” chuckles Holly, miming the phone ringing from the mortified son or daughter listening in.After the parents have answered a series of questions, the chooser picks a date, and in a First Dates’ type scenario, the newly matched couple immediately head to a restaurant rigged with cameras for a meal, so the audience gets to see how well suited they are.Of course, the subject of those embarrassing stories will be listening in the entire time, powerless to stop the flow of information aside from the use of a one-off life-line phone call.
Although Holly has experience of hosting dating shows, she says she doesn’t have much dating expertise herself.
As a teen growing up in Sussex, she explains, she had several long-term relationships rather than lots of dates, and her relationship with Dan got off to a date-free start after they met at work – he produced and she co-presented the 2004-2006 show Ministry Of Mayhem.“Dan and I never really dated because we were really, really good friends and then we got together,” explains Holly.
Holly Willoughby is not ashamed to admit that she loves nothing more than a spot of matchmaking.
The 35-year-old TV presenter confesses that she’s forever setting her friends up on blind dates, and has enjoyed helping people find love on shows such as ITV2’s Streetmate, Holly & Fearne Go Dating (with her mate Fearne Cotton) and this week, a new ITV show called Meet The Parents.
An old romantic at heart, she clearly wants the rest of the country to find the same sort of marital bliss she’s found with her husband of nine years, TV producer Dan Baldwin.“I love anything to do with dating and matchmaking and love,” confirms This Morning host Holly, when we meet at ITV Studios in London to discuss her new project.“I love Take Me Out and I was a massive fan of Blind Date.
So it’s great when you present a show that you’d want to watch anyway.”With Meet The Parents, Holly is hoping for happily ever afters for all the couples matched – but the show has an awkward twist that may make the path to true love a bumpy one.
‘They’ve been together for months, on and off since last summer,’ said one friend.
‘Tom dumped his long-term girlfriend to be with Jenna and she chose to be with him even though Prince Harry was very keen on her.
Holly says it’s unlikely she’d host a live Saturday night show.
“No, no, I really don’t want to do that – it would be a massive decision to make,” says Holly.
” As mother of seven-year-old Harry, five-year-old Belle and two-year-old Chester, these days Holly’s concerns are more about being a hands-on mum.