Holly Willoughby returned to the This Morning sofa sans ex-best friend and co-star Phillip Schofield on Monday.
In a much-anticipated statement, the choked-up presenter said she felt “shaken,” “troubled,” and “let down” by Phillip’s revelation that he had lied about an affair with a former This Morning colleague, which he had claimed Holly knew about in a shocking interview.
Holly’s next step, according to an insider, is to repair any damage caused by Eamonn Holmes’ scathing remarks about her friendship with co-star Alison Hammond, who is rumoured to be the favourite to permanently take Phil’s seat on the sofa.
Our insider says the GB News presenter’s “using” Alison accusation has worsened the workplace issue.
Holly doesn’t want to fight with Alison over this.
The insider said, “Alison was really upset by his interview [with Dan Wootton on GB News]. He claimed that Holly and Phil ignored her until she got successful, but Alison stated she never felt manipulated and has always enjoyed her time on This Morning.
“If anything, she’s just grateful for the producers taking a chance on a former reality TV star at a time when a lot of people from Big Brother [which she appeared on in 2002] were looked down upon. Eamonn dragged her into this. She likes Holly.”
Holly, 42, and Alison, 48, who broke down on This Morning while addressing the Phillip Schofield controversy, had been open about their friendship for months. Alison posted a photo of herself with Holly and her celeb friends on a “girl therapy night” after her breakup with landscaper Ben Hawkins earlier this year. Holly praised her NTA-nominated co-star. Eamonn calls their friendship “nonsense” and “wouldn’t have happened two years ago”.
After Holly addressed the incident on This Morning, 200,000 viewers left, adding to the scrutiny of her relationships with her co-hosts. She was ridiculed for asking viewers, “Are you OK?” Holly is attempting to keep it together to prove she can overcome the controversy.
Our informant says, “Behind closed doors, Holly’s been a nervous wreck, but she’s not going to let anyone at work or the viewers at home see that. She wants to prove she’s not to blame and will fix things. ITV bosses remarked, “If she can weather this storm, she can handle anything—and they will be loyal to her for the rest of her career.”
Our insider adds Holly still worries that the public has lost trust in her, despite her bosses’ apparent backing. “She knows she isn’t out of the woods,” we’re informed.
“This Morning producers are waiting to see how the ratings are and if big advertisers will stay. Holly’s in a dangerous place.”
“Holly is hopeful that they can work towards making This Morning a positive and safe place to work, but it’s all about winning back the audience’s trust,” the insider said.