Holly Willoughby to 'brazen out' criticism at the NTAs

Holly Willoughby to make her first public appearance at the National Television Awards as the star looks to ‘brazen out’ criticism after the Phillip Schofield scandal and lead This Morning to defend its best daytime show title

  • Holly has been supportive of Alison’s nomination and told fans to vote for her 
  • It comes after her return to the sofa following an eight-week summer break 

Holly Willoughby is preparing to make her first public appearance at the National Television Awards tonight as she looks to ‘brazen out’ any criticism in the wake of the Phillip Schofield scandal.

She is said to be determined to lead ITV’s This Morning to defend its title of best daytime show and support Alison Hammond, 48, who has been nominated for best presenter. 

It comes after she returned to the programme alongside Alison on Monday following an eight-week summer break, which came in the wake of Phil’s resignation after he admitted to an ‘unwise but not illegal’ affair with a younger male colleague.

Holly, 42, and Phil, 61, had been among the regular nominees for best presenters until the long-running scandal, which has also seen staff on the show raise allegations of a ‘toxic’ environment and bullying, but Holly is not nominated this year.

Instead, Alison is said to have a good chance of winning the category to put an end to Ant and Dec’s 21-year winning streak.

Holly Willoughby (left) is set to ‘brazen out’ criticism as she attends the National Television Awards and supports Alison Hammond (right) who has been nominated for best presenter

Holly and Phil (left) were longlisted for the award but did not make the cut (Pictured: Holly and Phil at last year’s National Television Awards)

Phil and Holly had been longlisted for the best TV presenter prize, alongside fellow This Morning hosts Alison Hammond, Dermot O’Leary, Rylan Clark and Martin Lewis, but only Alison and Martin made the cut. 

READ MORE – Body language expert analyses Holly’s return

The ITV morning programme, which has been on its own winning streak in the daytime category for the last number of years, will go up against The Chase, Loose Women and The Repair Shop as the annual award ceremony returns to The O2 in London on Tuesday evening. 

In her latest blog post for her lifestyle brand Wylde Moon, the TV host, 42, encouraged readers to vote for her co-host ahead of the The National Television Awards on Tuesday evening.

Unlike Holly, Alison, 48, is shortlisted in the TV Presenter award category this year against rivals including Ant and Dec, while This Morning has been nominated again for best daytime show. 

This didn’t stop Holly rallying behind Alison though, writing: ‘Having been lucky enough to have this summer break to focus on the children, it’s now lovely to be back on the sofa and there was certainly joy in abundance with Alison Hammond today! 

‘This wonderful lady has been nominated in the ‘Best Presenter’ category at tomorrow night’s NTA’s and there is still time to vote for her. 

‘So, [if] you’ve ever been filled with joy by The Hammond…and let’s be honest, who hasn’t?!…then you know what to do, click here to vote!’

She added: ‘This week’s lunar phase is the Third Quarter Moon. It’s known as a good time to release negativity and any old habits that might be hindering you, which sounds very fitting for the new beginnings that come with the arrival of September. 

‘Let’s make every effort to shed anything that’s holding us back and move forwards with light, love and positivity.’ 

Dame Deborah James and Paul O’Grady have both been posthumously recognised in the NTA nominations, with Dame Deborah named in the authored documentary category, for Bowelbabe In Her Own Words.

Support: Holly Willoughby hit back at any negativity on Monday as she showed her unwavering support for the ‘wonderful’ Alison Hammond 

Nominated: In her latest blog post for her lifestyle brand Wylde Moon, the TV host, 42, encouraged readers to vote for her co-host ahead of the The National Television Awards on Tuesday evening

Dame Deborah set up the Bowelbabe cancer research fund, and died last year at the age of 40 after suffering from bowel cancer.

Her documentary will compete against Rob Burrow: Living With MND, Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now and Matt Willis: Fighting Addiction.

TV presenter and comedian O’Grady, who died earlier this year, has been nominated in the factual entertainment category for his show For The Love Of Dogs.

READ MORE: Holly Willoughby’s This Morning return falls flat: Beleaguered ITV fails to win over viewers who slam ‘cringe’ musical opening – after bosses pinned hopes of the show surviving on her comeback in the wake of Phillip Schofield scandal

It will go up against Clarkson’s Farm, Sort Your Life Out and The Martin Lewis Money Show Live.

In the new drama category is Netflix hit Queen Charlotte: A Bridgeton Story, Blue Lights, Beyond Paradise and Wednesday, which stars Jenna Ortega as the Addams Family character Wednesday Addams.

For her role in the Bridgerton prequel, India Amarteifio, who plays Queen Charlotte, has been nominated for the drama performance award alongside Happy Valley stars James Norton and Sarah Lancashire who are competing against Vera’s Brenda Blethyn and Call the Midwife’s Judy Parfitt.

