Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield feud cause finally 'revealed'

23 May 2023, 09:27 | Updated: 25 May 2023, 14:52

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield feud cause finally 'revealed'
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield feud cause finally 'revealed'. Picture: ITV
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield's friendship reportedly turned sour amid a disagreement over International Women's Day.

Phillip Schofield, 61, and Holly Willoughby, 42, have been at the centre of feud reports for weeks now, with the latest development seeing Phil step down from his hosting role all together.

The This Morning hosts, who were once very close friends, were said to be 'barely speaking' when the cameras were off with reports Holly was looking to pull their plug on their professional relationship.

Now, it has been revealed the real reason the pair'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.

Holly Willoughby reportedly wanted to change-up the hosting panel for International Women's Day
Holly Willoughby reportedly wanted to change-up the hosting panel for International Women's Day. Picture: ITV

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."

Phillip Schofield is said to have been furious about Holly Willoughby's idea for International Women's Day
Phillip Schofield is said to have been furious about Holly Willoughby's idea for International Women's Day. Picture: Getty

This new information comes after people were left confused by both Phillip and Holly's statements regarding the presenter stepping down with "immediate effect".

Announcing his departure from the show, Phillip posted the following message over the weekend: "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."

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

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby's statements from the weekend
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby's statements from the weekend. Picture: Instagram

While Phillip's statement included no mention of Holly, the mother-of-three's own statement seemed very short.

She wrote: "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."

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

On Monday's This Morning, where Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary are hosting for the week, the pair paid a 30 second tribute to Phil which many people called 'bizarre'.

As the show opened Alison 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."

Dermot 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."

Eagle-eyed viewers also noticed that both Holly and Phil had been edited out of the This Morning opening credits with their names also being removed from the show's title.

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