holly willoughby and phillip schofield

Holly Willoughby made her return to This Morning after Phillip Schofield left, and both Hammond and O’Leary paid their respects to her after she was suspended due to an affair with a younger colleague. Hammond and O’Leary offered their thanks as Holly spoke on air.

Staff have taken measures to show their respect for Phil by taking down pictures of him from corridors and dressing rooms as a mark of reverence for him. Furthermore, They removed their “This Morning” logos.

Holly Willoughby and Phil Schofield

Holly Willoughby returned to This Morning this morning following her two week break and it was evident she was struggling. Speaking directly to viewers she noted, it ‘feels very strange sitting here without Phil. She also thanked her temporary co-host Josie Gibson as being her rock during this difficult period.

According to reports, Phillip and Holly rarely speak off-camera, with their relationship becoming colder since his departure from ITV. According to some accounts, an argument may have occurred over queue-jumping allegations between them.

Holly and Phillip both denied jumping the queue to see Queen Elizabeth lying in state, citing they were asked by TV production company BBC Productions to film it for an upcoming program. Furthermore, they refuted headlines in newspapers which claimed they were feuding.

Phillip’s departure from ITV was announced after he admitted having an “unwise but not illegal” relationship with an employee younger than himself. Since then, he has informed former colleagues that he lied about it all along and requested Holly apologize but has yet to hear back from her.

Queue-jumping allegations

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield have been the perfect team since 2009 to host This Morning. Together, they’ve made us laugh and cry together while also developing an invaluable friendship off screen.

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However, they haven’t been without their share of controversy throughout their years together. When Phillip was accused of lying about an affair he was having with an underaged colleague at ITV, their working relationship became untenable and both ended their relationship with ITV shortly thereafter – leaving Holly furious that she hadn’t been informed beforehand about what had transpired.

Phil and Holly became the focus of public outrage following what became known as queue-gate last September when they were accused of cutting in front of others to visit Queen’s lying in state at Windsor Castle without getting in line first. ITV stood behind their decision by asserting they had media accreditation to film for the show despite such public disapproval.

Reports indicate that Holly did not know of Phillip’s brother’s child sex charges before they came to light, leading him to be charged and eventually sentenced for child sex offenses. Holly denies keeping this information hidden from Phillip and spoke out against claims she kept this knowledge secret from him – she apparently became incensed at these revelations, making sure her feelings were made known to ITV executives as soon as the news surfaced.

Relationship rumours

Rumors surrounding Holly and Phil have swirled for some time now. Phil made headlines when he admitted having an affair with a younger colleague at ITV; after this revelation came out as gay and his separation from his wife; Phil came forward publicly as gay and issued an official statement condemning his participation in such relationships while lying about them as being “very bad judgement.”

At the time, ITV denied the allegations and stated they had investigated. Schofield and the man involved strongly refuted such speculation as did their agents.

Following the scandal, Holly reported being upset at being mislead. She claims she asked Phil directly whether he was involved and he told her no; additionally she claims her manager told her it was completely false.

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Holly has announced her departure from co-hosting Phil’s show. In a post to social media, she expressed her appreciation for all his expertise and laughter on the couch, noting how the show will no longer feel the same without him and wishing him all the best in his future endeavors. It’s believed Holly’s decision may be part of an attempt to increase her profile while exploring alternative roles.

ITV’s response

As Monday’s This Morning credits began rolling, viewers were left in disbelief as Holly Willoughby appeared without former co-host Phil Schofield, to much dismay of viewers and co-workers alike.

Holly, 42, took a half term break following the scandalous revelations surrounding Schofield’s affair with an ITV staff member in 2020 – an affair which subsequently caused his agent to drop him and him to step down as both an ambassador for The Prince’s Trust and as host of their show.

Holly has been deeply hurt by Philip’s public expressions of sorrow over their affair. However, she has ignored his pleas for mercy apologising and asking forgiveness.

On Monday’s episode of Live! With Kelly and Ryan, Holly was mostly quiet regarding any drama between herself and Phil during their return from break. Once the show had started, however, Holly took to Instagram Stories and posted an adorable image showing herself cuddling temporary co-host Dermot O’Leary while smiling for the camera – something which Phil had also done during this break period.

Holly made an emotional appearance for the first time since Schofield’s emotionally draining interview, in which he confessed to deceiving colleagues and family about his relationship with a younger ITV runner. ITV bosses such as Dame Carolyn McCall will appear before Parliament this week to answer questions over its handling.