Holly Willoughby was shocked to tears as she fell for an April Fool’s trick on This Morning.
The presenter had been duped into believing that a guest on the show had hated a makeover given to her, and then was involved in a small car crash outside the studio.
Introduced as a shop assistant called Carol, the woman – who was nominated by her husband ahead of a school reunion party – was given a makeover by Lisa Snowdon, who styled her in a short pink crushed-velvet dress with white boots.
She was also given a heavy make-up look and her hair was teased into a large, blonde retro style.
Seeing herself for the first time on the TV show set, Carol burst into tears and asked for filming to be stopped.
Unaware of the prank, Willoughby went over and tried to calm her down, promising her she could change her outfit.
Her co-host, Phillip Schofield, then told Carol, who was joined by her husband, that they had set up a lunch for them at a top London restaurant.
But as they were filmed driving away from the studio, the car crashed into part of the set.
Willoughby, visibly stunned, told viewers that they were going into the ad break.
But Schofield turned to her and said: “April Fool!”
The woman playing Carol and her husband were revealed to be actors hired for the live TV prank.
Shocked, Willoughby said: “Oh my God, I was panicking so much. I was really panicking … Oh my God, you … I can’t swear. I really want to. Oh my God, that was awful.
“I can’t believe you’ve just done that to me. I was so in on that.
“I was thinking ‘Why are you showing them walking out and arguing, you mean people’ … Oh my God, that’s the best slash worst April Fool’s joke ever.”
Snowdon said: “Do you really think I’d put those boots with that dress, Holly?”
Willoughby said: “I have to say, I was thinking ‘Hang on a minute’, I was. But, you know … That was so awful.”
Many viewers of the ITV show were also fooled by the trick, with ex-Coronation Street actress Bhavna Limbachia, who played Rana Habeeb, tweeting: “You got me!!!!!”
One viewer said: “Best April fool I’ve seen for years.”
Another wrote: “I was actually sat with my hand over my mouth saying poor woman what have they done so her … Best April fools yet lol #thismorning.”
Willoughby later asked: “When are we doing the gin item? I need a drink.”