Holly Willoughby misses This Morning to take children back to school

Caroline Allen
Contributor
Her three children are now back at school. (Getty Images)

Holly Willoughby has skipped hosting This Morning with co-host Phillip Schofield this morning so she can take her three children back to school.

The 39-year-old shared an update on Instagram, describing her children going back to school as “the new norm”.

Phillip Schofield - who was joined by Davina McCall as a stand in host - said it wasn’t possible for her to be on the show too as her children had “staggered” start times.

Taking Harry, 11, Belle, nine, and Chester, five back to school would’ve been an important one for Willoughby, who has admitted suffering from “mum guilt” in the past.

Explaining why Willoughby wasn’t able to make the Monday morning show, Schofield said: “Welcome to a new week, and this is Davina.

“Holly is taking her children to school today, they are all going back and it’s a sort of staggered affair and so quite complicated and I imagine, probably in houses up and down the country, quite high emotion. So she’s taking the kids to school, as she should.”

Many parents will be familiar with the staggered start times he’s referring to. In order to ease the amount of people on the school grounds at any one time, parents are asked to drop their children off at different times throughout the morning.

Read more: Holly Willoughby admits being riddled with guilt after missing children’s first school day

It’s the first time the presenting veterans, Schofield and McCall, have presented together.

Addressing this, McCall said: “I’ve been a guest, I’ve pranced around and shaked my bottom in your face.”

She said to Schofield: “I’m very nervous but I will just follow you. You know what you’re doing, you’ve done it before, it’s all OK.”

To which Schofield retorted: “Anyone who watches regularly might disagree with that.”

Willoughby who has been hosting the show alongside Schofield since 2009 often takes breaks off of This Morning during half terms and summer holidays.

Read more: Holly Willoughby shares sweet snap of her lookalike mum

She recently opened up about “mum guilt” in an interview with Red Magazine.

She talked about how bringing up three children - who she shares with husband, Dan Baldwin - and juggling a career comes with its challenges, as many working mums will attest.

“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.”

Speaking openly about the things she has had to miss out on, Willoughby admitted: “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.”

Read more: Holly Willoughby goes make-up free on virtual call

Despite having to miss key events in her children’s lives, the presenter admitted that she feels “lucky” for the things she gets to do - like greeting her children as they get home from school and being there on weekends.

She famously took her three children out of school in 2018 when she hosted I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here as a stand-in for Ant McPartlin and took them all to Australia.