Holly Willoughby’s comments on ‘toxic’ Phillip Schofield feud resurface

Phillip Schofield has responded to yet another claim of a rift with This Morning co-host Holly Willoughby.

The presenter shared a statement following claims that the pair “barely speak” off camera and that their rumoured issues have been going on “for some time”.

Schofield, 61, said on Thursday (11 May) that, while “the last few weeks haven’t been easy for either of us”, he views Willoughby, 42, as his “rock”.

What we know about the Holly and Phil ‘fallout’

He added: “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.”

Willoughby is yet to respond to the fresh claims, but she did previously speak out following a similar report that suggested they were embroiled in a “toxic” rift.

In 2019, it was reported that the presenting duo’s working relationship had become “strained”.

While ITV dismissed the claims, which suggested Schofield was “jealous” of Willoughby replacing Ant McPartlin on the 2018 series of I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!, both Schofield and Willoughby denied the reports at the press launch for Dancing on Ice.

At the time, Willoughby told reporters: “You couldn’t do the amount of hours of TV that we do with each other without getting on.”

She then addressed the same reports in an appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show.

When Ross addressed the claims, Willoughby replied: “I’ve read those things, too. It hurts sometimes, because it’s so unfair and untrue, so it’s difficult sometimes. We’re just incredibly lucky.”

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on ‘This Morning’ (Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on ‘This Morning’ (Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

She added: “I do really love him. I really love him.”

In November 2021, Willoughby refuted claims she ever had a rift with Schofield on Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place podcast, stating: “I was watching from afar when you’ve got every person in the press saying that you and Phillip are having a ‘tough time’ and, meanwhile, you’re great friends and there were no arguments.”

She described the 2018 reports as “a particularly difficult time”, adding: “But I think, and I remember having this conversation with Phil at the time, it was like: ‘But we know’. I have to believe that, that as long as you know the truth, then everything’s got to be OK.”

Willoughby joined This Morning in 2009. The Independent has contacted her for comment.