Most searched for celebrities in 2023 revealed but can you guess who?

Holly Willoughby and Taylor Swift were among the most searched stars this year

Holly Willoughby has quit This Morning after 14 years. (Getty)
Holly Willoughby has quit This Morning after 14 years. (Getty)

The great and the good of the showbiz world never fails to disappoint us and this year was no different. The results, which were pulled from hundreds of millions of searches on Yahoo UK in the past 12 months, reveal the most searched for celebrities.

It may not surprise you that celebrities from Holly Willoughby to Huw Edwards and Phillip Schofield were among the names of who courted the most attention. We take a look back on the top 10 searched celebrities and why...

Holly Willoughby

Holly Willoughby has been named as the most searched celebrity this year, according to Yahoo data’s data. Her name made headline news when Willoughby reportedly became a target of an alleged kidnap plot. In a twist of events, Willoughby dramatically quit This Morning after 14 years presenting the main show.

It all started out when the presenter was missing from This Morning, leaving viewers wondering where she was. Little did they know, Willoughby would never return to the small screen on This Morning as she quit just days after the story unfolded.

In an emotional statement, she revealed at the time: "It is a difficult goodbye, you are incredible and I will forever be proud of what we’ve done together. Thank you to everyone at ITV for being supportive." All of her ITV colleagues rallied around her and shared their positive messages with her, wishing her all the best with her next venture.

Her exit from This Morning came five months after her longtime presenting partner Phillip Schofield stepped down from his position. A question mark remains over whether Willoughby will return to ITV reality show Dancing on Ice which she used to host alongside Schofield. Everyone wants to know: what will Holly Willoughby do next?

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift has had an amazing year. (Getty)
Taylor Swift has had an amazing year. (Getty)

Taylor Swift has had a crazy good year in the showbiz world. All eyes have been on Swift as she performs her world tour The Eras. In another success, Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour is the most profitable concert film ever.

The singing superstar has become a billionaire and she has been named TIME magazine’s Person of the Year 2023 too. "It feels like the breakthrough moment of my career, happening at 33," she told the publication. "And for the first time in my life, I was mentally tough enough to take what comes with that."

"This is the proudest and happiest I’ve ever felt, and the most creatively fulfilled and free I’ve ever been," she added. "Ultimately we can convolute it all we want or try to overcomplicate it but there’s only one question… Are you not entertained?"

Of course, her love life too has also taken the focus of the headlines. In April this year, Swift split up from Joe Alywn after six years together. They had kept much of their relationship out of the limelight but it was a fan frenzy when the couple’s break up was revealed.

Shortly after, there was great excitement when rumours were swirling that Swift was dating Matt Healy but it was all over by June. And Swifties could not have predicted the singer’s next move: she began dating Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce and the rest is history. Who knows, if all goes well, maybe next year it will be wedding bells.

Also when it comes to love, Swifties were shocked by all the jaw-dropping Harry Styles links to 1989 (Taylor's Version) when she rereleased her album in October.

Phillip Schofield

Phillip Schofield has quit his presenting jobs with ITV. (Getty)
Phillip Schofield has quit his presenting jobs with ITV. (Getty)

Everyone was talking about Phillip Schofield earlier this year when he weathered a media storm over his affair with a younger male colleague on This Morning. Once the apple of ITV’s eye, Schofield had no choice but to resign from the presenting job he had loved when the scandal was out in the open. He had been on the show for more than 20 years.

The dad-of-two said his affair with the younger male colleague was “unwise, but not illegal”, saying it was a “consensual on-off relationship” which took place when he was married to his wife of 30 years Stephanie Lowe.

In the wake of the scandal, he told The Daily Mail: "I am painfully conscious that I have lied to my employers at ITV, to my colleagues and friends, to my agents, to the media and therefore the public and most importantly of all to my family. I am so very, very sorry, as I am for having been unfaithful to my wife.

"I have therefore decided to step down from the British Soap Awards, my last public commitment, and am resigning from ITV with immediate effect expressing my immense gratitude to them for all the amazing opportunities that they have given me."

ITV “made considerable efforts to determine the truth” about the relationship between Schofield and the younger male colleague, a review found in December. Schofield and the colleague did not take part in the review.

"ITV's management made considerable efforts to determine the truth about an alleged relationship between PS (Schofield) and PX (the runner) following on from the publication of a story in The Sun newspaper in early December 2019," the report said. "However, in the face of the denials of the individuals involved, ITV was unable to uncover the relevant evidence until PS's admission in late May 2023."

The broadcaster was happy with the feedback and Kyla Mullins, general counsel and company secretary at ITV, told staff in an email: "There was a lot of unfair, inaccurate and damaging speculation about This Morning’s culture. The plc Board met with the KC this week and she told us: “there is no finding of a “toxic” culture, and had there been one, I would have said so”.”


