Holly Willoughby and Phil Schofield accused of being awkward amid feud

‘You can cut the atmosphere with a knife!’ This Morning viewers accuse Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield of acting ‘awkward’ as they appear on TV for the first time amid feud claims

  • Phillip has been accused of creating a ‘toxic atmosphere’ on the set of This Morning 
  • There are allegations of ongoing spats with Holly and This Morning stand-in hosts Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes
  • Phillip and Holly appeared on television together for the first time since fresh claims emerged on Monday morning
  • Fans claimed that it seemed like the close duo had fallen out over something due to the tense atmosphere on screen
  • An ITV spokesman said: ‘Phillip is a much respected broadcaster. This appears to be a desperate attempt to tarnish his reputation by maliciously motivated gossip’ 

This Morning viewers have suggested hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby seemed ‘awkward’ as they appeared on TV for the first time amid feud claims.

The veteran star, 57, has been accused of creating a ‘toxic atmosphere’ on the set of the ITV show, with allegations of ongoing spats with Holly and This Morning stand-in hosts Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes.  

As they returned to screens on Monday morning, fans said that it seemed like the close duo had fallen out over something due to the tense atmosphere.

Tense? This Morning viewers have suggested hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby seemed ‘awkward’ as they appeared on TV for the first time amid feud claims

Many took to Twitter to express their views, with one writing: ‘#ThisMorning you can cut the atmosphere with a knife on This Morning. Phil and Holly no longer working!! #timeforachange.’

While another also commented on the awkwardness, saying: ‘Holly over talking and Phil over listening #elephantintheroom #ThisMorning.’

A third said: ‘Is it me or do Holly and Phil look like they’ve had a falling out looks awkward #ThisMorning.’

Claims: The veteran star, 57, has been accused of creating a ‘toxic atmosphere’ on the set of the ITV show, with allegations of ongoing spats with Holly and This Morning stand-in hosts Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes

Also referencing the ‘elephant in the room’, another person said: ‘So is @schofe and @hollywills going to make a comment on the elephant in the room?

‘It’s the only reason we are still watching right??? #ThisMorning.’

One commenter said: ‘Just put This Morning on, you can tell Holly cant’ be bothered with Phil. Friendships/people you work with are like relationships, after years of being together they come to a natural end.’ 

Awks! As they returned to screens on Monday morning, fans said that it seemed like the close duo had fallen out over something due to the tense atmosphere

Reaction: Many took to Twitter to express their views, with one writing: ‘#ThisMorning you can cut the atmosphere with a knife on This Morning. Phil and Holly no longer working!! #timeforachange’

While another thought it felt forced, writing: ‘Omg they’re both trying a bit too hard #ThisMorning.’

Agreeing with this, another said: ‘Nice way to cover up the big #phillipschofield feud then #ThisMorning 

Earlier on Monday, Amanda Holden weighed into the latest controversy surrounding Phillip by praising his This Morning co-hosts for standing up for themselves amid a slew of alleged complaints regarding his behaviour.

Comment: While another also commented on the awkwardness, saying: ‘Holly over talking and Phil over listening #elephantintheroom #ThisMorning.’

A third said: ‘Is it me or do Holly and Phil look like they’ve had a falling out looks awkward #ThisMorning’


Up they go! The pair were treated to a ride on the Ferris wheel

Wrapped up: The pair wrapped up against the December chill

Slip and slide: Phil seemed non-plussed by the drama of recent days

A laugh a minute: He was quick to laugh off any elephants in the room

The 48-year old previously hit out at Phillip over claims he blocked her from filling in for regular co-host Holly while she spent three weeks in Australia presenting I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! 

Addressing the latest claims on her Heart Radio show, Holden insisted she had moved on from her own spat with Phil, but conceded it may well have lit a fuse.  

‘Listen, I’ve drawn a line under all those issues with Phillip,’ she told fellow presenter Jamie Theakston. 

‘I’m just going to say I really admire anyone that’s going to stick up for themselves because it’s not an easy thing to do. 

 ‘There’s a tin opener and a can somewhere and other people have found the tin opener. That’s all I’m saying.’

Speaking out: Earlier on Monday, Amanda Holden weighed into the latest controversy surrounding Phillip by praising his This Morning co-hosts for standing up for themselves


Upbeat: The presenter was in high spirits as she left Capital Radio studios on Monday, shortly after addressing the widely reported backstage feud on This Morning

Claim: The 48-year old previously hit out at Schofield amid claims he blocked her from filling in for regular co-host Holly while she co-hosted I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

Speaking to The Sun, Insiders previously revealed that Holden believed he scuppered her chances of filling in on This Morning during her absence in November and December 2018.  

It’s understood that she headed to the top by lobbying ITV executives over the animosity after he allegedly pushed for former Saturdays star Rochelle Humes to take the job.

A former daytime TV executive told the publication: ‘Phillip actively campaigned for Rochelle Humes to get the job despite Amanda being more experienced – and having been told privately she’d got the gig.’

On-screen chemistry: The coveted role eventually went to former Saturdays star Rochelle Humes

And addressing the host on Heart Radio in June, Amanda alluded to a rift when revealing the three things things she wouldn’t like to find in her home, flippantly telling fans: ‘Spiders, flies and Phillip Schofield.’

Phillip has since been feuding with other This Morning co-stars and the atmosphere behind the scenes has turned ‘toxic’, according to The Sun.

He is said to be at the centre of a ‘civil war’ at the ITV programme amid claims his attitude has impacted his professional relationships with his colleagues, including Ruth and Holly.

Allegation: Phillip been accused of creating a ‘toxic atmosphere’ on the set of the ITV show, with claims of ongoing feuds with Holly and stand-in hosts Ruth and Eamonn

It is claimed that eight different ITV presenters have broken their silence about the situation, while the show’s Friday presenter Ruth, 59, is said to have made an official complaint.

However, an ITV spokesperson has strongly refuted the ‘disappointing allegations, saying they are simply ‘malicious gossip’.

The denial comes after a report stated the situation behind the scenes at This Morning had become ‘toxic’ in recent months, with employees too scared to speak out publicly for fear of backlash.

Rumours: Tensions reportedly rose when Ruth and Phillip spoke over each other while doing a live preview of Loose Women in April

An ITV source told The Sun: ‘For so long people have been silenced because they are scared for their job. If they speak out publicly about the atmosphere they fear there could be repercussions.’

A insider close to Holly told the paper: ‘It’s true there have been some issues. They’re like brothers and sisters – they have ups and downs but love each other.’

Hitting back at the reports, however, a spokesperson for ITV said: ‘It’s deeply disappointing and unfair for Phillip to be the target of this sort of malicious gossip. 

Missing: Holly shared a snap form the This Morning Christmas party on Instagram in which regular Friday hosts Ruth and Eamonn were nowhere to be seen

‘Phillip is a much respected broadcaster and colleague and this is absolutely not a description of This Morning that we recognise.

‘Holly and Phil are great friends both on and off screen and are popular among viewers and colleagues alike.’

Martin Frizell, Editor of This Morning said: ‘I spend hundreds of days a year in their company and what you see is what you get, a genuine friendship from a couple who are both spontaneously funny and professional.

‘We have the smartest viewers watching telly and believe me they would be the first to notice any issues – they haven’t because there are none.’

Rumoured rift: To make matters worse, Phillip is reported to have been furious at Holly (pictured with Declan Donnelly in a promotional picture) for landing a lead presenting role on last years I’m A Celebrity while Ant McPartlin recovered from alcohol issues

The Mail on Sunday revealed that relations on set are so bad, Ruth and husband Eamonn Holmes snubbed the show’s Christmas party to avoid Phillip, after a series of behind-the-scenes rows, with the silver-maned ITV stalwart being described as ‘rude’.

Ruth and Eamonn host the Friday episode of This Morning and sit in for other presenters’ holidays, but were surprisingly absent last week from the no-expense-spared dinner at a West London restaurant where 23 of their colleagues enjoyed a four-course meal and champagne to celebrate the holiday season.

The tension between Ruth and Phillip stems from April when they spoke over each other while she was doing a live preview of Loose Women, which she also hosts. 

As he cut her off abruptly, saying: ‘We’re a bit tight for time at this end,’ she retorted: ‘I only had about two more words to say, don’t worry.’

The spark: Addressing the latest claims on her Heart Radio show, Holden insisted she had moved on from her own spat with Phillip, but conceded it may well have lit a fuse

Opening up: The presenter addressed the issue while hosting her daily show alongside Jamie Theakston 

Since then, it seems relations between Phillip, Ruth and a protective Eamonn have only deteriorated.

The rift is causing anxiety at YMU, the agency formerly known as James Grant, which represents all four.

It is also understood that Phillip is playing down Ruth’s grievance over being cut off by insisting it was the fault of the show’s production team. 

A source revealed: ‘There are an increasing number of presenters who say that when the cameras aren’t running the atmosphere is toxic.

‘Phillip is a man with high standards, he has survived a long time in the TV world. There has been an almighty clash. There is currently one household name on ITV daytime who refers to him as “the c***”.’

Phillip, who joined This Morning in 2002, is also said to be envious that Eamonn, 60, was given an OBE last year for services to broadcasting. 

Despite the controversy, Phillip has taken to Twitter to thank fans for voting for This Morning to win an I Talk Telly award – seemingly ignoring the recent rumours about him causing a ‘toxic’ atmosphere on set.

The presenter posted the video with the simple caption ‘Thank You’, in which he gushes about his and Willoughby’s fans, accepting the award for the fifth consecutive year. 

MailOnline contacted a representative for further comment at the time.

 

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