Inside Holly Willoughby’s special bond with sister Kelly – including secret nicknames and adorable throwback pics

8 mins read


AS a result of the new lockdown restrictions, this Christmas is shaping up to be unlike any we’ve celebrated before – and that applies to celebrities too.

Earlier this week, it was revealed Holly Willoughby – who lives in London with her husband and three children – won’t be able to spend the festive period with her big sister Kelly for the first time in 40 years.

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Holly Willoughby, 39, and her sister Kelly, 42, will spend their first Christmas apart this year[/caption]

The This Morning presenter’s devastated sister said it was “beyond heartbreaking” that she wouldn’t see her sister on Christmas Day after the tiers system was announced on Saturday.

The inseparable sisters have struggled being apart this year – with Holly publicly telling Kelly “I miss you so much” after she shared an Easter poem written by her sibling during the first lockdown in Spring.

As Holly and Kelly prepare to spend their first Christmas apart, Fabulous takes a look back at their special bond – including sweet childhood nicknames.

Throwback pics

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The sisters were attached at the hip in their throwback photos[/caption]

Despite their age gap, Holly, 39, and Kelly, 42, have always been incredibly close – and were attached at the hip in all their childhood pictures.

In one photo from a childhood holiday, Holly rushes to copy her sister’s salute to the camera and the pair snuggled up close for their official school photos.

Speaking to the Express in 2010, Holly revealed that her and Kelly never tried to outshine each other when they attended Burgess Hill School for Girls in Sussex.

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Kelly described Holly as her ‘best friend’ in a gushing birthday tribute in 2018[/caption]

She said: “Kelly was really bright and academic.

“She was head girl of the school and at the top of her year. Because we were so different, we were never in competition.”

Best Friends First, Sisters Second

When Kelly tied the knot 10 years ago, it was a no-brainer that Holly would be her chief bridesmaid.

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Holly was Kelly’s chief bridesmaid when she tied the knot in 2010[/caption]

In a former interview with the Guardian, Holly said of her sister: “We’re more like friends than sisters. We even bought a place together in Putney.

“You would expect some fireworks, but because we have the same friends and have different roles within that group, none of that ever came into it.

“I’m more likely to be the one to say, ‘everyone back to mine’ and cook for everyone, whereas she’s much better at tidying up.”

For Holly’s birthday in 2018, Kelly – who works as a children’s writer – wrote a gushing Instagram post for her little sister and opened up about their close relationship.

Kelly wrote: “[You’re] my best friend when I’m in trouble, my big sis when I’m sad and my little sis when it’s time to be naughty!”

What’s more, Holly even brought her sister as her plus-one to the BAFTAs last year and jumped at the chance for them to get all dressed up.

‘Holly Dolly’

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Kelly calls her sister ‘Holly Dolly’[/caption]

When we leave home, most of us try our hardest to shake the nicknames we grew up with – but Holly still seems fond of the one her sister gave her.

Last year, the mum-of-three sent Kelly a sweet card full of pictures of them together for her birthday.

In response, Kelly shared it on Instagram and lovingly referred to her sister as “Holly Dolly”.

For Kelly’s 41st birthday in May this year, Holly sadly wasn’t able to see her – but she did post a touching tribute on Instagram.

She wrote: “LOVE you to pieces… can’t wait to give you a huge squeeze when we can… have the best day… see you on Zoom!”

Best friends and co-authors

In 2013, Holly and Kelly decided to co-write a children’s book – and while it might strain most relationships, it brought them closer together.

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Holly and Kelly co-wrote the School for Stars series together[/caption]

In an interview with BlinkBox Books, Kelly revealed that the twins Molly and Maria in their series School for Stars were based on her and Holly.

“There are definitely some similarities between those twin girls and [us]. We’re quite close in age, only two-and-a-half years so we grew up very close together. We didn’t fight, did we?”

Showing off her cheeky side, Holly revealed how she used to playfully tap her sister whenever she called dips on the front seat of the car.

“If you hit her on the back, her head bobbles,” Holly joked. “Next time, she would sit in the back.”

Sisterly getaways

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The sisters went on holiday to Portugal together in 2018[/caption]

While most families stop going on holidays together when the kids grow up, Holly and Kelly have been known to go on secret getaways together.

In August 2018, Holly posted a rare selfie with Kelly from heir holiday in Portugal.

She simply captioned the picture: “Sisters.”

One fan commented: “Beautiful picture. Every blond needs a brunette bestie – even better when you are sisters.”

Another wrote: “You literally have the same face!”

A third added: “You can see the resemblance. Both pretty ladies.”


For more celebrity stories, S Club Junior’s Aaron is all grown up & flashing his washboard abs on TikTok… as he does ALL the band’s cringe dance moves.

And can YOU guess the celeb behind these extravagant Christmas decorations?

Plus NEVER have a double chin in pics again thanks to photographer’s secret peach trick – and the Kardashians swear by it.



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