Holly Willoughby on why she's 'really looking forward' to turning 40

Nathalie Whittle, Natalie Cornish
Photo credit: M&S

From Red Online

Holly Willoughby has told Red that she's embracing turning 40 as 'a chance to find myself again and figure out who I am' in an exclusive interview for our July issue, out tomorrow.

The This Morning presenter and M&S ambassador opened up about her rules for happiness and 'real' success ahead of the milestone birthday next year.

She said: 'I turn 40 next year and I have to say, I’m really looking forward to it. My 30s have been all about the kids – bringing them up, keeping all these balls afloat – but now they’re getting older, there’s a bit more space where I can start focusing on things that are happening for me.

'I see my 40s as a chance to find myself again and figure out who I am.'

Photo credit: Hearst

Holly said the philosophies that have helped her achieve 'real' success include letting go of guilt, owning your mistakes and pushing herself out of her comfort zone.

'Looking back on my career, I realise that I’ve only got to this point by putting myself in uncomfortable positions,' she said. 'I was always very shy and I never really had the confidence to speak up for myself when I was younger. I started modelling in my teens, just so I could earn some money to go on a gap year, and I’d go to castings for things like toothpaste commercials and sit in the waiting room, barely able to look anyone in the eye, thinking, "Oh my God, I don’t know what to do," while all these other girls walked in looking super-confident. I felt so uncomfortable, but I didn’t give up – I pushed myself to keep going, to find that confidence. And I owe my TV career to that.'

She's also found peace with her dyslexia in recent years.

'I’ve struggled with dyslexia since I was young and it used to hold me back,' she said. 'At school, reading out loud absolutely terrified me because I’d get all the words wrong and I was convinced everybody thought I was stupid. It still happens now – most of the mistakes I make on This Morning are because of it, but it doesn’t do what it did to me back then because I don’t let it have power. I now know that it’s all about how you package it in your head.'

When it comes to style, something Holly is now revered for and has helped land her a collection with M&S, she says isn't it 'hasn't always come naturally'.

'For a long time, I was pretty clueless,' she admitted. 'There’s a picture of me on the red carpet when I first started in TV and I’m wearing a brown belted cord skirt, a brown cord jacket, fishnet tights and a weird round toe shoe. What was I thinking? But I’ve grown to like clothes more the older I’ve got and I now recognise the importance of having key staples that fit well in your wardrobe.'

Those essentials are: 'a good pair of dark denim jeans (I like high-waisted), a classic shirt or a T-shirt to team them with, and a button-up dress that you can throw a leather jacket over or put a roll-neck jumper under – the hard work is done for you.'

She still makes it seem so effortless!

You can read the full interview with Holly Willoughby in Red's July issue, on sale from tomorrow (4th June). Subscribe to Red now to get the magazine delivered to your door.

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