What happened between Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield?

26 May 2023, 21:15

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield fallout: Everything we know about their feud
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield fallout: Everything we know about their feud. Picture: ITV
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

What happened between Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield as TV presenter admits to affair with 'younger' colleague?

Phillip Schofield, 61, sensationally quit This Morning with immediate effect over the weekend following weeks of reports that he and co-host Holly Willoughby, 42, have fallen out.

This comes after it was reported that Holly was looking to pull the plug on their professional relationship, with ITV recently saying in a statement that Phillip's departure from the show had nothing to do with his co-host.

Phillip has now revealed that he had an affair with a 'younger' member of the This Morning team, admitting to lying about it to several people.

Here's everything that's happened between Holly and Phil:

Phillip Schofield announced he was leaving This Morning over the weekend
Phillip Schofield announced he was leaving This Morning over the weekend. Picture: ITV

Latest: Phillip Schofield admits to affair with 'younger' This Morning colleague

Less than a week after quitting This Morning, Phillip Schofield has stepped down from all his ITV roles after admitting to having an affair with a 'younger' colleague.

The TV presenter also confirmed that he is no longer being represented by talent agency YMU.

The full statement, released to the Daily Mail, reads: "I am making this statement via the Daily Mail, to whom I have already apologised personally for misleading, through my lawyer who I also misled, about a story [sic] which they wanted to write about me a few days ago.

"The first thing I want to say is: I am deeply sorry for having lied to them, and to many others about a relationship that I had with someone working on This Morning. I did have a consensual on-off relationship with a younger male colleague at This Morning.

"Contrary to speculation, whilst I met the man when he was a teenager and was asked to help him to get into television, it was only after he started to work on the show that it became more than a just a friendship. That relationship was unwise, but not illegal. It is now over..."

He continued: "I am painfully conscious that I have lied to my employers at ITV, to my colleagues and friends, to my agents, to the media and therefore the public and most importantly of all to my family. I am so very, very sorry, as I am for having been unfaithful to my wife...

"I am resigning from ITV with immediate effect, expressing my immense gratitude to them for all the amazing opportunities that they have given me.

"I will reflect on my very bad judgement in both participating in the relationship and then lying about it."

Earlier this week: ITV respond to speculation Holly was behind Phil's exit

Following an outburst from former This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes regarding the presenting duo and the current situation, ITV have released a statement in response to speculation that Holly had something to do with Phil's exit.

They said: "Phillip Schofield’s decision to step down from This Morning was (as his statement made clear) a decision agreed between Phillip and ITV. "

This comes after Eamonn Holmes claimed that Holly wanted Phillip off the show. Ruth Langsford's husband said in a TV segment: "...She [Holly] wanted him not there. So what is she moaning about? They deserve each other I suppose."

Eamonn went on: "Holly is being as false as he is and nobody is talking about the elephant in the room. She says 'I thank him for all his knowledge, experience and humour'. All the things that she didn’t have when she came to the show. Well it’s true! I would call that stabbing in the back."

Eamonn Holmes claimed that Holly Willoughby wanted Phillip Schofield off This Morning in a furious TV rant
Eamonn Holmes claimed that Holly Willoughby wanted Phillip Schofield off This Morning in a furious TV rant. Picture: Alamy

The 'real' reason Holly and Phil fell out

It has recently been revealed the real reason the Holly and Phil's friendship turned sour, with reports that the fallout was all over International Women's Day.

The Daily Mail reports that for International Women's Day this year, Holly wanted to switch up the panel with an all-female presenting line-up. This idea is said to have been backed by This Morning's boss Martin Frizell.

However, Phillip is said to have been furious about the decision and so "went over Holly's head" to Frizell's boss, Emma Gormley, to stop the change-up happening.

When 8th March came around, This Morning started with a tribute to all the women that work on the show, with Holly being given the chance to host the show alone for a short time before Phillip reappeared.

An ITV source told the publication: "Holly was livid about Gormley's decision and the fact Phillip had undermined her, and made that very clear to numerous people at ITV.

"It was the first real sign to This Morning staff that their relationship had fractured and Holly wanted to step out of Phillip's shadow."

Alison and Dermot pay tribute to Phillip on This Morning

Following the news of Phillip's departure from This Morning, Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary took over hosting duties on Monday morning.

As the show started, the pair read out a tribute message to viewers. They said: "We can't start today's show without paying tribute to the man who spent the last two decades sitting on the This Morning sofa, Phillip Schofield."

They added: "Everyone on and off screen at ITV want to say a huge thank you to Phil for what he's done to make the show such a success over the last 21 years. He's an incredible broadcaster."

Watch the clip here:

Alison and Dermot pay tribute to Phillip Schofield as they open This Morning

Phillip Schofield quits This Morning

Phillip Schofield quit This Morning with immediate effect on 20th May.

