Feuding Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield return to This Morning

This Morning suffers ratings plunge with a fall of 170,000 viewers in a week as feuding Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield fail to address their fallout for second day in another awkward appearance on the sofa

  • Former best friends are currently embroiled in one of the biggest fallouts on TV 

This Morning has shed 170,000 viewers in a week as Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield failed to address their fallout for a second day on air.  

Figures revealed Monday’s episode had an average of 726,720 people watching compared to 894,000 on the same day last week. Peak viewership was also significantly down at 914,000 compared to 1.058million on May 8.  

Viewers watching today’s episode described the atmosphere as ‘awkward’, with one tweeting: ‘I haven’t watched the show for many months. I thought I’d watch today’s but its clear the partnership is strained.’

During one segment on the show, Holly and Phil were told a ‘tricky phase is ending’  by astrologer Hagan Fox. The hosts stayed silent after his prediction amid their friendship fallout.

‘Jupiter is moving into Taurus for the first time in 12 years,’ Fox revealed. ‘It’s the best news for each and every one of us. It’s been in Aries for 12 years which is kind of a tricky phase. This is now about happiness. This is about self-care, self-love and just having a ball.’

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield appearing today on a preview for This Morning 

Holly mimes a gun as she and Phil introduce a segment about a real man called James Bond 

Phil replied: ‘Lovely, thanks.’

Insiders have described Phil as ‘increasingly withdrawn’ on set, with one telling The Mirror: ‘He seems down and spends a lot of time in his dressing room. We’re worried about him.’ 

Meanwhile, Holly was in a reflective mood in her latest Monday newsletter for subscribers of her wellbeing brand Wylde Moon, where she revealed she had been receiving advice from a friend. 

‘The older I get, the more I appreciate how daunting the concept of time passing can be,’ she mused. ‘I can always remember my nan saying things like ‘wait ’til you get to my age…then it really starts flying by’– and I now I really get it. 

‘If this resonates with you, I wanted to share some advice one of my friends gave me when we were talking about this exact thing. 

READ MORE – A-listers threaten to stay away from show amid backstage revolt 

‘She told me that instead of worrying how quickly it’s going, we should look at things differently and appreciate that with every moment (big or small) that passes, we’re creating a future filled with joy, love, and endless possibility.’

Holly and Phil, who are embroiled in one of the biggest fallouts in television, did not address their rift when they returned to This Morning yesterday, but viewers described them as ‘awkward’ and ’embarrassing’. 

Today, a source suggested that public scepticism of the pair’s attempt to project a united front could force ITV bosses to make a ‘difficult decision’. 

‘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,’ the source told The Mirror. 

The insider suggested that if this was no longer believed then ITV could be forced into replacing Phil with someone else. 

In her newsletter, Holly urged fans to try and look at the positives in life. 

She wrote: ‘If we can remember to reflect on just how lucky we are to be making all these memories, the passage of time can feel really positive. It’s a bit like that old saying, ”Time is a luxury that the wise appreciate.”’

Holly continued by revealing she was taking inspiration from this week’s ‘magnificent New Moon, heralding a period of rejuvenation.’ 

‘It’s the perfect time to establish new affirmations, construct vision boards, and dedicate your attention to manifesting your goals.

Phil seen leaving his home today on the way to ITV’s London studios for This Morning 

The pair (seen this morning) are embroiled in one of the biggest fallouts in television

‘Allow the creative energies to surge within you, and stretch your imagination to embrace its most extravagant dreams.’

Holly and Phil were back on screens for the first time on Monday since news of their feud broke, but failed to address claims that their relationship is at breaking point and that they barely speak off camera.

Phil is trying to ‘tough out’ the ongoing row after it emerged he had called in his own lawyers over the fallout with his co-presenter, sources have revealed. He has also employed a new PR man to help improve his press coverage.

Senior figures at ITV called a crisis meeting yesterday following a wave of negative social media feedback about yesterday’s show.

READ MORE – JAN MOIR: After this farrago of fakery it will be a miracle if Holly and Phil last the week! 

After seeing the reaction on Twitter, with viewers panning both Ms Willoughby, 42, and Schofield, 61, ITV bosses are pondering what to do next.

One source told the Daily Mail: ‘Social media is used as a barometer to see what the public think. Those in charge were left no under no illusion that it was a total disaster.

‘It was painful for the This Morning team to work on and it was just as painful for them to watch.

‘There was a meeting afterwards to discuss how it went that went on for some time. To be honest, everyone was just so relieved to get it over with, but even if the show does continue to go on for some time, it will continue to be a massive headache.’

One viewer posted: ‘Phillip Schofield thinks he can fool us with this fake nice ‘everything is fine act’ when Holly looks visibly uncomfortable being there.’

Another said: ‘How fake is this? Wow, couldn’t trust these two actors.’

A third wrote: ‘This is cringe. It feels awkward knowing theses two people don’t get along with each other. Fake friends.’

Adding to the theme, a fan commented: ‘Well this is awkward! All a bit dead behind the eyes with fake smiles.’

Sources close to the pair insist the programme will continue to run smoothly, despite the feuding behind the scenes.

Writing in her latest  newsletter for subscribers of her wellbeing brand Wylde Moon, Holly was in a reflective mood as she revealed she had been receiving some advice

Bosses from the broadcaster were allegedly furious after Phil broke his silence with a shock statement on Thursday night about the fall out with his co-host of 14 years admitting ‘the last few weeks haven’t been easy for us’.

Despite this, Phil believes he can weather the ongoing storm but even those close to him have said it is down to whether the audience believes the pair still have on-screen chemistry.

Sources at the broadcaster described the situation as a ‘quandary’ for its bosses because both of the former friends were determined to get their own way.

Phil has consulted lawyers over the situation, which has been spiralling out of control for months.

The Daily Mail revealed this weekend that he has also hired Gordon Smart, a former Sun showbiz columnist and occasional Good Morning Britain host, to manage the crisis and ensure favourable press coverage.

Message: Alongside photos of herself at home with her pet dog, Holly wrote: ‘We’re creating a future filled with joy, love, and endless possibility’

It is a clear sign, say sources, that he is ‘taking this very seriously’ and is ‘keen to come out of the situation quickly’.

The feud began in September when the pair were criticised after failing to queue for the Queen’s Lying in State.

Things have become so bad that it is said they no longer speak when the cameras stop rolling. Holly has now cut all ties with Phil other than her This Morning commitments.

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