Holly Willoughby made a surprise appearance on Thursday’s This Morning to meet a young fan with an incurable form of cancer and passed on some sweet, thoughtful gifts from her own TV treasures.
The TV presenter and her co-star Phillip Schofield are currently on their summer break from the show, but Holly called in from her holidays to make Sophie Fairall’s day with a chat and some very special presents.
Sophie, nine, is working her way through a list of things she’d like to achieve and people she’d like to meet after stopping treatment for a rare form of cancer, which is now incurable.
Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford are currently holding the fort at This Morning, but as they knew how much Sophie loves Holly, they arranged for her favourite star to call in.
As they handed over a gift box, Ruth told Sophie: “I do know that Holly Willoughby is your favourite so I’m sorry that she’s not here today, she’s away on her summer break. However, she has sent you a gift.
“This Morning did a Christmas panto and Holly was a princess and that was the tiara Holly wore so she sent that for you today.”
Holly then appeared on a video call to speak to her overwhelmed young fan.
She said: “Sophie it’s so lovely to meet you, I’m so sorry I can’t be there but when I heard you were coming on the show I was like right, I want to see her and I wish I could be there but I’m sending you a big virtual cuddle through the screen.
“You’re a bit of a girl after my own heart because I know you love fashion. I was thinking of all my outfits on This Morning what was my favourite outfit that I wore and it had to be my Cinderella dress and that tiara was my favourite part of it.”
Holly added: “You’re a lucky girl because I asked if I could take that home for my daughter and they were like no, it has to remain here, it’s too special for you to take home, so you have that with our love.”
There was also another special gift for Sophie, as Holly said: “The other thing I know about you is you’re a big fan of Australia and the jungle, you love I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.
“I was in the jungle a couple of years ago so I went into my attic and I found my jungle box of memorabilia and I dug around and what I found was this which I think Ruth has got….”
Sophie was handed a camouflage patterned water bottle with Holly’s name on it.
The star explained: “This is my water bottle that I had in the jungle, don’t worry I shook out any spiders and bugs, but that’s a real bit of memorabilia, I had that with me every single day, that was on set every day so that’s my little piece of the jungle to give to you.”
Sophie also had the chance to walk the show’s catwalk with fashion expert Gok Wan, and told how she had met another of her heroes, sweary chef Gordon Ramsay.
Ruth asked her: “I hope he didn’t swear?” and Sophie replied: “He swore once.”