Madonna performing during The Celebration Tour at The O2 Arena in London in October. (Getty)
Madonna performing during The Celebration Tour at The O2 Arena in London in October. (Getty)

Madonna has no signs of slowing down and the world loves her for it. However, ahead of her world tour, Madonna was rushed to hospital after the singer suffered with a "serious bacterial infection". Her illness was in headlines all over the world. The American, who turned 65 in August this year, thanked her fans for their support during the difficult time.

Having recovered from her illness at her New York home, Madonna rescheduled her world tour in October as she didn’t want to "disappoint" her fans who had purchased tickets. At the time, she wrote: “Thank you for your positive energy, prayers and words of healing and encouragement. I have felt your love. I’m on the road to recovery and incredibly grateful for all the blessings in my life.”

She added: "My first thought when I woke up in the hospital was my children. My second thought was that I did not want to disappoint anyone who bought tickets for my tour. I also didn’t want to let down the people who worked tirelessly with me over the last few months to create my show. I hate to disappoint anyone. My focus is now my health and getting stronger and I can assure you, I’ll be back with you as soon as I can."

Amanda Holden

Amanda Holden has grabbed attention for her fashionable looks. (Getty)
Amanda Holden has grabbed attention for her fashionable looks. (Getty)

Other than being a huge British TV star, Amanda Holden has always dared to dress to court attention and doesn't pretend to be any other way. While her outfits have certainly had the attention of headlines in the past, she has found herself at the centre of two major stories this year.

Unapologetically herself, Holden shared a bikini photograph of herself on her Instagram account. Andrew Tate brought a whole new level of attention to her post when he trolled her with the comment: "You are a wife and a mother and you're far past a teenager. There is no need for this post."

It sparked outrage and huge commentary with Holden's friends and family supporting her. But Holden had the last laugh as she refused to respond to Tate's comments herself. "Honestly, I had another shot of me in a bikini with just a close-up of my bum and I was tempted to post it with the caption: 'Kiss my 52-year-old arse,'" she told The Telegraph."But you just know something like that’s going to go on and on – and in the end, why give him the oxygen?"

Holden's TV pal Piers Morgan gave Tate a good grilling on his talk show Talk TV. Morgan challenged: "It's just misogynist to say that. Why can't a woman of her age show off her beautiful body like that?" Reflecting on his words, Tate defended himself over the bikini comment.

To which, Tate responded: "You can call me crazy, you can call me misogynistic, but I think once a woman reaches the rip age of 50 any woman should not be interested in thirst trapping on Instagram. I think she has bigger responsibilities. I'm sure she is a very intelligent lady, she has done amazing things. She is famous, she's obviously very capable and I think she can do things more interesting than standing around trying to thirst trap on Instagram like she's 18."

He went on: "I wasn't insulting her, I was reminding her that she is such a fantastic person and she's so achieved that she is above thirst trapping. As a feminist, we're all feminists here right we all believe in women empowerment, I am reminding her of her worth."

Also, it may have been 20 years since Holden split from Les Dennis but her first marriage was in the spotlight again. Holden was in her early 20s when she married Dennis, 40, who was nearly 20 years older than her at the time. It didn't work out when she had an affair with Neil Morrissey.

Looking back on it in the spring, Holden shared some kind words. She told The Times in March: “I don’t know because I’ve never done therapy, but there is a sort of safety in a relationship like that. I was very young and I had a lot to learn about life.”

Not long after, Dennis had some nice words to say about her too. He told The Times: "Amanda was in the papers recently, saying some nice things about me. That was very kind of her. Maybe with time she has been able to look back and see things differently. We’re not in touch but I am happy that she’s happy."

Interest in their marriage also grabbed the public once again in the autumn when Dennis starred on Strictly Come Dancing, but he was the first to be eliminated from the reality series.

Susanna Reid

Susanna Reid presents Good Morning Britain. (Getty)
Susanna Reid presents Good Morning Britain. (Getty)

Susanna Reid is one of the most brilliant TV journalists and she graces our screens most mornings for Good Morning Britain, with many viewers looking to Reid as their source of news. The Good Morning Britain star is at the cutting edge of news journalism including grilling Rishi Sunak and holding him or other politicians to account.

Plus, she's there to cover the everyday news and the entertainment news that people really care about, from praising Willoughby for quitting This Morning to interviewing Nigel Farage about his political intentions when he was out of the I'm A Celebrity jungle.

Jonnie Irwin

Jonnie Irwin has returned to filming. (Instagram)
Jonnie Irwin has returned to filming. (Instagram)

A Place In The Sun star Jonnie Irwin went public with his terminal lung cancer battle in November last year, having been diagnosed in August 2020, and has continued to defy doctors' predictions.

At the time, he told Hello! magazine: "I don't know how long I have left, but I try to stay positive and my attitude is that I'm living with cancer, not dying from it. I set little markers – things I want to be around for. I got into the habit of saying: 'Don't plan ahead because I might not be well enough.'"

The TV presenter has continued to keep his followers in the loop with his treatment. Additionally, everyone has been delighted that Irwin returned in front of the camera amid his cancer battle. As well as work, the dad-of-two keeps his followers updated on his personal life including a recent family holiday to Spain ahead of his 50th birthday.

