17/03/2018 17:17 GMT

Ex-GMTV Host Fiona Phillips Reveals Eamonn Holmes Pay Gap

'I even had to fight for ­maternity pay'.

PA Archive/PA Images
Ex-GMTV host Fiona Phillips worked as a lead anchor between 1996 and 2008.

Former GMTV presenter Fiona Phillips has revealed she was paid far less than her co-host Eamonn Holmes.

Phillips, 57, said that despite being known to millions as “the Queen of Breakfast Telly”, she was “a relative pauper in relation to my on-screen King, Eamonn Holmes.”

The pair formed a winning team on the morning show between 1996 and Holmes’ departure in 2005.

Eamonn Holmes and Fiona Phillips were the winning team on ITV's morning programme GMTV.

Phillips said in a column for the Daily Mirror that “monetarily I was well adrift of my on-screen partner who also had ‘perks’ that I clearly wasn’t deemed worthy of.”

She also revealed her bid for maternity pay was seen as “a nuisance” by TV bosses.

“I even had to fight for ­maternity pay after being told by bosses when I broke it to them that I was pregnant that ‘viewers don’t like seeing pregnant women on TV, especially early in the morning’,” she wrote.

″[M]y pregnancy was a nuisance. An inconvenience.”

Holmes, 58, went on to present Sky News’s ‘Sunrise’ and now regularly hosts ‘This Morning’ alongside wife Ruth Langsford.

GMTV operated as a stand-alone company separate to ITV until shortly before it was replaced with ill-fated ‘Daybreak’ in 2010.

Phillips’ comments come after senior women broadcasters at ITV News, Channel 4 News and Channel 5 News this week responded to the revelation of a 19.6% gender pay gap at production firm ITN.

Women working at the BBC have also called for pay parity with male colleagues after the corporation’s former China Editor, Carrie Gracie, revealed she was paid less than her male equivalent in North America.