Holly Willoughby blasts influencer over lockdown Dubai trip in awkward This Morning segment

Holly Willoughby This Morning
(Image credit: Getty)

This Morning host Holly Willoughby has hit out at an influencer for travelling to Dubai for work so she could escape national lockdown - but admitted she was "utterly jealous".

The mum of three, who shares Harry,11, Belle, nine, and Chester, six, with husband Dan Balwdin has been juggling work with homeschooling (opens in new tab) like most parents in England.

Holly was forced to miss a few This Morning shows after new lockdown rules introduced (opens in new tab) when Boris Johnson suddenly announced school closures as part of the third national lockdown (opens in new tab), leaving her to arrange childcare.

But with measures now in place, Holly is back to what she does best, hosting This Morning alongside Phillip Schofield. But a guest on the show appeared to rub Holly up the wrong way during a discussion about influencers travelling during the pandemic (opens in new tab).

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Sheridan Mordew, 24, jetted off to the United Arab Emirates at the start of January despite her home in Sunderland falling under Tier 4 restrictions.

The Instagrammer claimed the sun soaked trip is "essential travel" explaining she provides fitness updates and routines for her 12,500 followers on social media as part of her job as a personal trainer.

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Holly said, "Do you think your pictures might add to people's mental health struggles because they'll be looking at these images and going 'That's not available to me in my life, I can't do that, I'm sitting at home, I've got kids I'm homeschooling, I'm trying to hold down a job' Worried about money? 'Oh my god, look at this girl who's got everything in Dubai and she's not even supposed to be there!'"

Sheridan disagreed but admitted she did feel guilty before adding, "I'm not hurting anybody."

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To which Holly explained, "I think it comes down to what is essential. And to be fair, it's never been laid out in black and white what is essential, and that is the problem and that is why there is this grey area where things can be stretched.

"I guess the thing is that it's not in the spirit of lockdown, is it?

"When at the moment in lockdown, everybody is just wanting 'We're in this together', you know, however, when we see someone like you out there, besides the pool, we're not in it together, it's not in lockdown spirit."

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But when Sheridan stated, "I think what you've got to understand is my job," a clip ran of Sheridan riding a camel which prompted Holly to hit back, "That doesn't motivate me! This image does not motivate me! It makes me feel utterly jealous like I just want to feel the sun on my skin, I would love nothing more than that."

And Phil was in disbelief at the claim that a camel ride along the beach could be essential.

Sheridan defended her actions and warned, "In a world where you can be anything, be kind and I think a lot of people forget about that."

Again, Holly hit back, "You're saying be kind, but are you being kind to them by encouraging others to travel for what you deem as essential work?"

The segment wrapped with Sheridan stating she would return to the UK when gyms re-opened.

Selina Maycock
Senior Entertainment Writer

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 15 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for Goodto.com, Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.