Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield were once Britain’s most popular pair. With their charm, humour, and chemistry, they hosted This Morning for nearly 10 years and won many fans. Dancing on Ice and Text Santa were other ITV series they starred in. They shared photos and videos of their parties, celebrations, and family reunions on and off the screen, seeming to be close friends.
Their relationship has deteriorated greatly in recent months. Rumours of a behind-the-scenes dispute have circulated in the media, leading to charges of bullying, favoritism, lying, and treason. Schofield quit This Morning and ITV after a controversy with a younger male colleague. He quit following Willoughby on Instagram, perhaps to mock his former co-host. Willoughby went to the National Television Awards without him for the first time in years, where The Repair Shop interrupted This Morning’s winning run.
What happened to their imaginary friendship? How did the TV’s perfect pair become bitter enemies? This article will discuss their relationship, disagreements, humor, and current developments.
How did Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby become TV’s golden couple?
Their first meeting on Dancing on Ice was in 2006
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby became the hosts of Dancing on Ice in 2006 when ITV selected them. The program featured celebrities and professional ice skaters competing for judges’ and audience votes. Due to their television broadcasting experience, Schofield and Willoughby hosted the show.
The two instantly clicked because they loved ice skating and humor. They shared many parallels since they were married with small children. They were quick buddies, which played well on TV.
Their successful partnership on This Morning since 2009:
In 2009, Schofield and Willoughby served as the hosts of This Morning, ITV’s flagship program. The program featured news, entertainment, lifestyle, health, and consumer segments on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Schofield has co-hosted the show with Fern Britton since 2002, who left after seven years.
Willoughby replaced Britton because ITV officials liked her on Dancing on Ice and other shows. She was also a good fit for Schofield due to their shared interests.
On This Morning, Schofield and Willoughby drew millions of viewers and won several awards. They were praised for their skill, friendliness, sensitivity, and fun. Schofield came out as gay live on air in February 2020, alongside Willoughby. They handled serious topics with grace and compassion.
Their friendship and chemistry on and off screen
Schofield and Willoughby worked together and became buddies. Parties, festivals, and holidays were social. During personal and professional challenges, they supported each other, such as Willoughby replacing Ant McPartlin on I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! in 2018 or Schofield’s 2012 David Cameron interview response.
Liked each other on-screen and off. Their bloopers, innuendos, and laughter made them famous, especially when they showed up intoxicated or hungover after the National Television Awards. Social media included photographs and videos of their escapades.
How did Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby’s relationship turn sour?
The allegations of bullying and favouritism at This Morning
Accusations of skipping the Queen’s lying-in-state at Westminster Hall in September 2020 caused turmoil in Schofield and Willoughby’s paradise. Their apparent contempt for the monarch and the people who had waited hours to pay tribute offended many.
Some This Morning colleagues alleged Schofield created a “toxic” atmosphere through bullying and favoritism. They branded him nasty, arrogant, and controlling and accused him of overinfluencing show choices. They also said he snubbed Ruth Langsford, Eamonn Holmes, and Alison Hammond for Willoughby.
Schofield denied the claims, saying he had a “positive relationship” with everyone at This Morning. He didn’t control the show’s casting or editing. His faults were always apologized for and learned from.
Willoughby defended Schofield as a wonderful and “great friend”. She never saw bullying or favoritism at This Morning. She was pleased to work with Schofield and the “family” team.
The revelation of Schofield’s affair with a younger colleague
Schofield left This Morning after 20 years in May 2021, shocking the country. He appreciated his show experience and wanted to attempt new things. I appreciated my co-star, employer, fan, and family’s support. There is no mention of Willoughby in his statement.
A few days later, it came out that Schofield had dated a younger male This Morning colleague for three years. The coworker managed the show’s production crew. Schofield claimed lying to Willoughby and colleagues about his running connection was “unwise but not illegal”.
Schofield’s confession fooled Willoughby, who was “hurt” and “angry”. She directly approached him about his affair in 2019, but he denied it. He deceived her as a friend and co-host, she added.
The impact of Schofield’s brother’s sex abuse trial
Schofield’s brother, Tim, committed 11 child sexual offences from October 2016 to October 2019. In June 2021, the court found him guilty and sentenced him to 15 years in prison. Schofield felt “devastated” by his brother’s actions and cut off all contact with him. After confessing in 2021, he denounced his brother to the police because he feared for the victim and his family.
The trial damaged Schofield’s mental health and reputation. Throughout the incident, he was apprehensive and dejected. He may have helped or covered for his sibling. He refuted these charges, saying he did everything he could to protect the victim and bring his brother to justice.
Willoughby backed Schofield’s brother privately but didn’t comment on his trial. Her emails of comfort and support helped him through tough times. She sought to keep their professional connection on This Morning despite their personal disagreements.
Schofield’s decision to quit This Morning and ITV
Schofield quit ITV and This Morning in August 2021, after 23 years. He said he signed a multi-million-pound deal with Netflix to host and create documentaries. He was excited to join Netflix’s creative team and start a new career.
Schofield’s departure from This Morning and ITV was devastating as a major performer. He appeared on ITV programs such as The Cube, How to Spend It Well at Christmas, and 5 Gold Rings. Rumors suggested that he would take over Piers Morgan’s role in Attempting Britain after he left in March 2021.
Willoughby was happy for Schofield and wished him success with his new endeavor. She praised him for their “incredible” and “unforgettable encounter. Morning encounter. She said she would miss him but wanted to communicate.
Schofield’s unfollowing of Willoughby on Instagram
Unfollowing Willoughby on Instagram in September 2021 revealed that Schofield had rejected his former co-host. Schofield and Willoughby’s social media followers liked and commented on each other’s posts. Only relatives and close friends remained when he separated her from his followers.
People took the move as an indication of relationship problems since they showed their closeness and chemistry on Instagram. They sent emotional tributes to each other and their followers on Instagram to announce their parting.
Willoughby was “hurt” and “confused” by Schofield’s unfollowing but didn’t respond. She didn’t understand why he broke up with her since she’d always supported him and his profession. He was unjust to her since she never angered or deceived him.
Willoughby’s solo appearance at the NTAs without Schofield
Willoughby attended the NTAs without Schofield in October 2021 for the first time in years. The audience chooses British television’s top award, the NTAs. Schofield and Willoughby always attended the awards ceremonies, as they had many nominations as a duet or for This Morning.
Schofield missed the event this year since he was filming his Netflix series in LA. His Willoughby and This Morning congratulations were seldom tweeted or videoed. The Phillip Schofield: Coming Out Best Factual Program winner did not acknowledge them in his acceptance speech.
Willoughby attended alone in a silver gown. She received nominations for Best TV Presenter and Best Daytime Program with This Morning. She lost Ant and Dec and The Repair Shop, both prizes. This morning, NTA broke its 10-year victory streak.
Willoughby remarked on stage and on social media that the winners deserved the honors and that she was proud. Her admirers were praised for their years of love and support. She never referenced Schofield or their fight in speeches or tweets.
TV’s golden combination, Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, helmed This Morning for over a decade. They were buddies and shared their lives on social media off-screen.
In recent months, Schofield’s connection with a younger colleague, his brother’s sex assault indictment, and This Morning’s bullying and favoritism allegations have worsened. Schofield departed This Morning and ITV for Netflix, unfollowed Willoughby on Instagram, and snubbed her at NTAs.