Holly Willoughby shares how she fell in love with her husband: 'We started this real intense friendship – it was mad'
Holly Willoughby has shared the sweet story of how she first fell in love with her husband Dan Baldwin and what she believes to be the secret to a happy relationship.
The This Morning presenter, 41, has been married to the TV producer since 2007 and the couple have three children, Harry, 13, Belle, 11 and Chester, eight.
With Valentine's Day fast approaching, Willoughby encouraged her followers to share their stories of love, while also revealing her own.
In a video posted on her Wyldemoon Instagram account, the Dancing On Ice host revealed that she and her now husband were friends first, having worked together on Saturday morning children's TV.
"I thought I'd share with you how I met Dan and how we fell in love," she says. "We met whilst I was doing Saturday morning kids telly and he was the producer and I was the presenter."
Willoughby went on to explain that the pair quickly struck up a friendship.
"We started this real intense friendship, it was mad actually," she continues, going on to reveal that they became "inseparable".
"We'd rehearse and then we'd go out afterwards. We were filming down in Maidstone studios, so we used to stay in a hotel there. And everybody would go to the bar and come back into either my room or their room and we'd all sit around just talking and laughing and I just remember it just being such a fun time."
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But the mum-of-three remembers the exact moment she realised she saw her husband-to-be as more than a friend.
"This one night we're in the bar and I 'cheers-ed' Dan and I remember my eye just sort of caught him for a little bit longer than it should have done. And I looked down and I thought, 'Oh my God, I fancy Dan Baldwin, and it took me by complete surprise," she reveals.
"And then the rest is history."
Willoughby admits: "Looking back on it now I think what I was thinking was an intense friendship was probably me falling in love."
She went on to say she believes having a strong friendship is a really good basis for a relationship.
"We have that friendship still now," she explains. "And we're very happy and I'm very blessed every day for having him in my life. But really, underpinning all of that with that real friendship and laughter and just having good times together, I think is the real secret to keeping things as they are, which is lovely."
Many of Willoughby's fans seemed to agree that becoming friends first is a good foundation for romance.
"Aww thank you for sharing. That was really lovely to hear," one user wrote. "I totally agree – friendships are the best start to the best of relationships!"
Watch: Holly Willoughby's eight year old son appears to cut her hair
Others commented at how nice it was to hear the presenter's story of love.
"This is so lovely!!" one fan wrote. "I don’t think there is anything nicer than when you hear someone speak about their partner in such a nice way and how happy they are still after so long."
"That’s so romantic! You always know when someone is 'the one', and clearly, Holly has found her one," another agreed.
"Such a lovely story, thank you for sharing it with us."
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Willoughby has previously revealed that moving from friendship into a romantic relationship hasn’t changed the fact that Baldwin is still her best friend.
“He knows me better than anyone, he’s my absolute support,” she revealed on Loose Women last year.
“He gives the best advice of anybody, he’s got that strength and good moral fibre, so I always check and run everything past him.”
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But just because her and her husband remain so close, doesn't mean they don't sometimes argue as she explains in her book Reflections: "If I’m watching something on TV and my husband suddenly asks, ‘Why are you watching this s***?’, it’ll spark something deep inside and I will get disproportionately angry about it."
Having explored her feelings, Willoughby concluded that in fact, it's not the TV she's angry about – it's what her husband's response suggests.
"I’m actually angry because I subconsciously feel as though someone’s trying to control what I’m doing," she adds.