The ceremony comes just a day after Holly returned to the This Morning sofa on Monday.

But ITV viewers blasted her musical return to This Morning as ‘peak cringe’ – as the show faces a ‘make or break’ battle for survival following the Phillip Schofield scandal. 

Holly, smiling effusively in a black and white polka dot dress, was seen dancing along to a rendition of ABBA’s Dancing Queen by the cast of Mamma Mia The Party before embracing her fellow presenter Alison. 

Fans were less than convinced about the show of forced bonhomie to mark the end of Holly’s eight-week summer break at her luxury villa in Portugal, with one complaining: ‘It’s too early for this cringefest!’ 

Once considered a crown jewel of ITV’s schedule, This Morning now faces an uncertain future following Schofield’s departure in May after he admitted to an ‘unwise but not illegal’ affair with a much younger male colleague.

It has now emerged that the show has poached the boss of its rival Channel 4 daytime series Steph’s Packed Lunch as it awaits the results of an external investigation into complaints about the network’s toxic working culture.

Vivek Sharma has been hired from the lunchtime show hosted by Steph McGovern to work closely with under-fire This Morning editor Martin Frizell.

Sweet: Unlike Holly, Alison, 48, is shortlisted in the TV Presenter award category this year against rivals including Ant and Dec , while This Morning has been nominated again for best daytime show 

Awkward: Holly Willoughby returned to her role on the This Morning sofa on Monday after her eight-week break to present alongside Alison Hammond with a musical start that fans blasted as ‘cringe’

Producers will be desperate to recapture some of This Morning’s pre-Schofield scandal magic, but reactions to Monday’s opening scene suggest they are a long way off winning over viewers. 

One wrote: ‘If there’s a more cringe inducing show than #ThisMorning I’d like to know.’

A second said: ‘They couldn’t have possibly opened the show worse than this’ as another asked: ‘What on earth is this fresh hell??’

Others branded it a ‘cringefest’ and ‘peak cringe’, while another wrote: ‘I’ve had surgeries more enjoyable than this’.

But others came to Holly’s defence and praised her return, with one person writing: ‘Love these 2!!! Finally can enjoy this #thismorning again. Jealous trolls just stop.’

Another agreed, tweeting: ‘Welcome back @hollywills #thismorning’ and a third echoed: ‘#thismorning loving Alison and Holly presenting together’.

Holly took to her Instagram ahead of the show to display her outfit and to express her excitement to be returning.

She wrote: ‘And just like that… it’s back to school… can’t wait to see you!!! @thismorning’. 

Body language expert Darren Stanton that Holly seemed ‘unsure’ during her first show back, while Alison ‘made presenting look easy and effortless’.

Speaking on behalf of Spin Genie, Darren picked up on Holly’s body language, explaining that she was fidgeting on camera – which is a ‘sign of impatience and nervousness’.

He then explained that he saw the presenter ’tilting away’ from Alison when sitting on the sofa, suggesting she finds Alison’s presence ‘overpowering’.

Darren said: ‘Alison comes across as super relaxed, comfortable and confident. She makes it look easy and effortless. It’s clear Holly depends on her co-hosts when she is presenting, but Alison could own the room.

‘When the pair were standing up and speaking to the camera, Alison had her hands down to her front, while Holly had her hands to the side as well as touching her fingers.

‘This fidgeting is a sign of impatience and nervousness. She definitely comes across as nervous, unsettled and unsure. It’s clear it’s very much new to her and she’s still adjusting.

‘Alison is quite animated, she comes across as super confident, but when Holly sits next to her on the sofa as they present as a duo, we see Holly tilting herself away to the left. 

Tough: It hasn’t been a good year for This Morning after the Philip Schofield scandal earlier in May left the programme in turmoil. (Holly and Philip pictured together in January on Dancing On Ice)

Not-so happy family: Toxic allegations have surrounded the show in the latter months suggesting the show won’t bag Best Daytime Show at this year’s NTAs (This Morning cast pictured at the awards in 2020) 

‘This suggests she finds Alison’s presence a bit overpowering. It’s a way of saying, ‘This is too much for me.’

‘Alison is loud, bubbly and confident – and she’s also tactile with Holly. She has very strong eye contact with her. 

‘She’s often making jokes and touching her hand a couple of times. This is to show she is here to support Holly.’

He went on to explain: ‘She wants to make her feel supported. Holly hasn’t yet made that gesture with Alison, and that tells me Alison has a much stronger authenticity and rapport with Holly than she has with her.

‘I have seen Holly masking a couple of her smiles. This doesn’t suggest she was lying, but she could be wanting to put on a front to protect how she’s feeling. It shows she isn’t completely comfortable on the sofa. She also displayed a twitching gesture with her fingers, which suggests she wasn’t feeling completely secure at that moment.’

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