Holly Willoughby returns to Dancing on Ice but there's something different about her, expert reveals

On 14 January 2024, TV presenter Holly Willoughby made her comeback after having to quit ITV’s This Morning following threats of murder and kidnapping.

Holly Willoughby Dancing on ice body language
© Karwai Tang / GETTY IMAGES
Holly Willoughby Dancing on ice body language

Holly Willoughby’s end of 2023 was very dramatic and, needless to say, terrifying. On 10 October, she revealed in a statement that she would be leaving This Morning. This followed the news that a plot to kidnap and murder her had been uncovered.

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After this statement, the presenter kept a very low profile. She stopped posting on social media and she wasn’t seen on TV. On top of her work on This Morning, Willoughby also hosted Dancing On Ice and her silence started rumours that she would also be stepping back from that show.

However, she didn’t and on 14 January she made her official return to our TV screens.

Holly Willoughby’s highly anticipated return

Fans and viewers had been waiting for this moment for months - Holly Willoughby's return to TV. Opting for a sequin dress, she stepped into her role of host when she joined Stephen Mulhern on Sunday.

The two had already worked together between 2004 and 2006 on a show called Ministry of Mayhem. They reunited twenty years later for good and the dynamic has changed. A body language expert, Judi James, talked to Mirror and said that Willoughby had come back changed from her self-imposed break.

her body language later made her look a little more grown-up and just a little bit wiser than she had before

James continued and talked about Willoughby’s energy saying that ‘the excitable girlishness had gone’ leaving room for someone more ‘serious’ and ‘a little bit more sombre’.

The expert also added:

Her hair is a little darker and straighter and she has lost the signature tentative hand gesture where her hands are lightly clasped and pointing down from the wrists.
Holly now strokes her cue cards that she holds up in a small barrier ritual but this is a more mature-looking gesture than the raised clasp she has traditionally used.

A hint of vulnerability

Though the body language expert speaks of Willoughby’s new gravitas she also speaks of ‘vulnerability’. Judi James explains that at the beginning of the show the presenter showed a ‘a hint of vulnerability’.

According to GB News,viewers expressed concerns about Willoughby’s voice as in her opening speech she sounded a bit hoarse.

Finally, one of the biggest changes of the show was the presence of Stephen Mulhern as Phillip Schofield’s replacement. Schofield and Willoughby were known to have great chemistry, so a lot was expected of the new duo.

On that, the body language expert said that watching them really highlighted Willoughby’s shift of role. Because of Mulhern’s personality Holly was left to be the ‘the more serious, straight-guy role.’ James adds:

She led the presenting to suggest dominance and there was a point where she playfully shut Mulhern up by placing a finger over his lips.

Overall, Willoughby’s return clearly highlighted a shift in her role at ITV and in her job. In the words of the body language expert:

Disney princess look seems to have gone as Holly now presents as a slightly more serious and sophisticated presence

What did you think of Willoughby’s come back?

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GB News: Holly Willoughby sparks concern moments into Dancing on Ice return as fans spot distracting voice feature

Mirror: Holly Willoughby showed 'hint of vulnerability' as she made TV return, says body language expert

Holly Willoughby could return to Dancing On Ice as Stephen Mulhern signs up for the show Holly Willoughby could return to Dancing On Ice as Stephen Mulhern signs up for the show