In a statement, he wrote: "I have always been proud to cover fascinating stories on This Morning. But recently, This Morning itself has become the story.

"Throughout my career in TV – including the very difficult last few days – I have always done my best to be honourable and kind. I understand that ITV has decided the current situation can't go on, and I want to do what I can to protect the show that I love.

"So I have agreed to step down from This Morning with immediate effect, in the hope that the show can move forward to a bright future. I'd like to thank everyone who has supported me – especially This Morning's amazing viewers – and I'll see you all for the Soap Awards next month."

Holly Willoughby has said the sofa 'will not be the same without him'
Holly Willoughby has said the sofa 'will not be the same without him'. Picture: Instagram

Holly Willoughby reacts to Phillip Schofield quitting This Morning

Shortly after the statement from Phillip announcing he was leaving This Morning was released, Holly shared her own.

It read: "It’s been over 13 great years presenting This Morning with Phil and I want to take this opportunity to thank him for all of his knowledge, his experience and his humour."

She simply added: "The sofa won’t feel the same without him."

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby are reported to have fallen out
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby are reported to have fallen out . Picture: ITV

Holly Willoughby taking a break from This Morning

Following the announcement that Phillip had quit This Morning, it was revealed that Holly would be taking her half term break early and returning on 5th June.

Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary, as well as other members of the This Morning family, are filling in as hosts over the two weeks.

Where is started: Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby 'feud'

It was first reported that there was tension between Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield in May 2023 when a source told The Sun that while they are "putting on smiles" for the show, there are "naturally some tensions".

“This has been brewing quietly for some time", the source told the publication: "But now it’s all out in the open and people are talking about it. There is no getting past it."

They added: “For those working on the show it was business as usual but naturally it’s the talk of the office.”

Related video:

Holly Willoughby not happy as Phil interrupts her on This Morning

Phil's statement on friendship with Holly

Following the initial reports of a fallout between the pair, Phillip Schofield issued a statement to The Sun about his friendship with Holly.

It read: “As I have said before, Holly is my rock. We’re the best of friends — as always, she is an incredible support on screen, behind the scenes and on the phone.

"Holly has always been there for me, through thick and thin. And I’ve been there for her. The last few weeks haven’t been easy for either of us.”

Speaking of his brother receiving a verdict of guilty for 11 sexual abuse offences, Phil went on: "My family went through a real ordeal. And Holly’s support throughout meant the world to me, as did the support of my bosses at ITV, my editor Martin Frizell and the whole This Morning family, including our amazing viewers. And of course Holly has herself been ill with shingles."

He ended it with: "Whatever happens, we still have each other to count on."

A show source, however, described Phillip's statement as "desperate" and that "he knows" his relationship with Holly is "strained".

Holly Willoughby is reportedly looking to pull the plug on her TV partnership with Phillip Schofield
Holly Willoughby is reportedly looking to pull the plug on her TV partnership with Phillip Schofield. Picture: Alamy

Holly Willoughby 'blindsided' by statement

Phillip's statement, while appearing to confirm that all was well with the pair, was reportedly a surprise to Holly who is said to have known nothing about it.

A source close to Holly told the Daily Mail that the first time she saw the statement, or knew anything about it, was when it was published.

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield received backlash last year after they were accused of 'jumping the queue' to see the Queen's coffin
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield received backlash last year after they were accused of 'jumping the queue' to see the Queen's coffin . Picture: BBC

Eamonn Holmes' dig at Holly and Phillip

Eamonn Holmes weighed into the reports of a fallout between Holly and Phillip soon after they started to surface.

Speaking on TV prior to Phillip quitting the show, he brutally said: "I think there should have been a special award for Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby for best actors."

He went on: "They may or may not be together on the telly today. He's brought in lawyers, she's brought in a PR team. The public surely will suss that there's no chemistry, that it's a broken fit between the two of them and that This Morning does not depend on who presents it."

"It's an institution", Eamonn continued to say: "It will carry on no matter who presents it and anyone can check the viewing figures, there's no difference between whether they present it or anyone else."

The week after Phillip quit This Morning, Eamonn continued his furious rant about the pair as he reacted to their statements.

Reacting to the news, he said: "Oh please just stop this. He was sacked. All this nonsense of 'I've decided to step down'. I'm sure you did - here's your P45 now step down'."

Eamonn went on to mock Holly, saying: "And she says: 'Oh, the couch will not be the same without him being there'. Well she wanted him not there. So what is she moaning about? They deserve each other I suppose."

"Holly is being as false as he is and nobody is talking about the elephant in the room", he went on: "Holly knows the truth, the story is with her."

Related video:

Holly and Phil talk headlines but fail to address fallout speculation

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