Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby show united front on This Morning return but stay silent on reports of ‘rift’

15 May 2023, 10:30 | Updated: 15 May 2023, 10:56

Holly and Phil were back on ITV screens for today's This Morning
Holly and Phil were back on ITV screens for today's This Morning. Picture: ITV

By Asher McShane

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby returned to TV screens together on This Morning today amid ongoing reports of a ‘rift’ between the presenters.

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The duo put on a united front, appearing side-by-side and making no mention of stories in recent days about their ‘strained’ on-screen relationship.

Today’s show opened with Disney composer Alan Menken playing a medley of hit songs.

Holly said:” Oh that was so nice", as Schofield added: "What a way to start your Monday this morning."

Turning to Willoughby, he said: "That is right up our street."

Read more: Holly Willoughby 'cuts ties' from This Morning co-host Philip Schofield, as 'decision expected today' on Monday's show

Read more: Philip Schofield 'fears he will be fired from This Morning' after 'tense phone call with Holly Willoughby' amid 'feud'

Holly and Phil open This Morning amid speculation of fallout

Holly replied: "Right up my street. It's just a little taste of what we've got coming up later ahead of the release of The Little Mermaid.

"Award-winning Disney composer Alan Menken will be performing a medley of some of his best known songs and I'm going to try really hard not to sing along.

"You might have to gag me."

Schofield joked: "This could be your audition. This could be your big moment."

Some fans commented about ‘tension’ during their on-screen appearance.

One fan said: "If I was in any doubt about the rumours, 2 mins into this morning's episode and defo feel tension, no eye contact between Phil & Holly, it must feel horrible."

Another said: "It’s actually so awkward watching Phil and Holly put on a united front. Holly’s doing well but Phil looks so on edge."



Schofield reportedly plans to "tough out" the spat between him and This Morning co-star Holly Willoughby.

He has consulted lawyers and a media expert to help him navigate the crisis.

Their relationship has crumbled as Phil said they had endured a tough time in recent weeks.

Read more: Holly Willoughby 'cuts ties' from This Morning co-host Philip Schofield, as 'decision expected today' on Monday's show

A source claimed Phil believes he can "tough it out, like he has previous controversies, such as queue-gate".

They told The Mirror: "But to be honest, it's out of his hands. If the viewers don't believe in him and Holly, something's got to give - and that will most likely be Phil.

"It's a massive week for them both."

Holly and Phil have fallen apart
Holly and Phil have fallen apart. Picture: Getty

Phil, 61, has hired Gordon Smart, a former Sun columnist who has occasionally hosted Good Morning Britain, to handle his media relations.

A source told The Sun that the pair will focus on the job despite their private relationship having collapsed.

"Holly and Phil are professionals and they can turn it on like no one else," they said.

Read more: Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield to both present This Morning on Monday, as 'feuding' pair 'put differences aside'

"Although behind the scenes their relationship is nothing like it was, they are both dedicated to This Morning and keeping it together for viewers."

The problems are said to have begun when they were criticised for skipping the queue to see the Queen lying in state at Westminster Hall.

Recently, Phil did not appear on the show while his brother Timothy was tried and convicted of sexually abusing a boy, leading the host to disown him.

Phillip Schofield is trying to save his This Morning future
Phillip Schofield is trying to save his This Morning future. Picture: Getty
Holly Willoughby has told ITV bosses she is willing to present even if Phil leaves
Holly Willoughby has told ITV bosses she is willing to present even if Phil leaves. Picture: Getty

Phil released a statement last week describing Holly as his "rock" but admitted "the last few weeks haven't been easy for either of us".

That statement, however, apparently blindsided Holly. ITV bosses are reportedly keen to accommodate her and that has led to speculation over Phil's future on the show.

Read more: Philip Schofield 'fears he will be fired from This Morning' after 'tense phone call with Holly Willoughby' amid 'feud'

There are also fears over how convinced fans will be about the pair's chemistry if they try to plough on.

An ITV source said: "This has been going on for some time. Everyone has been talking and now we are all rubbing our hands waiting to see what happens next."

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