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14th May 2023

Holly Willoughby wants ‘Phil gone’ amid claims pair might not appear on Monday’s show

Steve Hopkins

‘She wants to see a decision made on both of their futures quickly’

Holly Willoughby has reportedly begun contract negotiations with ITV as things continue to sour between her and Phillip Schofield and amid reports the pair might not share the sofa tomorrow.

MailOnline reported Sunday that the 42-year-old has asked her team to work on a new deal in the hopes of pushing the network to make a decision about Phillip’s future and This Morning’s future line-up.

The friendship between the pair is said to have disintegrated further amid revelations that Phillip, 61, did not forewarn his co-star he was going off-air because his brother was on trial for sexual offences. Last month, Timothy Schofield was convicted of 11 sexual offences involving a child between October 2016 and October 2019, including two of sexual activity with a child. After the verdict, Phillip said: “As far as I am concerned, I no longer have a brother.”

Phillip is also said to have strained the working relationship by releasing a statement about the atmosphere on This Morning, without consulting her. He had conceded the last few weeks “haven’t been easy for either of us”.

Sources close to Holly, the Mail reported, said she had no idea Phillip, who helped her land the role in 2009, was making a statement.

And a source told the Mirror: “Holly was considering her position on the show earlier this year, as she couldn’t see Phil being ousted.

“But that is now a real possibility and she wants to see a decision made on both of their futures quickly. That is what is behind Holly asking her team to reach out to ITV – she is trying to move things forward.”

The source added that there had been no meeting yet on Phillip’s future, however, account to reports his contract is reportedly up in September.

ITV has refused to say whether Holly or Phillip will be on air this week, with a decision expected today.

A source close to Holly told the Mail On Sunday: “Don’t be surprised if you never see them together again, apart from on camera. This has all been so heartbreaking for Holly, but she knows she has to stand on her own two feet and cut the strings.

“Nobody ever thought it would end like this. They were part of one another’s families and they spent a lot of their weekends socialising. She has tried so hard.”

Insiders, the Mail reported, claimed the most likely outcome is that Holly will front This Morning with friend Alison Hammond – who co-hosts the show on Fridays – or solo.

Meanwhile, a show source told The Sun: “Holly just wants Phil gone.”

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