Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield’s most awkward moments

They were known as TV’s favourite platonic couple, having helmed ITV’s flagship morning programme since 2009 and Dancing on Ice since 2006 with their signature brand of giggly chemistry. So when frontpage headlines of a rift between Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield came out, the public was utterly enthralled.

“Furious Phil calls in lawyers,” read one headline. “Is this the end for Holly & Phil?” Wrote another.” Other publications focused on reports that they “barely speak off camera”, and that they’re in “crisis talks” over the future of the show.

The news triggered a tsunami of armchair detectives who have been trawling the internet for any potential clues into their feud. Many pointed to Willoughby removing Schofield from her social media accounts, with her Twitter bio once reading: “I was introduced to this by a Twitter legend @PhilipSchofield”, but it now reads:"Broadcaster, Founder of Wyldemoon, Brand ambassador for Marks & Spencer and Garnier, Author of Reflections”. Meanwhile, others dissected what their noticeable absence from the TV BAFTAs might mean.

According to insider sources, things first soured after the public fallout from the two skipping The Queue for the Queen’s coffin last September. Then last month Schofield’s brother Tim was convicted for 11 sexual offences against children where it was alleged that Schofield kept Willoughby in the dark — a move that reportedly frayed the relationship.

Although neither party has spoken out about the allegations, the biggest bombshell came when the rumours were seemingly confirmed by Schofield as he gave a shock statement to The Sun, stating: “Holly is my rock” but that “the last few weeks haven’t been easy for either of us.” Neither the studio or his co-presenter were given a sign off on his comments, and both are reportedly extremely annoyed at Schofield for adding fuel to the frenzy.

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby (PA) (PA Archive)
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby (PA) (PA Archive)

When the co-hosts returned to air for the first time since Schofield’s off-hand remarks, fans desperately tried to decode the presenter’s body language for hints of their current friendship status. Throughout the show no mention was made of the apparent fallout, with the two discussing all the recent headlines – from Eurovision to The Little Mermaid – apart from their own.

The next day, the second since Schofield’s controverisal statement, astrologer Hagan Fox told the pair a “tricky phrase is ending” and questioned “is now the right time for a change?” — with many social media users shuddering at the seemingly contrived scene.

A source told the Mirror: “This Morning’s ­relationship with its viewers is built on trust, and they have to believe that Holly and Phil’s friendship, and what they’re watching, is real… If viewers now no longer believe in the pair, and make their views clear next week, make no mistake, ITV will act.”

With Willoughby and Schofield’s time together on screen now over, here’s a look back at their most iconic moments of the last 14 years...

1. But your daughter’s name is India!

Although they’re known for being ultra friendly, smiley personalities, sometimes they get catty — much to the public’s approval. When notoriously obnoxious Katie Hopkins declared that she hated names inspired by geographical locations, Schofield quipped back instantly: “But your daughter’s name is India!”. Obsessed.

2. Pulling an all-nighter after their NTA win

We’re have had a bit too much to drink on a school night – but not all of us have to be camera-ready after partying into the early hours. After securing an NTA win in 2016 the pair went from club to couch, turning up to work in last night’s attire and still half-drunk.

3. Their pandemic-proof hug

During the pandemic This Morning became a comfort blanket for many, with the day time programme still airing as most of the world shut down. After months of no-contact, viewers were moved to tears when they shared a coronavirus-proof hug thanks to a comical “cuddle curtain” contraption.

4. NSFW children drawings

It’s one of the most popular segments on the show and it’s easy to see why. The epitome of Willoughby and Schofield’s silly humour that’s at the heart of the show, the presenters invite parents to send in accidentally NSFW drawings that their kids unwittingly made - much to the amusement (and subsequent debilitating giggle fit) of Willhouby and Schofield.

5. If my grandmother had wheels she would’ve been a bike

Although it turns out that, “If my grandmother had wheels, she would have been a bike” is a classic Italian sarcastic expression, when TV chef Gino D’Acampo dropped the now iconic line on This Morning over nine years ago the world never quite recovered.

6. Getting the giggles

Perhaps their most famous stick throughout their 14-year stint at This Morning is their inability to keep a straight face. Actually, scratch that. Their inability to keep a straight face, body and mouth - with the two regularly collapsing on the floor in a fit of giggles.

7. The makeover gone wrong

In 2019 Willoughby was hoodwinked by the studio when an actress pretended to hate her makeover live on TV. “You have a whole wardrobe and people push you out of your comfort zone, it all happens a bit quickly… Please don’t worry,” she fretted, before taking her out for lunch — only to find the car crashed. When she was finally put out of her misery the poor presenter broke down in tears of relief as Schofield laughed on.