Published On: Thu, May 11th, 2023

Phillip Schofield praises This Morning co-star Holly Willoughby after friendship strain rumours | Ents & Arts News

Phillip Schofield has said the last few weeks “haven’t been easy” for him or This Morning co-star Holly Willoughby, as he hailed her his “rock”.

The 61-year-old has spoken out following reports the presenting duo’s relationship has come under strain following Schofield’s absence from the daytime show.

He recently returned to This Morning after taking pre-planned leave around his brother’s sex abuse trial last month.

The Sun previously reported the absence had contributed to a “cooling” of their friendship.

Timothy Schofield, brother of TV presenter Phillip Schofield, was found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy
Timothy Schofield was found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy

But in a statement, Schofield told the paper: “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.”

Willoughby, 42, was also recently absent from screens due to shingles.

“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,” Schofield added.

Read more:
Phillip Schofield thanks fans as he returns to This Morning
Phillip Schofield says ‘I no longer have a brother’
Holly Willoughby announces absence from This Morning

“Whatever happens, we still have each other to count on.”

On his return to the show last month, Schofield thanked the crew and viewers for their “kind messages and support”.

His younger brother Timothy Schofield, 54, was convicted of 11 sexual offences involving a child between October 2016 and October 2019, including two of sexual activity with a child.

In a statement released by his lawyer after the guilty verdicts, Schofield said he no longer has a brother.

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Schofield and Willoughby have presented This Morning regularly since 2009, after Willoughby replaced Fern Britton. They also present ITV’s Dancing on Ice.

They faced fierce criticism over claims they skipped the queue for the Queen’s lying in state, but remain firm favourites with viewers.

In October the show took home the daytime prize at the National Television Awards, which Schofield said: “Means so much to us every year, especially this year.”

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