Clodagh McKenna speaks, Holly Willoughby watches

Clodagh McKenna reveals side to Holly Willoughby viewers never saw as presenter quits show

'Holly has made me and so many others a better person'

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Clodagh McKenna has opened up about a “special magic” Holly Willoughby possesses as the This Morning chef paid tribute to her former ITV daytime colleague.

Holly told fans on social media this week she had quit the series after 14 years, admitting it was a “difficult goodbye”.

The 42-year-old host was allegedly the target of a kidnap plot earlier this month, and and said her decision was made “for me and my family”.

On Wednesday (October 10), Clodagh hailed Holly for intangible qualities that make her “so powerful” behind the scenes, as well as “the best presenter I have ever worked with”.

Clodagh McKenna prepares food as Holly Willoughby watches
Clodagh McKenna: ‘Holly made everyone feel calm, and safe’ (Credit: YouTube)

This Morning news: Clodagh McKenna pays tribute to Holly Willoughby

In a lengthy caption for a snap of the two TV personalities on the This Morning set, Clodagh wrote: “Anyone who has worked alongside Holly will know this… There is a special magic about her that you very rarely see or feel, some say it’s her star quality others her beauty or professionalism, it’s hard to put it into words but I’m going to try.”

Clodagh went on: “When Holly walked on to the studio set in the mornings her presence was so powerful, it made everyone feel calm, and safe. You always knew that nothing would go wrong when she was there, as she held everyone up. So many times when I felt nervous, you must remember it’s a live show, it can be nerve-wracking. But I would just have to look at her and the nerves would fade very fast because she always had your back, always thinking of others before herself. Her kindness oozing through those big beautiful eyes that we all love.”

Cloadagh also praised Holly as someone that made her think she wants her in her life. “And I feel so privileged to have worked alongside her and see her navigate the ups and downs with grace,” Clodagh continued.

I feel so privileged to have worked alongside her and see her navigate the ups and downs with grace.

“She will always be the best presenter I have ever worked with and she has made me and I know so many others a better person.”

Clodagh concluded her remarks: “Your legacy, beautiful Holly, on this morning will continue to shine because your light was so bright. Thank you for always being you. I love you to the moon and back.”

How fans reacted to Clodagh’s Instagram post

Thousands of Clodagh’s 311,000 Insta followers signalled their approval for her post by giving the upload a Like.

Dozens more offered their thanks for Clodagh’s “beautiful” expression of friendship, too.

“Beautiful words, she will be missed. I watched because of her, so know I will give it a miss,” one commenter wrote.

Another said: “Beautiful words for such a beautiful woman inside and out. Such a special bond that you both have, I’m so so happy that you have each other and may your friendship continue to flourish.”

And a third person added: “Lovely words Clodagh. Let’s hope Holly can get the privacy she needs now to protect her family.”

Holly Willoughby sits next to Phillip Schofield on This Morning
Holly Willoughby has departed This Morning five months after former co-star Phillip Schofield (Credit: YouTube)

Meanwhile, someone else noted that what Clodagh wrote really resonated with their own thoughts.

“Clodagh, I always suspected that was how Holly was in real life,” they said.

“I’ve never met her but feel a loss knowing Holly won’t be on This Morning any more. I hope that the people responsible for her making the decision to leave are brought to justice as we are all suffering from their actions.”

And TV presenter Laura Whitmore left the remark: “She’s an icon x.”

Read more: Holly Willoughby QUITS This Morning: Read her full statement here

This Morning airs on ITV, weekdays, from 10am.

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Robert Leigh
Freelance writer