Page last updated at 17:07 GMT, Wednesday, 15 July 2009 18:07 UK

Willoughby lands This Morning job

Holly Willoughby
Willoughby is best known as the co-host of Dancing on Ice

Former children's TV presenter Holly Willoughby has been confirmed as the new co-host of ITV1's This Morning.

She will take over from Fern Britton, who leaves the flagship daytime show later this week.

Phillip Schofield, who worked with Willoughby on Dancing on Ice, said she was "at the top of everybody's list to pick up where Fern leaves off".

Willoughby said in a statement that This Morning had "always been the ultimate dream job for me".

"To spend my days sat next to Phil on the sofa just makes it that bit extra special," she added.

"Now I just can't wait for it all to start."

Champagne celebration

Writing on his website, Schofield said: "She filled in a few months ago and, from that moment on, everybody knew she was the obvious number one choice."

He said the "the deal was done" at 1430 BST on Wednesday, just as he was having his photograph taken at the show's studios "for the opening titles for the new series".

"Holly immediately jumped into a car and came to the This Morning studios where we all had a couple of bottles of bubbly waiting for her arrival," he added.

Willoughby, 28, began her career as a children's TV presenter on programmes including ITV1 show Ministry of Mayhem.

Earlier this year, she had her first child, Harry, with husband Dan Baldwin, a TV executive.

She will begin her new presenting role in September.

Britton, 51, is leaving the show after 10 years to "explore other things" and to "spend more time with my wonderful family".

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