Holly Willoughby said it was a "dream come true" to have the chance to go inside Big Ben on Thursday. The This Morning presenter joined her co-host Phillip Schofield to go on an access all areas tour of the London monument, which is currently undergoing extensive renovation work. "Look where we are! We are coming to you live from the clock face of Big Ben," Holly said on the show. "How incredible is that? It's the real deal. This is a dream come true for me actually, I drive past it every day. Very few people get to come here, obviously, but the likes of Peter Pan have been here and one of my all-time heroes, Tinkerbell hangs out here the whole time!"
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Holly Willoughby went inside Big Ben on Thursday
Phillip was similarly excited about the opportunity, telling viewers: "I can't believe where this show takes us. It was hard getting up here today - 282 steps to where we are and 334 to the belfry where we are going next. It's been switched on today in preparation for Remembrance Sunday, so at 9 o' clock this morning for the first time in quite a while, the bells tolled over Westminster. It's really loud!"
Big Ben has been silent for the last two months, but will chime for important events such as New Year's Eve and Remembrance Day. Authorities said they had to silence the Great Bell after 157 years of almost unbroken silence for the health and safety of the workers who are restoring the tower.
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Big Ben is currently undergoing extensive renovation work
"The chimes are being stopped to provide a safe environment for the people working on the scaffolding," a spokeswoman said. "Constant proximity to the chimes would pose a serious risk to their hearing, and would prevent efficient working." Big Ben is expected to stay quiet until the renovation work is complete in 2021.