As Amanda Holden starts her new £3m radio job, we look at why she’s having the last laugh
Replacing a Spice Girl is a tough job, but one woman who’s proven she has what it takes is Amanda Holden – who took over this month from Emma Bunton as co-host of Heart Breakfast alongside Jamie Theakston.
The multimillion- pound gig sees Amanda and Jamie, both 48, heading up Heart radio as it broadcasts nationwide for the first time, making it the UK’s biggest commercial radio morning show.
“Having listened for years I’m excited to be part of the Heart FM team! Look forward to waking you all up @thisisheart,” Amanda announced.
Rewind to autumn last year and Amanda was given the go-ahead by ITV to replace Holly Willoughby on This Morning while she held the fort for Ant McPartlin on I’m a Celebrity… But Rochelle Humes landed the role instead, after Phillip Schofield reportedly vetoed it.
The relationship between Amanda and Phil is said to be damaged beyond repair after she confronted him during a This Morning ad break.
A source said, “She made it clear she felt very let down. He was lost for words but didn’t have much time to respond because the show was going back on air.”
Now the Britain’s Got Talent judge is bigger than she’s ever been. A subtle way of sticking two fingers up at Phil and ITV? Perhaps.
Amanda has made no secret of her enthusiasm for Holly’s job on This Morning, having covered for her previously during maternity and holiday leave. Last February Amanda openly admitted she’d love to step into Holly’s shoes.
“I loved every minute,” she said. “Holly is incredible but if she ever does finally hang up her stilettos, that’s the job I’d really want to be considered for.”
Holly knows how ‘dangerous’ it is to take time off work, having once admitted, “There’s a new influx of people who are always ready and willing to jump straight into your warm shoes in about 2.4 seconds.”
So did Amanda’s eagerness to host This Morning make Holly fear for her job? It seems unlikely – Holly is the queen of daytime TV. But coincidence or not, eight months after she made her intentions clear, Amanda was told Rochelle was replacing Holly.
And our source tells us Amanda won’t be making the same mistake again.
“Amanda knows it’s a dog-eat-dog, cat-and-mouse industry. She now plays her cards close to her chest. She was smarting over being snubbed but she is over it now. For her, what comes first is her family, her mental health and being happy.”
Amanda’s face may not fit the This Morning line-up any more, but you could say replacing one of Holly’s best friends and earning a £3 million pay cheque – making her the UK’s best-paid female showbiz host – is sweet revenge for the mum-of-two.
Our source tells us, “Karma has seen Amanda through what was a pretty upsetting time. Amanda believes she’s a long way off her sell-by date.
She tells everyone that she is “getting better with age” and adds, “I don’t do anger any more, I just do revenge – it’s a far sweeter dish, and obviously serving it cold is best.”
Our insider continues, “Like a cat, Amanda always lands on her feet, and with this radio show she is the cat that’s got the cream. She is delighted with the twist of fate and couldn’t be happier, and more so, she can turn up to work and just walk in – no hair and make-up or wardrobe malfunctions – just the way she is and she totally rocks it.”
Let’s just hope co-host Jamie will be kinder with his words when he sees Amanda roll in for their early-morning starts.
During last year’s Britain’s Got Talent he tweeted, “How come the girls on BGT @Amandaholden @AleshaOfficial look like they’ve spent 12 weeks in make-up and Simon looks like he just got out of a skip? #BGT @davidwalliams.”