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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Rose Hill

Holly Willoughby no longer 'very friendly' star she was at start of career, says ex-co star

Former Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner has claimed that host Holly Willoughby has "changed" since she first began in the industry - adding: "I don't know her anymore.

Holly, now 42, first began presenting the hit ITV skating show in 2006 when she was just 25 years old. It was her first hosting gig alongside Phillip Schofield and led to her winning a hosting job on This Morning just three years later.

Jason, 51, along with Karen Kresge, Karen Barber, Robin Cousins and Nicky Slater were the original judges on the panel, with Jason appearing on the show until 2019 (missing the 2012 series).

However, Jason quit the show after becoming embroiled in a furious row with contestant Gemma Collins and claimed the show was "too toxic".

Holly and Phil on Dancing on Ice in 2006 (ITV Network)

Four years after his shock exit, Jason has opened up about his relationship with Holly - claiming that she is different to how she once was.


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“When we started out she was very friendly, didn’t have anyone working with her," he told The Sun.

“But on the last series I was on she had a team of about eight people in an entourage following everywhere she went. She became ‘Brand Holly’.

"I didn’t know her any more.”

He added that they had been "good, friendly colleagues" and that they had often enjoyed a "giggle" backstage together.

Jason claimed that they had had a "good rapport" and that she would ask him if her was OK if it had been a particularly tough week.

However, Jason said that she had failed to reach out after his sudden departure from the show after 13 years - and that only Ashley Banjo had contacted him.

"I got nothing. It made me feel disposable," he said.

It comes after Holly broke her silence last Monday in an address to viewers, now infamously dubbed the "Are you OK?" speech.

Her speech receieved a mixed response, with comedian David Baddiel brutally tearing it apart.

In a scathing tweet, he wrote: "When Holly Willoughby said ‘Firstly, are you OK?’ I genuinely thought she was talking to someone behind camera, before realising that of course she was talking to us, the great British deeply-traumatised by everything's that happened on an ITV morning show public.” (sic)

The comment attracted over 3.1million views and 1,875 replies, with one joking: "I’m struggling to cope if I’m honest."

The Mirror has reached out to Holly's reps for comment.

READ MORE:    Holly Willoughby shares cryptic message ahead of This Morning return amid Phillip scandal
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