Holly Willoughby wasn’t expecting Phillip Schofield to release a statement amid rumours of a feud between the pair, according to reports.
Speculation began this week that the This Morning co-stars are ‘barely speaking’ now, after being close friends for many years.
It’s said their friendship has started to ‘dwindle’, with a source revealing: ‘To those around them on set, it has become clear recently that Holly and Phil are not as close as they once were.
‘Professionally you would have no idea there was anything going on because on camera they are acting exactly the same.’
They added to The Sun: ‘But behind the scenes their relationship has cooled.’
In response to the rift rumours, Phil, 61, released a comment insisting he’s still ‘best friends’ with his Dancing On Ice co-presenter, 42.
Phil said: ‘As I have said before, Holly is my rock.
‘We’re the best of friends — as always, she is an incredible support on screen, behind the scenes and on the phone.’
He continued to The Sun: ‘Holly has always been there for me, through thick and thin. And I’ve been there for her.
‘The last few weeks haven’t been easy for either of us.’
Recent weeks have seen shake-ups on their ITV daytime show, as Holly suffered from shingles, meaning the likes of Alison Hammond and Rochelle Humes were called in as a replacement.
Meanwhile, Joel Dommett took Phil’s seat when he was on leave from the show, as his brother Timothy Schofield was on trial in a sexual abuse case.
In the latest development, though, a close pal of Holly’s has shared she was ‘blindsided’ by Phil’s statement.
An insider told the Daily Mail that Holly had no idea Phillip was going to make a statement.
It’s said that the first she saw of it was when it was published online.
Holly and Phil have been hosting This Morning together for 14 years.
They first fronted the popular show together in 2009 and have gone on to become one of British TV’s most loved duos.
Indeed, Phil has described Holly has ‘rock’ numerous times, particularly when he came out as gay, live on the show in 2020 with Holly by his side.
Then, when his brother – who Phil has since cut all ties with – was found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy over a period of three years, Holly was also there for him.
At the time, a source told Mail Online: ‘Holly is loyal to Phil and she will always be there for him.’
‘And she will always be there for This Morning too. She sees it as her role to keep things going.’
Reps for Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield have been contacted for comment.
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