Holly Willoughby has said she was “surprised” when she realised she was falling in love with her best friend.

This Morning co-host Willoughby offered a rare insight into her 14-year marriage to Dan Baldwin.

Speaking on Loose Women, the 40-year-old revealed she had an “intense friendship” with Baldwin for three months before the penny dropped.

Willoughby said: “We met on Saturday mornings and we became really ridiculously close friends.

Holly Willoughby and Dan Baldwin
Holly Willoughby and her husband Dan Baldwin leaving a Halloween party hosted by Jonathan Ross (Yui Mok/PA)

“It was this intensity of friendship for about 10-15 weeks, and I remember cheers-ing him with a glass and I was looking at him and like, ‘Oh my God, I fancy him, I fancy my friend!’

“It took me so by surprise and I thought, ‘Oh God, what’s just happened?’

“I think in hindsight, I was falling in love with him. I think that’s what that intensity was, but I didn’t necessarily recognise it.”

The couple married in 2007 and have three children: Harry, 12, Belle, 10, and Chester, seven.

Willoughby added that Baldwin was “definitely” still her best friend, after 14 years of marriage.

“He knows me better than anyone, he’s my absolute support.

“He gives the best advice of anybody, he’s got that strength and good moral fibre, so I always check and run everything past him.”

The presenter spoke about using “emotional kinesiology” and re-engaging with buried feelings, prompted after she co-hosted I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! with Declan Donnelly in 2018.

Loose Women panellist Charlene White asked whether her “influx of emotion” had an affect on her relationship with Baldwin.

Willoughby said: “I don’t think it caused a switch, because whenever you’re becoming more of yourself, you’re becoming more of what that person truly and actually fell in love with in the first place.”