In the early stages of her career, Holly Willoughby faced limitations on the types of outfits she could wear.
Television executives have come under scrutiny for alleged misogyny, with reports suggesting that male executives instructed Holly to dress more provocatively on a children's show, even going as far as to suggest she go b**less.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that the This Morning host, now 42, was told doing so would make her 'more attractive' to male viewers.
One close associate of the star says that he raised concerns at the time with a senior member of staff who was working behind the scenes on one of the shows.
'Before I knew who Holly even was, I saw her without a b** on and asked a director who she was and why she was dressed like that,' the friend said.
'I said she needs to get a b** on, it was children's television. I reminded Holly of it some time later and she said they made her not wear a b**, that the shows weren't actually for children.
'It was pretty staggering that this was going on.'
Another friend added: 'It's pretty awful, it doesn't even seem that long ago. And what's worse is that Holly probably wasn't the only one.'
During her tenure on the ITV Saturday morning show Ministry Of Mayhem from 2004 to 2006, Ms. Willoughby was frequently dressed in provocative outfits for the camera.
This included roles such as a maid, where she wore a black short skirt and a matching top, and even a revealing Mrs. Christmas costume. She also appeared in low-cut tops and was subjected to being drenched in water or gunge while on the program.
According to an insider in the television industry, it was common practice during that era for young women to be directed on what they should wear, and they often didn't have the freedom to refuse. Much like many other industries, television at the time was primarily controlled by men, and young, ambitious women were hired and expected to comply with directives. This environment is now seen as being highly misogynistic.
Ms. Willoughby has since become one of the most sought-after television presenters in the UK. She gained widespread recognition in 2006 when she started co-hosting ITV's Dancing On Ice alongside Phillip Schofield.
Three years later, she achieved her dream role when she was selected to replace Fern Britton as the co-host of This Morning alongside Schofield. Her career began with appearances on the children's show "S Club TV, followed by hosting Xchange for the BBC and CBBC At The Fame Academy.
Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce's matching holiday sweaters poke fun at viral tweets
Marvel’s Kevin Feige has responded to rumours about Robert Downey Jr.’s character Ironman
LAPD reported the incident after Creed III actor Michael B. Jordan got involved in incident in LA
Sabrina Carpenter sets streets of Brentwood ablaze with dinner date featuring Irish heartthrob Barry Keoghan
Brooklyn Beckham and Nicola Peltz showcased coordinated all-black outfits as they attended the Balenciaga Fall 2023...
Last month, she emphasized her focus on music for personal fulfillment rather than financial gain.