ENTERTAINMENT
07/12/2019 09:01 GMT

Phillip Schofield And Holly Willoughby Fall-Out Reports Dismissed By ITV

An ITV representative has claimed reports of behind-the-scenes tensions at This Morning are "malicious gossip".

ITV has blasted reports of behind-the-scenes tensions at This Morning, following reports presenter Phillip Schofield had contributed to a “toxic” atmosphere.

On Saturday morning, The Sun published a lengthy piece claiming that Phillip’s relationship with co-host Holly Willioughby had “become strained in recent months”.

However, this has been dismissed by the show’s editor, Martin Frazell, who told the newspaper: “We have the smartest viewers watching telly and believe me they would be the first to notice any issues — they haven’t because there are none.” 

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Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby

Similarly, an ITV spokesperson added: “It’s deeply disappointing and unfair for Phillip to be the target of this sort of malicious gossip.

“Phillip is a much respected broadcaster and colleague and this is absolutely not a description of This Morning that we recognise.

“Holly and Phil are great friends both on and off screen and are popular among viewers and colleagues alike.”

In The Sun’s report they suggest that Phillip was “jealous” of his co-host, following her Bafta-winning stint presenting I’m A Celebrity last year, also claiming they spoke to “eight star ITV presenters” about his “attitude”.

HuffPost UK has contacted representatives for both This Morning and Phillip Schofield for further comment.

It was revealed earlier this year that Phillip had fallen out with Amanda Holden, following her short stint co-hosting This Morning when Holly was on maternity leave.

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Amanda guest hosting This Morning in 2015

While it looked as though the pair appeared got along well on screen, they were said to have fallen out after Holly took time off from This Morning to co-present I’m A Celebrity in 2018.

Reports suggested Amanda had been told she would be filling in for Holly, but the job ended up going to Rochelle Humes, with The Sun suggesting Phillip had pushed for this to happen.

After reports claimed Amanda had been left fuming over the matter, she revealed she’d tried to reach out to Phillip “months ago” by offering to meet up for a coffee. The outcome of that, she claimed, was that “he didn’t reply to my text”.

Phillip has not ever directly commented on his fall-out with Amanda, but did call claims he was “overbearing” and contributed to a “toxic” work environment “hurtful and wildly untrue”.

ITV also denied Phillip had been instrumental in Rochelle’s hiring, saying in a statement: “Presenter line-ups on This Morning change regularly. Final decisions are made by producers, not presenters.”

This week, Phillip and Holly faced criticism from certain viewers who claimed there was a noticeable difference between the pair’s interviews with prime minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the lead-up to next week’s general election.

As a result, almost 250 people complained to Ofcom, complaints which the TV watchdog will assess before deciding whether to launch an official investigation, as is standard procedure.

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