Phillip Schofield issues statement following rumours of feud with Holly Willoughby
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Phillip Schofield has issued a statement following rumours of a bitter feud with his co-presenter Holly Willoughby.
The pair have hosted This Morning since 2009, and are known to be good friends off camera after going through various challenges together – not least queue-gate last year, where they were accused of jumping the queue to see the late Queen Elizabeth II lying in state.
However, The Sun newspaper recently reported that the pair’s relationship had ‘cooled’, with body language expert saying there was evidence of tension during their show yesterday (Thursday 11 May).
James said the first few moments of the episodes were ‘toe-curling’, adding: “As Phil got bouncier Holly got less comfortable, standing in the end clutching one wrist with her arms in a barrier ritual.”
But Schofield has now responded to the claims that they've been not speaking, telling the outlet that the last few weeks ‘haven’t been easy’ for them due to a number of reasons – including Willoughby being ill and his brother being convicted of child sex offences.
In a statement, Schofield said: “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.”
Last month, Schofield’s brother Timothy, 54, was convicted of 11 sexual offences involving a child between October 2016 and October 2019.
At the time, the presenter was absent from his usual presenting slot on ITV’s This Morning on ‘pre-planned leave’, having condemned the ‘despicable crimes’ as he welcomed the ‘guilty verdicts’.
"As far as I am concerned, I no longer have a brother,” Schofield said.
His younger sibling is due to be sentenced next week.
Schofield’s statement continued: “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.”