herself on the school run with Harry, 11, Belle, nine, and Chester, five, after she admitted working mum guilt is her ‘biggest challenge’
The Brighton native added: ‘The truth is, I didn’t do the drop-off on Harry’s or Belle’s first day of school because I was working. I hate that I wasn’t there because those are memories you can’t get back.
‘But I’ve realised the only way that I can combat those feelings is to accept that sometimes I don’t get it right – and that’s fine.’
The TV star added that she’s ‘lucky’ she’s able to greet her kids after school and be there on weekends.
Parenthood serves as number one priority in Holly’s life, so much so that she took her kids out of school when she stood in for Ant McPartlin during the 2018 edition of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in Australia.
Family first: The mother-of-three often takes breaks from work to spend time with her family during half-term periods and summer holidays