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05th Jun 2023

Holly Willoughby’s speech called ‘insincere’ as viewers suggest she should win ‘acting’ award

Steve Hopkins

holly willoughby

‘The performance of a lifetime’

Holly Willoughby is being praised for her emotional statement about Phillip Schofield on ITV, with some viewers suggesting she should win a Bafta for it.

The 42-year-old returned to This Morning on Monday for the first time since Schofield left the show amid a fallout with her and as the fallout over revelations he had an affair with a younger colleague continue.

Holly said the scandal that has dominated headlines for the last two weeks had left her “shaken, troubled, let down and worried.”

She began her statement by saying that it “feels very strange indeed to be sitting here without Phil.”

Some viewers thought it was quite a performance.

Although one person thought the speech, delivered in an “angelic white frock” was a “Mortal Kombat fatality move on ol’ Phil”.

But, as Schofield has admitted, he ruined his TV career all by himself by doing “something very wrong, and then I lied about it consistently”.

In her speech Holly spoke directly to the audience, suggesting viewers may have felt a lot like her: “Shaken, troubled, let down, worried for the wellbeing of people on all sides of what’s been going on, and full of questions.”

She went on: “You, me and all of us at This Morning gave our love and support to someone who was not telling the truth, who acted in a way that they themselves felt that they had to resign from ITV and step down from a career they loved – that is a lot to process.

“And it’s equally hard to see the toll it’s taken on their own mental health.”

Holly concluded her statement by saying what “unites us all now is a desire to heal the health and wellbeing of everyone.

“I hope that as we start this new chapter, we get back to a place of warmth and magic that this show holds for all of us, and we can find strength in each other.”

It is thought that Holly had drafted the statement herself while she was on holiday in Portugal.

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:

Holly Willoughby delivers emotional statement on This Morning return

‘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