Music

Holly Willoughby reflects on ‘difficult time’ during Phil Schofield feud rumours

Holly Willoughby has addressed the "difficult time" when claims surfaced to suggest she'd fallen out with her friend and co-star Phillip Schofield.

In 2019, reports surfaced alleging that the 40-year-old and her 55-year-old co-host were involved in a "toxic" feud.

At the time, Holly's presenting career was going from strength-to-strength after she'd replaced Ant McPartlin on I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

It was alleged that Phil had grown jealous of Holly's rocketing fame which was made worse when photos of the pair surfaced for a weekend magazine – with the focus mainly on the blonde host.

For months afterwards reports claimed that the This Morning set had become increasingly tense when the cameras weren't in action.

Speaking out about feud claims, Holly explained that she didn't need to shoot down accusations because she and Phil "knew" the truth that they were both still really good friends.

Chatting to Fearne Cotton on the Happy Place podcast she spoke about the "difficult time" and the impact it had on her.

The ex-Radio 1 host said: "I can’t deal with people having the wrong idea about me. It's something I do a lot of work

"I was watching from afar when you’ve got every person in the press saying that you and Phillip are having a ‘tough time’ and meanwhile you’re great friends and there was no arguments.

"I thought I couldn't cope with that. There’s no way. I would be going: 'Hello! We're best friends! Leave me alone!' I wouldn't cope."

Fearne continued: "I don't have the inner strength to shut shop and go: 'Think what you like.' I'm not there yet. No way."

Holly responded: "It's a funny one, isn't it. Don’t get me wrong, like, it is difficult. That was a particularly difficult time. Of course. For many reasons.

"But I think, and I remember having this conversation with Phil at the time, it was like: 'But we know'."

The Dancing On Ice host added: "I have to believe that, that as long as you know, inside, and you know the truth, you know your truth, then everything got to be ok. It has to be. And I have to hold on to that. I can’t start questioning that."

Fearne interjected: "You couldn't confront that every day without having that coping mechanism."

She added: "No. God, I'd be exhausted."

Feud rumours were finally put to bed in February 2020 when Holly supported Phil when he came out as gay on the ITV programme with her support.

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