‘I was tiny!’ Holly Willoughby quit modelling at 17 after being told she was ‘overweight’

Holly Willoughby hits back as error in book looks like she 'can't write'

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Holly Willoughby, 40, shared the story of when a modelling agent criticised her weight in a candid discussion with fellow This Morning presenter Christine Lampard. The star pointed out that she was in fact “very slim” when she received the criticism, and that it effectively ended her modelling career at a very young age. 


The TV legend described how she was just 17-years-old when she was told to put her modelling dreams to one side because she was “too overweight” to make it in the industry. 

Holly is now known for her beauty, style, and enviable curves, but it seems this was not always the case for the This Morning star. 

Holly opened up about her past whilst promoting her new book, Reflections: Life Lessons On Finding Beauty Inside And Out, at the Barbican Theatre in London on Tuesday night.

As a teenager, Holly admitted that she was “tiny”, which made it all the more confusing when her agent insinuated that she was too big to make it in the modelling world.

She told Christine at the event: “I had been travelling around the world in Australia. 

“And I must have been 17, I was straight up and down. No hips, no boobs, I was tiny.

“And this lady was really nice so I got back to London and I was hoping they would ask me back to do some work.

“I asked if I could go back and my agent said: ‘Maybe not just yet’,” The Mirror reports. 

The star went on to explain that she was taken aback by her agent’s reasoning behind the decision.

“I asked why, and she said: ‘All they said was they will put your weight down to healthy eating while travelling,’ and I was like, ‘What?’

“I understand now I am not the modelling shape, but at 17 I was very different to my shape now. I was tiny. There are no two ways about it, I was a very slim girl.”

Holly had attempted to become a model in the late 90s – a decade when incredibly skinny icons like Kate Moss were all the rage.

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Nevertheless, Holly didn’t give up on the world of showbiz, and later went on to have an incredibly successful career as a television presenter. 

Just two years later in 2000, the star appeared on a CITV called S Club TV at the age of 19. 

In 2006, Holly got her big break presenting Dancing On Ice alongside her friend Phillip Schofield, who she has been co-hosting with for more than 15 years of her career. 

Later on the pair would go on to present This Morning together in 2009 – a job that Holly has kept throughout the years. 

Holly’s book centres around the idea of both outer and inner beauty and she opened up about what it meant to her in a social media post earlier this year. 

She told her 7.4 million Instagram followers in April: “We live in a world where so much is about how we present ourselves on the outside and there is fun to be had here but true beauty comes from within…

“There is an alignment that needs to happen and finding that balance hasn’t always felt so easy.

“Now, I’m finally at a point in my life where I can see a little more clearly and I want to share my truths in the hope that maybe they’ll help you too.” 

The signed hardback edition of Reflections by Holly Willoughby is available to buy for a retail price of £20 via WHSmith, Waterstones, Blackwells and other retailers. 

Blurb: “A heartfelt, perceptive book about finding beauty, inside and out.”


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