Back in February 2020, Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes, the married couple who on Fridays presented long-running British morning magazine show This Morning, were the first to hug co-presenter Phillip Schofield live on air after he came out as gay to viewers, with the support of his co-presenter Holly Willoughby, all pictured.
Three years later and it’s a very different story, with Holmes blasting Schofield on social media, calling him “delusional” for claiming there to be no toxicity behind the scenes of ITV’s most important daytime show.
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The ping-pong of conflicting accounts has been keeping entertainment journalists in the UK busy since Friday May 12, when Schofield stepped down from his role as the program’s lead presenter after 21 years at the helm. At the time, a rumored broken friendship with Willoughby was commonly cited as the reason, with ITV bosses praising him and saying he would continue to host other shows on the channel.
One week later, on Friday May 26, Schofield resigned from ITV completely, admitting to a gay affair with a much younger colleague and apologizing for years of deceit and lying to friends, family and colleagues.
What followed was a weekend of accusation and speculation in the British press, with Holmes – who has since left ITV for GB News – joining those saying there was a bigger story here, and lots of people who knew about Schofield’s double life should be held accountable. Regular contributor to the show Dr Ranj Singh, posted on Sunday claiming he had long been disquieted by certain behavior behind the scenes, had taken his concerns to management, and had seen his number of TV appearances reduced.
Then on Monday, Schofield spoke out again on social media, insisting This Morning enjoyed a happy atmosphere behind the scenes, whatever others claimed, and attacking his critics as “a handful of people with a grudge against me.”
Holmes didn’t stay silent for long. In reply, he blasted Schofield as “delusional”, saying:
Schofield has just put out a delusional statement. Like Holly he puts it on Insta Stories so if it goes wrong there is no record after 24 hrs. I'm reluctant to give the liar any more publicity but believe me Pip if u r looking for a fight , u have picked on the wrong person !
— Eamonn Holmes OBE (@EamonnHolmes) May 29, 2023
Meanwhile, two other presenters – Dermot O’Leary and Allison Hammond – have done their best to keep the show on the road, taking to the airwaves on Monday morning, O’Leary telling viewers: “We all know we happen to be in the news at the moment and of course we appreciate that.
“But just from both of us, the crew and the whole team downstairs, we love making this show for you.”
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