Holly: ‘Cilla was my idol when I started in TV’

Holly Willoughby is thrilled to be taking on a role made famous by her idol, Cilla Black, as she prepares to host the rebooted Surprise Surprise for ITV1.

This Morning presenter Holly told What’s on TV: “As a girl starting out in TV, Cilla was my idol. I met her recently on Never Mind The Buzzcocks and we had a glass of champagne after the show. She’s amazing and I’m thrilled to be using her old Surprise Surprise dressing room.”

Holly says she loved the original series, which ended in 1997. “The show was a big part of my childhood, but there’s a generation of kids who’ve never seen it before and I want them to enjoy it as much as I did.”

The new show will feature some changes to the format, but Holly said the heart of the show will be exactly the same.

“We still have the classic reunions on the sofa, even though now, people have Skype and the internet to keep in touch. We’ve found that if people have separated for a long time, there’s always a fundamental reason for that reunion not happening until now.”

One thing that will be different in the new Surprise Surprise is the theme tune. Holly won’t be singing it!

“You really wouldn’t want me to sing [it]! I did actually sing it on This Morning once, but Phillip Schofield said, ‘Don’t ever sing that in public again!’ I have that awful combination of loads of confidence, but no ability whatsoever!”

Surprise Surprise returns to ITV1 on Sunday, October 21.

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