Holly Willoughby wears tribute to her mum as she celebrates 40th birthday live on 'This Morning'

·4-min read

Watch: Holly Willoughby celebrate her 40th birthday on This Morning

Holly Willoughby celebrated her 40th birthday in vintage style – wearing the dress her mother wore on her own 40th birthday.

The This Morning presenter was overwhelmed by a string of surprises from co-host Phillip Schofield and the staff of the ITV show – but said she felt a special connection to her mum by wearing the 80s floral peplum frock, because she won't be able to celebrate with her in person due to the coronavirus lockdown.

Willoughby revealed: "This dress I'm wearing today is the dress my mum wore on her 40th birthday. It's nice and 80s, isn't it?!"

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Showing a photo of her mother wearing the dress on her own 40th birthday, she went on: "I asked her if she still had it and she said it's sitting there in her loft and she sent it."

Read more: Holly Willoughby offers printer to home-schooling mum

"There was a bit of a moment as I was zipping it up when I thought, 'Oh my God! My mum did this on her 40th birthday!', and I can't be with her, obviously, so it's a bit special."

A clip was then shown of Willoughby arriving at the ITV studio earlier that morning in a face mask and padded coat to be greeted by staff lining the corridor to applaud her arrival and sing Happy Birthday – which made her visibly emotional.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Willoughby was flooded with surprises by the This Morning team. The show began with Celebration by Kool & The Gang playing, which Schofield revealed was No 1 in the US charts on the day Willoughby was born, 40 years ago.

Pyrotechnics then exploded in the studio behind the sofa where she was sitting, and she exclaimed: "Oh my goodness! That is so cool, I've never seen pyros in the studio – how long do they go on for?! I definitely need those in my garden."

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Schofield presented Willoughby with a Colin the Caterpillar chocolate cake that she promptly picked up and took a bite from, saying: "And it's all mine because I can't share it with anyone. Thank you – I'll just have a little bite of his butt!"

A curtain was dropped in the studio to reveal a beach bar with real sand and fashion presenter Gok Wan DJing, while chef James Martin sipped a cocktail dressed in a Hawaiian shirt.

Willoughby exclaimed: "This feels like we could be away! Cheers!"

She whipped off her heels to put her bare feet in the sand, saying: "It feels nice under the toes."

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

The TV presenter – who rose to fame on children's TV in the early 00s - was then given a recreation of her second birthday cake, a chocolate house, and then a teasmade and a poster of Paul Young.

Read more: Holly Willoughby moved to tears by nuns who told her: ‘It will all be OK’

Willoughby confessed: "Paul Young was my favourite! Whenever the video of Band Aid was on the telly he'd come on and I'd go, 'That's my boyfriend!'"

Schofield then revealed that 65-year-old Everytime You Go Away singer Young had sent her a birthday message.

Holly Willoughby is 40.

Holly Willoughby is 40. (Getty Images)

Young said in the prerecorded video: "Hi Holly, it's Paul Young here. A little birdie told me it's your birthday and I thought I'd send you a message.

"They also said you were a bit of a fan – you never let that one slip when I've been on the show, always the consummate professional!"

Willoughby was soon wiping away tears as Schofield performed a special poem dedicated to her, calling her "The sister I never had."

Watch: Holly Willoughby's style over the years

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting