Phillip Schofield breaks silence over rumoured Holly Willoughby feud
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Phillip Schofield has broken his silence over his rumoured feud with co-presenter Holly Willoughby, saying the last few weeks ‘haven’t been easy’ for either of them.
They’ve become huge #friendshipgoals after showing us their close bond on screen – often giggling on the sofa together or hilariously turning up hungover after big awards dos.
Willoughby previously told Closer magazine that they ‘ring each other’ all the time, stressing it would be ‘impossible’ for them to ‘fake’ the laughs they have.
However, there have been recent reports suggesting that the pair are locked in a bitter feud, with one body language expert claiming there were clear signs of tension in yesterday’s episode of the ITV show.
Judi James told The Sun: “Holly and Phil have made careers out of their bullet-proof, pitch-perfect TV studio smiles that are performed under the most challenging of circumstances, but probably nothing has been quite as testing to those perky smiles as the current rumours of a conscious uncoupling.
“The first few moments of the show looked toe-curling.
“Phil was in jaunty overkill mode, looking super-perky and rather self-amused in a way that seemed to be served with a hint of sarcasm.”
She continued: “One moment during their intro looked very telling, when Holly described herself as getting ‘emotional’ at home.
“Phil stared at her before saying ‘I can’t believe that!’ in a sarcastic-sounding tone before looking straight back at the camera, parting his lips and baring his teeth.”
Schofield has now responded to claims that their longstanding friendship is in trouble, saying they remain the ‘best of friends’ but have been through a lot in recent weeks.
In a statement to The Sun, 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.
Schofield - who condemned the ‘despicable crimes’ and welcomed the ‘guilty verdicts’, saying he ‘no longer has a brother’ - was absent from his usual presenting slot on ITV’s This Morning on ‘pre-planned leave’.
His 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.”
ITV has also previously defended the pair’s friendship amid similar feud rumours in 2019.
The broadcaster said: "It's deeply disappointing and unfair for Phillip to be the target of this sort of malicious gossip.
"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."
This Morning Editor Martin Frizell added: "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."