Holly and Phil ‘call a truce’: This Morning co-hosts ‘have a private chat’ after Schofield is eliminated
Phillip Schofield was sensationally kicked out of This Morning yesterday, but is said to have called a truce with Holly Willoughby in a private chat and agreed a ‘swap’ with ITV bosses.
The veteran presenter finally agreed to the network’s ultimatum to resign after 21 years of hosting the daytime show amid a dispute with his co-star, who told ITV she no longer wanted to work with him.
Schofield, 61, who is known to have fled on holiday yesterday to visit his mother in Cornwall, alluded to the feud in the ITV statement, aired unannounced at 3:00 p.m.
An informant said Sun : ‘ITV bosses had to choose which horse to back: Phil or Holly. And it was clear where his loyalties lay.
They added: “Holly is the real winner in all of this as she has come out victorious and classy.”
The now-former co-hosts are said to have had a private conversation, believed to have been over the phone, since Thursday’s show and called “something of a truce”, the source told the newspaper.
Phillip Schofield was sensationally kicked out of This Morning yesterday after co-star Holly Willoughby told ITV bosses she no longer wanted to work with him.
Former close friends Schofield and Willoughby, pictured together on Dancing on Ice in 2006, had grown increasingly estranged in recent months.
The couple was the king and queen of daytime television. Her reign on This Morning began in 2009.
The once-inseparable couple had grown increasingly estranged in recent months, but the split became final after Schofield failed to tell Willoughby, 42, about her brother’s child sex trial.
Phillip left the show after frantic meetings between Schofield, his representatives and ITV’s top bosses. They agreed to compensation in which he was promised that he would be able to host a new solo show and that talks on existing shows would continue, The Mirror reported.
It’s unclear exactly who will host the show tomorrow, but it will be someone from the This Morning crew.
Schofield, who was described as ‘a broken man’, is understood to have fought to hang on to the end, and that it took ‘a lot of persuasion’ to agree to terminate his contract immediately. It means that last Thursday was his last appearance on This Morning.
Schofield said: ‘I’ve always been proud to cover fascinating stories on This Morning. But recently, This Morning has become the story.
“Throughout my television career, including the last few very difficult days, I have always tried my best to be honorable and kind.
I understand that ITV has decided that the current situation cannot continue and I want to do what I can to protect the show I love.
“So I have agreed to leave This Morning with immediate effect, in the hope that the show can move forward into a bright future.
“I would like to thank everyone who has supported me, especially the amazing viewers of This Morning.” She didn’t mention Mrs. Willoughby.
The decision was made on Friday night after days of crisis meetings on ITV. It was decided that the announcement would be made yesterday to give Schofield time to leave her west London home to take a break and escape the limelight.
Thursday’s ITV show, which Holly closed by saying “See you Monday!” while Phil simply said “Bye”, led viewers to speculate that he knew it would be his last time on the This Morning sofa.
The pair commented on Schofield’s departure from the show, with Holly Willoughby saying, “The couch won’t be the same without him.”
Gino D’Acampo is photographed making good on his promise that he would cook naked on This Morning if they won the NTA Awards.
The split between the couple, photographed in 2014, became final after Schofield didn’t tell Willoughby about his brother’s child sex trial.
In addition to losing his job, he is said to be distraught over his brother Timothy’s 11 convictions on child sex charges. On Friday he was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
It can also be revealed that there was a lot of discussion about what the exit strategy would be, whether he left immediately or stayed until the summer holidays and quietly did not return.
Ms Willoughby, who has found it difficult to sit next to him lately, hopes the situation will be resolved sooner rather than later.
It comes after weeks of bickering between the one-time king and queen of daytime television, with Mrs Willoughby taking the crown from the man who guided her for 14 years.
Ms Willoughby, described as “quietly cunning” by those who know her, is believed to have told ITV that she could no longer share a sofa with him, while making it clear that she wanted to stay.
A source said: ‘It was basically an ultimatum, Holly won the war. We say what Holly wants, Holly gets it, and a truer word has never been said.
Ms Willoughy also has the full support of Martin Frizell, the veteran editor of This Morning.
He’s interested in pairing Ms. Willoughby with Alison Hammond, the former showbiz reporter whom he promoted to the job of Friday anchor two years ago.
Willoughby, described as “quietly crafty” by those who know her, is believed to have told ITV that she could no longer share a sofa with Schofield (pictured on holiday in Dubai in 2016)
Willoughby said she had “never been more proud” of Schofield when he came out as gay in 2020.
The presenters were accused of jumping the queue at the Queen’s funeral last year, which they denied, saying they were working.
However, Schofield had the support of Frizell’s boss, ITV’s head of daytime programmes, Emma Gormley. Pundits cite Schofield and Ms. Gormley as the ‘losers’ in this.
It comes after Ms Willoughby was also left “sad and angry” after Schofield released a statement about the status of their friendship earlier this month, without consulting her.
Yesterday he made a few brief statements. She wrote: ‘It’s been over 13 great years hosting This Morning with Phil and I want to take this opportunity to thank him for all his knowledge, experience and humor.
The sofa will not feel the same without it. She signed the statement with a pink heart emoji.
ITV sources are now expecting a shakeup at Dancing On Ice, the other show Willoughby and Schofield present together.
One said, ‘Someone’s going to have to step back on that too, there’s no way they can work together anymore.’ Schofield will continue to work with ITV.
The Mail on Sunday has revealed for the first time that Schofield and Willoughby’s relationship has been under strain since they were accused of jumping the queue to pay their respects to the Queen as she lay in state last year.
But it was the fallout from the trial of Mr. Schofield’s brother that ultimately shattered the failed friendship.
The Mail on Sunday also revealed last week how a broker who worked with Schofield ‘mysteriously’ left his role on This Morning after developing a close friendship with the presenter.
The man, in his 20s, moved to the ITV show Loose Women before leaving the network entirely.