Kim Woodburn launches into foul mouth tirade about Holly Willoughby
Claims Holly Willoughby gave ITV bosses an “it’s him or me” ultimatum in showdown talks before Philip Schofield agreed to step down from This Morning are not true, a senior ITV source has said.
Schofield will not return to co-host the morning talk show with Holly Willoughby, with Thursday’s show being his last. ITV has said Willoughby will remain on the show and will “co-present with members of the This Morning family”.
Schofield made no mention of his co-star of 13 years in a statement released on social media confirming he had “agreed to step down from This Morning with immediate effect, in the hope that the show can move forward to a bright future.” His departure comes amid reports of a rift with Willoughby and after his brother, Timothy Schofield, was sentenced to 12 years in jail on Friday for child sex offences.
The Daily Mail claims Schofield was “digging his heels in to stay right up until the end”. It’s being claimed that it took “much persuasion” to get him to agree to terminate his contract immediately – and the star was described as ‘a broken man’.
However, reports Willoughby told ITV she could no longer work with Schofield – but made it clear she wants to stay – are “not true”, a senior ITV source told The Express.
The spokesperson said: “Phillip agreeing to step down from This Morning is a network decision agreed with Phil. Talent has no input into our editorial decisions.”
In a brief statement on social media, Willoughby wrote: “It’s been over 13 great years presenting This Morning with Phil and I want to take this opportunity to thank him for all of his knowledge, his experience and his humour.
“The sofa won’t feel the same without him.’ She signed off the statement with a pink heart emoji.”
However, by contrast, Schofield made no mention of Willoughby in his statement. He wrote:
“I have always been proud to cover fascinating stories on This Morning. But recently, This Morning itself has become the story. Throughout my career in TV – including the very difficult last few days – I have always done my best to be honourable and kind.
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“I understand that ITV has decided the current situation can’t go on, and I want to do what I can to protect the show that I love.
“So I have agreed to step down from This Morning with immediate effect, in the hope that the show can move forward to a bright future.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me – especially This Morning’s amazing viewers – and I’ll see you all for the Soap Awards next month.”
After reports of the pair’s relationship coming under strain, last week, Schofield said in a statement to The Sun that Willoughby is his “rock”.
The pair have been open about their close friendship over the years, which has included sharing pictures on social media of them while on joint holidays with their families.
Schofield was allegedly in an office with show boss Martin Frizzell when he was told his contract, due to end this summer, was not being renewed.
An insider told The Sun the row was putting guests off when it came to starring on the show. They suggested Holly and Phillip have had a “private chat”, thought to be on the phone, since Thursday’s show.
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