Phillip and Holly: ITV stars appear to form allegiances following This Morning exit | TV & Radio | Showbiz & TV
After weeks of speculation about a rift between This Morning stars Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, the former announced he was leaving the ITV staple at the weekend.
The 61-year-old took to Instagram to make a public statement about his departure.
It came as reports suggested he and Holly had grown distant following a years-long friendship.
The pair have presented together for 13 years and have enjoyed a close off-screen relationship, with the duo holidaying together and Phillip even calling Holly his “rock”.
However, with Phillip’s controversial and sudden departure, it seems the rift may have pulled in some of ITV’s other stars, with some now forming allegiances.
READ MORE: Phillip Schofield’s on-air ‘sacking’exposed ‘You’re finished’
As rumours were rife about the two, Phillip made a statement in which he declared their friendship was still strong.
However, Holly hasn’t publically addressed her relationship with Phillip, and was apparently “deeply upset” Phillip had spoken out about it.
On Saturday it was announced Phillip would be stepping down from This Morning “with immediate effect”.
A number of the pair’s colleagues have now weighed in on the feud, with some aligning themselves with either Holly or Phillip, adding to the division.
Clodagh McKenna is among those to have broken her silence on the matter in support of Phillip.
The Irish chef, who is a regular on the ITV show shared a snap on social media of her alongside Phillip which was accompanied by a touching caption.
She wrote: “21 years of brightening up our mornings…. And I’ve been so lucky to be part of 3 of them.
“I’ll miss the morning hug, the twinkle in your eye that makes me giggle and your empathy. You will be missed.”
Rochelle Humes frequently steps in as host alongside either Holly or Phillip on This Morning.
She also paid tribute to Phillip on the social media site as she penned: “I’ve proudly been a part of the This Morning family for almost 10 years and over the last few, it has been an absolute pleasure learning so much from you.
“Thanks for all the lessons – you’re a fountain of love knowledge and laughter.” (sic)
Piers Morgan and This Morning regular Matthew Wright have also spoken out in support of Phillip.
Former Good Morning Britain star Piers said Phillip “deserved better”.
Speaking on Times Radio, he remarked: “I think that anyone who thinks that daytime telly is full of smiley, nicely, happy clappy people, I think they are beginning to realise it is infested by a pack of savages,” before adding that he felt sympathy for Phillip.
Matthew revealed he was “gutted” for the presenter, tweeting: “Gutted for @Schofe – there for me when I was having problems a few years back x.” (sic)
Josie Gibson, like Rochelle, has worked alongside both presenters to stand in when one is absent from the show.
She issued a cryptic statement on Instagram through a series of posts following news about Phillip’s exit.
One quote read: “I think the most beautiful thing in the world is watching the light comes on in someone’s eyes, after they’ve been lost in the dark for so long”. (sic)
Another quote, which she shared to her Instagram stories for her 415,000 followers, simply said: “Remember being happy doesn’t mean you have it all. It simply means you’re thankful for all you have.”
Elsewhere, This Morning’s Friday presenters, Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary, also seem to have sided with Holly.
While they haven’t published anything on the subject, the two issued a short tribute to Phillip on Monday’s show when the news was still fresh.
However, the mention was brief and neither have posted tributes to their former co-star, suggesting they could be leaning more towards Holly.
Meanwhile, other ITV stars such as Lorraine Kelly seem to have refused to take sides, remaining neutral or addressing the matter in a less cryptic manner.
Lorraine explained that, despite the rumours, she thought it seemed to be “business as usual” last week.
Express.co.uk has contacted ITV as well as representatives for Phillip, Holly, Josie, Alison and Dermot for comment.
This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV.