Holly Willoughby has given her first public statement after returning to This Morning, admitting “It feels very strange indeed to be sitting here without Phil.”
This comes after Eamonn Holmes highly charged interview, where he expressed his belief that Holly Willoughby should join Phillip Schofield in departing from This Morning, following Schofield’s recent exit from the show.
Holmes, who previously served as a presenter on This Morning, has been openly critical of both Schofield and Willoughby amidst the unfolding events that led to Schofield’s departure.
He went as far as suggesting that they deserved recognition “for their acting skills,” as he perceived a visible strain in their on-screen partnership.
He emphasised that multiple parties were responsible for the unwise relationship that came to light, although it did not violate any legal boundaries. Holmes recently conducted another interview, during which he asserted that Willoughby should also consider leaving This Morning, accusing her of maintaining a distance from the show’s crew and displaying a lack of familiarity with their names.
Holmes suggested that Willoughby was deliberately creating distance from Schofield, as he believed the situation was detrimental to his career. He stated, “It’s not only Phillip who should depart; Holly should also leave the show. I doubt we will ever see Holly return to the program. Holly’s unfamiliarity with people’s names is legendary among the production teams, illustrating their aloofness and lack of concern.”
Moreover, Holmes insinuated that Willoughby’s actions were driven by a desire to protect her personal brand, company, and advertising deals, as she seemed to be distancing herself from the controversy. He alluded to financial experts who theorised that her actions were primarily motivated by brand protection.
In response to these developments, ITV launched an investigation into the rumours surrounding Schofield’s alleged relationship with a younger employee of This Morning in 2020. Both Schofield and the employee consistently denied the affair during the investigation. ITV expressed deep disappointment upon learning about Schofield’s admission of deceit regarding the affair. Although Schofield initially announced his intention to step down from This Morning while continuing to collaborate with ITV on other projects, including The British Soap Awards, it has now been confirmed that he will no longer appear on ITV.
Holly Willoughby, who had directly confronted Schofield about the rumours surrounding his relationship, stated that she had been assured by him that they were false. Discovering that this was a lie had deeply hurt her, she said.
The ongoing saga surrounding This Morning has captivated audiences, with tensions running high between former colleagues. And as the public awaits further revelations, Holly Willoughby has returned to This Morning, and given an emotional statement.
Holly revealed she was left feeling “shaken, troubled, let down and worried” about the events that have unfolded, adding: “It feels very strange indeed to be sitting here without Phil.”
She continued: “I imagine that you might have been feeling a lot like I have: shaken, troubled, let down, worried for the wellbeing of people on all sides of what’s been going on, and full of questions.
“You, me and all of us at This Morning gave our love and support to someone who was not telling the truth, who acted in a way that they themselves felt that they had to resign from ITV and step down from a career they loved – that is a lot to process.
“And it’s equally hard to see the toll it’s taken on their own mental health.”
She said that what “unites us all now is a desire to heal the health and wellbeing of everyone.”
Holly concluded: “I hope that as we start this new chapter, we get back to a place of warmth and magic that this show holds for all of us, and we can find strength in each other.”