Carol Vorderman

Carol Vorderman poses for photographers upon arrival for 'An Audience with Kylie' at the Royal Albert Hall, in London, Friday, Dec. 1, 2023. (Photo by Millie Turner/Invision/AP)
Carol Vorderman is very vocal about the government and the Conservative Party on social media. (Invision/AP)

Carol Vorderman isn't shy of a little controversy. Not shy of sharing her views, she does openly blast the Tories across social media. Her row with MP Johnny Mercer and his wife has also played out publicly too. But one of her biggest talked about moments this year saw the star quit her BBC Radio Wales show.

Stirring up controversy, Vorderman sensationally quit her BBC show over a change to social media guidelines for presenters. She told her followers on X: "I’ve ultimately found that I’m not prepared to lose my voice on social media, change who I am, or lose the ability to express the strong beliefs I hold about the political turmoil this country finds itself in."

Always wearing her heart on her sleeve, Vorderman set out exactly why she disagreed with the BBC's new social media guidelines and why she wasn't going to stick to them. In a statement, she said: "After five years, I’m leaving my Saturday morning show on BBC Radio Wales. The BBC recently introduced new social media guidelines which I respect.

"However, despite my show being lighthearted with no political content, it was explained to me that as it is a weekly show in my name, the new guidelines would apply to all and any content that I post all year round.

"Since those non-negotiable changes to my radio contract were made, I’ve ultimately found that I’m not prepared to lose my voice on social media, change who I am, or lose the ability to express the strong beliefs I hold about the political turmoil this country finds itself in.

"My decision has been to continue to criticise the current UK government for what it has done to the country which I love – and I’m not prepared to stop. I was brought up to fight for what I believe in, and I will carry on.

"Consequently I have now breached the new guidelines and BBC Wales management have decided I must leave. We each must make our decisions. I’m sad to have to leave the wonderful friends I’ve made at Radio Wales. I wish them, and all of our listeners, all the love in the world. We laughed a lot, and we will miss each other dearly. But for now, another interesting chapter begins."

Tom Jones

Tom Jones performs on stage during Starlite Occident 2023. (Getty)
Tom Jones performs on stage during Starlite Occident 2023. (Getty)

Hitting all the right musical notes, Tom Jones has made it into the top searches for celebrities this year. At 82, he still loves performing and he's still touring all over the world. In late November, Jones excited fans with new UK tour dates for 2023 and 2024 too.

Having now had two hip replacements, the singing sensation revealed this year he looks after his health more than ever and ensures he doesn't "burn out". Earlier this year, he said: "If something went wrong with my vocal ability, I wouldn’t want to go on not in full strength. I wouldn’t like to shortchange an audience... Being old, you can’t do what you used to do. I mean, I can’t walk around like I used to but I wouldn’t want to now."

With no plans to retire any time soon, he added in June: "When you’re young you’re full of p*** and vinegar and you’re giving it plenty. Now I concentrate more on singing than I do anything else. When you’re young, you’re moving around the stage and want to get as much out of it as possible, and you have to be careful you don’t burn out."

Also this year, his song Delilah was at the centre of fresh controversy after Welsh rugby choirs were banned from singing the song. The lyrics include reference to a woman being stabbed to death by her jealous partner and critics of the song say it trivialises domestic abuse and murder.

In 2014, he defended the lyrics in the song: "I think if they're looking into the lyric about a man killing a woman, it's not a political statement. It's just something that happens in life that it's woman was unfaithful to him and he just loses it."

Huw Edwards

Huw Edwards was one of the most searched celebrities this year. (Getty)
Huw Edwards was one of the most searched celebrities this year. (Getty)

Huw Edwards has been a household name associated with the BBC for many years and he has been with BBC News At Ten for the last 20 years. This year his life was turned upside down.

It was alleged a BBC star paid a teenager for sexually explicit images. When the presenter was suspended, his wife named Huw Edwards as the star to put an end to the speculation. Since July, the presenter has been off air since the summer.

His wife Vicky Flind said in a statement at the time: "In light of the recent reporting regarding the ‘BBC Presenter’ I am making this statement on behalf of my husband Huw Edwards, after what have been five extremely difficult days for our family. I am doing this primarily out of concern for his mental well-being and to protect our children.

"Huw is suffering from serious mental health issues. As is well documented, he has been treated for severe depression in recent years. The events of the last few days have greatly worsened matters, he has suffered another serious episode and is now receiving in-patient hospital care where he’ll stay for the foreseeable future.

"Once well enough to do so, he intends to respond to the stories that have been published. To be clear Huw was first told that there were allegations being made against him last Thursday. In the circumstances and given Huw’s condition I would like to ask that the privacy of my family and everyone else caught up in these upsetting events is respected. I know that Huw is deeply sorry that so many colleagues have been impacted by the recent media speculation. We hope this statement will bring that to an end."

Despite the scandal, many viewers complained the BBC's coverage of the King's Speech was not the same without Huw Edwards - who has covered many royal events including the Queen's death and funeral.

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