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05th Jun 2023

Holly Willoughby expected to address Phillip Schofield scandal in ’emotional’ This Morning return

Steve Hopkins

‘Expect an outpouring of emotion as she returns, and a lot of tears and hugs’

After an intense week of revelations about Phillip Schofield the disgraced This Morning presenter’s former colleague, Holly Willoughby, is set to take back the spotlight as she returns to the ITV sofa today.

The Mirror reports Monday that Holly has been racked with nerves about her return, but insiders have said the 42-year-old has been reassured she is the future of the show and that staff are behind her.

The newspaper said Holly will address viewers about the scandal surrounding Schofield – he quit amid a fall-out with her and was then engulfed in news that he had an affair with a younger, male colleague – at the start of the show.

Holly is thought to have drafted the speech herself while vacationing in Portugal.

The Mirror quoted an insider as saying: “She was naturally apprehensive about getting back after her extended break. So much has happened and it’s been one storm after another.

“But she needn’t worry as the team are behind her.”

Holly will be joined by co-presenter, Josie Gibson.

The insider said everyone is “desperately hoping” her speech puts the Schofield scandal to rest, or at least until the barrister-led review at ITV returns its findings.

According to reports, ITV bosses will not be shocked if Holly cries on air.

“Expect an outpouring of emotion as she returns, and a lot of tears and hugs.”

The news comes as The Sun published pictures of Schofield, 61, being comforted by his mum Pat, 87, on May 19 after revealing he had been axed by This Morning.

Schofield gave a series of interviews last week and spoke about his affair and how he feels like there is nothing but “blackness” ahead of him.

Schofield said the relationship was consensual and it began in his dressing room in 2017 when the man was 20. Earlier he labelled the affair, “unwise but not illegal”.

The star met the man – who has not been publicly named – when he was 15. He was 19 when he first did work experience at This Morning in 2015, and 20 when he applied and succeeded in securing a job as a runner on the show. In 2019, he was promoted to Loose Women and left ITV in 2021.

Schofield has denied grooming the man and said the affair did not begin until the man was 20 after “something just happened between us that changed everything”.

Related links:

‘Baffled’ Jeremy Clarkson defends Phillip Schofield from ‘witch hunt’

Caroline Flack’s mum slams ITV for treatment of Phillip Schofield

Phillip Schofield reveals he’s too scared to leave his house over fears he’ll be spat on

Phillip Schofield says his ‘hands are blistered’ from vaping so much