EXCLUSIVE: Josie Gibson’s ‘natural and caring’ personality make her the perfect replacement for Phillip Schofield, says her mum
Josie Gibson has a ‘natural and caring personality’ and is the perfect replacement for Philip Schofield on This Morning, according to her mum.
The former Big Brother winner, 38, supported Holly Willoughby by giving her co-star a hug after the under-fire presenter addressed her fallout with Phillip during a speech on Monday’s show.
And now the Bristol-born favourite is being tipped to have a greater role on the scandal-hit series, which has been plagued with reports of a toxic atmosphere behind the scenes.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Josie’s mum Mandy says her daughter is naturally affectionate and caring, leaving viewers in no doubt her support for Holly was wholeheartedly genuine.
And she says her ‘values’ were formed by her traveller roots, where she would spend eight weeks every summer passing through the countryside in a horse-drawn caravan.
‘Natural and caring’: Josie Gibson has a ‘natural and caring personality’ and is the perfect replacement for Philip Schofield on This Morning, according to her mum
Mandy explained: ‘That’s where she got her values from – it taught her to respect and care for people.
‘When you saw her give Holly Willoughby a hug on TV that was genuine, from the heart.’
Josie had no electricity, gas or running water for months when the family would take off in the brightly painted caravan.
Her mum said they would do a ‘circuit’ along country roads and never know when they would get back.
She said: ‘We’d be gone for eight weeks at a time, we are old-fashioned people, that’s how we live.
‘When you live in the van then you don’t waste water, electricity or your time.
‘We’ve always had horses, traps and carriages, we are simple people and we live a simple way of life.
‘It’s very different to the life she leads now but I’m glad that she had the opportunity to live life in the caravan when she was a child.’
Support: The former Big Brother winner, 38, supported Holly Willoughby by giving her co-star a hug after the under-fire presenter addressed her fallout with Phillip on Monday’s show
Genuine: Josie’s mum Mandy says her daughter is naturally affectionate and caring, leaving viewers in no doubt her support for Holly was wholeheartedly genuine
She adds: ‘If you bring a child into the world and people love and admire her, then you can be very pleased.’
Mandy and Josie’s stepdad Alan are driving to Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria on Wednesday- an annual gathering of gipsies and travellers in Cumbria.
The couple breed and sell horses, especially cobs, at their cottage near Yate, Bristol, where Josie grew up.
Mandy says she loves to watch Josie on TV every morning and fully deserves to be sharing the sofa with Holly.
She said: ‘I was having a clear out the other day and found a little schoolbook of Josie’s where she’s written: ‘I’m going to be on TV when I grow up.’
‘I think she’s got there through hard work and being natural and kind to people, she’s always been kind – full of sparkle, she would help anyone.
‘What’s happened (on This Morning) is terrible but we haven’t discussed it with her – that’s her own private affair.
‘The biggest part of life is respecting other people and that’s who Josie is. She’s gone forward in life by doing that.’
Josie went to North Road Community Primary School in Yate and then Brimsham Green comprehensive where her mum said she was a ‘clever’ pupil.
She had a part-time job flipping burgers at Yate railway station and Mandy described as ‘a good worker who never stops’.
She explains: ‘There’s a big town out there where Josie has had lots of support.
‘Yate is a loving community, her friends and people living there are very proud of her.
Mandy said they see Josie regularly when she visits with her four-year-old ‘beautiful’ son Reggie from her relationship with ex-boyfriend Terry. The pair are no longer together.
The family’s gleaming Romany-style caravan still stands outside the country cottage where Josie’s parents live and work.
Her stepdad delivers horse-drawn coal around the area and Mandy is well-known for breeding ponies.
She has just come back from Turkey where she had her front teeth replaced and Josie is yet to see the results.
After winning Big Brother in 2010 Josie gave an interview to OK magazine saying she was a ‘buffer’ – a gypsy word for non-travellers who live on the grid, have their own home and send their children to school.
She said: ‘I’m a buffer, really, because I grew up in a house not a caravan.’
‘But we were always surrounded by caravans and horses and carts. Life was never dull!’
Roots: Mandy says says her ‘values’ were formed by her traveller roots, where she would spend eight weeks every summer passing through the countryside in a horse-drawn caravan.
Family: Mandy said they see Josie regularly when she visits with her four-year-old ‘beautiful’ son Reggie from her relationship with ex-boyfriend Terry
TV star: Mandy says she loves to watch Josie on TV every morning and fully deserves to be sharing the sofa with Holly
Josie’s rising star status at This Morning contrasts heavily with her life post-Big Brother when she struggled to hold down a job on TV.
Indeed, she revealed being turned down for 72 jobs.
She says: ‘I think because of the Big Brother thing, it held me back a bit and nobody wanted to know – and I mean nobody.
‘Over two years, I tried and I literally put myself out there. Nobody knows this, but I got into [TV presenting] because I did not stop trying. More than 72 people I tried – I had a list of people who I’d asked for a job.’
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