Holly Willoughby stepped out with her son Harry in London on Saturday as she was seen for the first time since she revealed her This Morning absence was due to a coronavirus scare with her ‘very poorly’ children.
Earlier in the weekend, the presenter, 39, explained that she took two days off hosting the ITV daytime programme because two of her kids – who she hasn’t specified – were displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
The TV personality’s role was filled in by Davina McCall and Alison Hammond while she followed government guidelines and awaited test results at home – which turned out to be negative.
Holly – who has daughter Belle, nine, and sons Harry and Chester, six, with husband Dan Baldwin – appeared in great spirits during her sighting as she and her eldest child picked up coffee in the English capital.
Back out: Holly Willoughby stepped out with her son Harry in London on Saturday as she was seen for the first time since her children’s coronavirus scare
Taking to her Instagram Stories earlier in the day, the TV star thanked fans for their concern, as she assured that she would be back to hosting on Monday.
She wrote: ‘Just wanted to say thank you for all your kind messages… over the last few days two of our children were unwell and had symptoms of COVID.
‘In line with government guidelines we were waiting for results of the tests before I could return to work, couple that with just wanting to look after two poorly children, it meant having two days away from @thismorning.’
Holly also went on to explain why she’d remained silent on the matter, as fans expressed their concern in droves over her unannounced absence.
She said: ‘I chose not to alert everyone to this because my focus was on looking after them… thankfully all tests came back negative and everybody’s feeling much better… see you Monday!’
Following guidelines: Earlier in the weekend, the presenter, 39, explained that she took two days off hosting the ITV daytime programme as two of her kids were displaying symptoms
Doting mother: The TV personality is a devoted parent to daughter Belle, nine, and sons Harry, 11, and Chester, six, with husband Dan Baldwin
Family first: The mother-of-three often takes breaks from work to spend time with her family during half-term periods and summer holidays
Holly concluded: ‘Once again thank you for all the lovely messages… Holly xx.’
According to The Sun, Holly’s family got the all-clear on Friday night, clearing the path for her to resume her hosting duties from next week.
A source told the publication: ‘Two of the children became really poorly at the start of the week, and came down with Covid-like symptoms.
‘There was no question that Holly was going to go to work – she wanted to stay at home and just be a mum, looking after her kids.
Gratitude: Taking to her Instagram Stories on Saturday to explain her absence, the star thanked fans for their concern, as she assured that she would be back to hosting on Monday
‘So they’ve all been isolating at home, awaiting their test results. Obviously it was a worrying time but Phillip [Schofield] and everyone at ITV was incredibly supportive.’
The star had sparked concern among This Morning fans as she missed the show for a second day in a row on Thursday.
Schofield , 58, made a brief reference to the presenter’s absence as he revealed: ‘Holly’s having a day off, she’s back on Monday.’
Fan favourite Holly was replaced by broadcaster Davina McCall, 53, on Thursday after Alison Hammond 45, filled in on Wednesday’s edition.
Fans took to Twitter to express their confusion over the last-minute switch as they said: ‘Where the hell is Holly!!! There’s something going on here #ThisMorning.’
What’s going on? Holly sparked concern among This Morning fans as she missed the programme for a second day in a row on Thursday (last pictured on the series on Tuesday)
‘#ThisMorning still no Holly then? Curiouser and curiouser…What’s the craic with holly then….has phil had her banished? #ThisMorning,’ wrote another.’
Stated a third: ‘Definitely something weird going on with Holly #ThisMorning…Holly still on her extended day off I see #ThisMorning.’
The comments continued: ‘Somethings going on with #ThisMorning weird about Holly having ‘days off’ when she was due to be on air and there’s suddenly a lack of celebrities and call ins with agony aunts, weird.
‘Why are they being cagey about why Holly isn’t there? They are usually very open and transparent !!! #thismorning.
‘Holly’s having a day off? She has Friday, Saturday, Sunday off every week and every school holiday.
‘Holly’s having a day off, she’s back on on Monday’: Phillip Schofield, 58, made a brief reference to the 39-year-old presenter’s absence as he joined stand-in host Davina McCall, 53
‘What’s happened to Holly?’ Fans took to Twitter to express their confusion over the last-minute switch
‘Why not just say somethings going on she’s got personal reasons?? What other reason would she be off 2 days on the bounce? Hope she’s ok?! #ThisMorning.
‘What’s happened to holly? They said a break but just come back off holiday back on Monday? Thinking face #ThisMorning.’ (sic)
Former Big Brother host Davina last stood in for Holly in June, when she skipped the programme to take her three children back to school after a three-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The ITV veteran had shared an image of herself embarking on the ‘new normal’ school run with Harry, Belle and Chester, after she admitted working mum guilt is her ‘biggest challenge’.
Marking the first time they presented the show together, Dancing On Ice’s Phillip asked: ‘We haven’t done this with me before?’, with co-host Davina confirming: ‘No, I don’t think we have’.
Last-minute: Series reporter Alison Hammond , 45, filled in the fan favourite’s shoes on Wednesday’s edition (pictured)
Voicing concerns: Over the two days that Holly was absent from the show, fans took to Twitter in droves to express their concern
Media personality Holly has been the face of This Morning since replacing Fern Britton in September 2009, and often takes breaks from work to spend time with her family during half-term periods and summer holidays.
The former Celebrity Juice panellist, who shares her kids with with husband of 12 years Dan Baldwin, discussed experiencing working mum guilt in a candid interview with Red Magazine.
Holly confessed that she never imagined juggling motherhood with a career when she dreamed of having a family.
She explained: ‘Becoming a mum was the only thing I knew I definitely wanted when I was growing up, but the image I had never involved me being a working mum and that’s been the biggest challenge.
‘I’ve been riddled with guilt about getting that part wrong. You love them so much and you don’t want to mess them up.
Shake-up: Big Brother’s Davina last stood in for the media personality in June (pictured), when she skipped her stint to take her three children back to school
Holly said her working schedule meant she had missed key days in her children’s lives.
The Brighton native added: ‘The truth is, I didn’t do the drop-off on Harry’s or Belle’s first day of school because I was working. I hate that I wasn’t there because those are memories you can’t get back.
‘But I’ve realised the only way that I can combat those feelings is to accept that sometimes I don’t get it right – and that’s fine.’
The TV star added that she’s ‘lucky’ she’s able to greet her kids after school and be there on weekends.
Parenthood serves as number one priority in Holly’s life, so much so that she took her offspring out of school when she stood in for Ant McPartlin during the 2018 edition of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! in Australia.
‘New norm’: The ITV veteran had shared an image of herself on the school run with Harry, Belle, and Chester, after she admitted working mum guilt is her ‘biggest challenge’