Phillip Schofield defends Eamonn Holmes after fans slam him for ‘spoiling’ coming out moment with ‘sleazy’ Holly Willoughby gag

8 February 2020, 12:01 | Updated: 8 February 2020, 12:39

Phillip Schofield jumps to Eamonn Holmes' defence after the 57-year-old announces he's gay.
Phillip Schofield jumps to Eamonn Holmes' defence after the 57-year-old announces he's gay. Picture: ITV / Twitter

The telly legend heaped praise on the Belfast-born broadcaster after he was blasted for making a 'tacky' hot tub joke.

Phillip Schofield has showered Eamonn Holmes with praise after the Belfast-born presenter was slammed for "spoiling" his heartfelt coming out moment on Friday's episode of This Morning.

The TV presenter, 57, who broke down in tears yesterday as he revealed his sexuality to world, heaped praise onto his long-time friend after the 60-year-old received criticism for making a "tacky" joke during the emotional announcement.

Viewers were left furious after the Northern Irish broadcaster poked fun at now openly gay Phillip for sharing a hot tub with his bestie Holly Willoughby, teasing that he now understands why he was allowed to strip off with the glamorous star.

Read more: Phillip Schofield, 57, bravely comes out as gay

Eamonn Holmes embraced Phillip after his brave announcement on This Morning.
Eamonn Holmes embraced Phillip after his brave announcement on This Morning. Picture: ITV

Taking to Twitter to show his support for Eamonn, Phillip wrote: "Can I just say that @EamonnHolmes & @RuthieeL were utterly magnificent with me today, privately downstairs just the three of us and upstairs in front of the world. I couldn’t have hoped for a better, calming and loving set of hugs and support, I adore them both.

"And for the record, @EamonnHolmes made me laugh, he lightened a very emotional moment and I’m very happy that he did."

Read more: Eamonn Holmes makes cheeky Holly Willoughby gag after Philip Schofield comes out as gay in emotional This Morning interview

Phillip, who has been married to wife Steph for almost 27 years, set the record straight on social media after Eamonn was blasted for his quip, which said: "I am disappointed in a couple of ways.

"First of all, I thought 'big announcement from Phillip' – I thought you were going to come in and announce you had resigned and I would take your job, so that wasn't to be.

"The second thing is, there's this great imponderable in life, which has always irritated me. I thought, 'How come he can sit in a hot tub with Holly 'Willoughbooby' and Steph [Phillip's wife] doesn't have a problem and Dan [Holly's husband] doesn't have a problem?"

"I thought, she [pointing to wife Ruth] would have a problem, I thought 'no, no'."

Phil was quick to clear up the fact the pair were firm friends, adding: "This [Holly] is the sister I never had," with Holly adding: "We are very lucky, very blessed."

Read more: Phillip Schofield praises 'incredible' wife Stephanie Lowe as he comes out as gay

Following the interview, a tirade of tweets hit Eamonn, branding him "tacky" and "sleazy" for "ruining" the incredibly brave revelation.

One viewer wrote: "Eamonn ruined a very heartfelt moment there #ThisMorning."

"A beautiful interview on #ThisMorning wrecked by Eamonn making a tacky hot tub joke," wrote another next to a glaring emoji.

While a third raged: "But honestly Eamonn, that was disgusting. Using his moment to be a creep about 'sitting in a hot tub with Holly', and how now he knows why his wife was okay with it. You ruined this sweet moment by turning it into something sleazy. You should be ashamed. #ThisMorning."

Phillip Schofield sobs as he reveals his daughter's amazing reaction to him coming out as gay

However, many viewers backed the Northern Irish presenter and praised him for lightening the mood.

Eamonn responded by publicly showing his support for friend Phillip, sharing a sweet snap of the two embracing, next to which he wrote: "A picture paints a thousand words.

"This is a man who was in pain, who today confided in Ruth and I and who knows we stand in support of him, his family and his sexuality...

"Also unlike some, he appreciated a laugh to break the tension. @schofe hoping you find happiness."