Holly and Phillip remained presenters on This Morning from Monday through Thursday, while Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary took over Friday morning presenting duties. Though their onscreen rapport seemed strong at first glance, viewers reported noticing signs of tension between them.
Schofield stunned many when he made an explosive revelation: that he is homosexual and had an affair with one of his male colleagues when they were 15. Additionally, he had misled Holly regarding this affair.
How they met
After co-presenting Dancing on Ice together in 2006, Holly and Phillip quickly formed an enduring friendship. Phillip was so impressed with Holly that he personally selected her to replace Fern Britton on This Morning when she left in 2009. They even vacationed together each year off camera. Unfortunately it now seems the two have become estranged following some tense weeks; Holly is said to be deeply upset after Phil publicly declared her his “rock.” Neither present This Morning as usual this week with no mention made about any ongoing gossip surrounding their relationship.
Behind-the-scenes tension has been high. Holly believes Philip kept her informed of his brother’s child sex abuse trial and this led to their public row about jumping the queue at Queen Elizabeth II’s lying-in state service. Fans have also noticed that Holly has deleted Phil from all social media.
Phil announced his sexuality publicly for the first time on Loose Women in February 2020 and thanked Holly for supporting him during his coming-out process. He later expressed that he ‘wouldn’t have wanted anyone else by his side on the sofa’. Holly caused controversy when she claimed Phil lobbied to replace Holly with Rochelle Humes because she was easier for him to manage on air.
Their on-screen chemistry
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby had undeniable on-screen chemistry when co-presenting ITV’s This Morning together for 14 years before Phillip abruptly left after admitting an “unwise but not illegal affair” with one of Holly Willoughby’s younger colleagues. Holly later released a statement regarding this scandal, writing it was very hurtful to discover he’d lied to her.
She described it as being “hugely turbulent and upsetting”. Later reports claimed Holly was left feeling betrayed after Phil failed to inform her of his brother’s sexual abuse trial, leading her to miss several weeks of filming sessions and sparking speculation of possible animosity between the pair; however an appearance together on Monday 15 May put this speculation to bed with no mention whatsoever of any off-screen conflict between them.
Holly and Phil appear to have reconciled professionally, yet their friendship remains fractured. According to reports, Holly has stopped posting any photos of Phil on her Instagram account in recent months, favoring outfit snaps and pictures with co-hosts such as Alison Hammond and Joel Dommett instead. Additionally, keen-eyed fans have noticed that Holly’s Twitter bio section has changed to focus more on her broadcasting career and founding of lifestyle brand Wylde Moon rather than Phil.
Holly and Phil remain co-presenters on This Morning despite reports of dissension between them. After 14 years together and much love from fans across the UK, the duo remain an irreplaceable team since Holly replaced Fern Britton on This Morning back in 2009. Together they’ve hosted Dancing on Ice as well as one series of I’m A Celebrity… with Declan Donnelly.
Over the years, they’ve had their fair share of bumpy moments together but always seemed to recover quickly from difficulties. Recently however, reports indicate that their relationship has taken an apparent downward turn due to Schofield’s scandal with younger colleagues and have decreased communication off camera.
Schofield announced his resignation from This Morning after admitting having an affair with one of his male colleagues and misleading ITV bosses and colleagues about it. Additionally, he also stepped down as ambassador of Prince’s Trust and host of British Soap Awards.
Holly has always shown Phil her undivided support and was there when he needed her. On Father’s Day she shared an emotive tribute: a photo with Phil along with the caption ‘There he is: my father and friend.’ Holly expressed how proud of Phillip she was as well.
Rumors first spread of Holly and Phillip’s estrangement shortly before their news became official. Phillip abruptly left the show on Saturday, May 20, to be replaced by guest hosts Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary for Monday’s episode. On Friday night, Schofield made a surprise announcement – unwise but legal according to himself – about having had an affair with an 18 year-old PA/runner, something which Schofield described as being unwise but legal.
He then shared that he felt as though everything he owned had been taken from him, and revealed they’d known each other since 15th grade and met through drama school, yet their relationship only really began once ITV came calling.
Holly’s public response to the affair was one of the most emotive yet seen from any TV star, confessing it left her feeling shaken and troubled as well as taking to social media to apologize to viewers for subjecting them to such turmoil.
Since that point, however, keen viewers have observed Holly unfollowing Phillip on Instagram and changing her Twitter bio to read ‘Holly Willoughby’ – leaving viewers confused as to their status in real life and likely no closer together on screen than before – which seems unlikely given that Josie Gibson will replace Schofield as soon as next week on this show.