Eamonn Holmes blasts 'sly' ITV for the way it handled his 'This Morning' departure

·Contributor
·3-min read
Eamonn Holmes began presenting a breakfast show on GB News this year. (Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)
Eamonn Holmes began presenting a breakfast show on GB News this year. (Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images)

Eamonn Holmes has criticised ITV for its "sly" handling of his exit from daytime show This Morning and described the programme's host Phillip Schofield as "passive-aggressive".

Holmes left the show in December and now fronts a breakfast programme on recently formed channel GB News alongside Isabel Webster.

Read more: Eamonn Holmes claims he was given no reason for This Morning exit

The 62-year-old telly veteran told the Daily Mail that "no one explained anything to me" around his departure from This Morning.

He said: "I'm all for TV companies being able to choose who works for them, but it would be nice if you were told why you were going.

Watch: Eamonn Holmes makes debut on GB News

"They're sly. They didn't want to announce that I'd been dropped because it would adversely affect audience figures, so they made it look as if I'd walked away from them rather than the other way round."

Holmes also made reference to a report from September 2020 which suggested that he and other presenters were perceived as too "pale, stale and male".

Read more: Eamonn Holmes alpaca comment sparks Ofcom complaints

He said: "I'm not going to have myself derided as some sort of has-been. I may be male and pale but I'm still at the top of my game."

Holmes said there's a "hypocritical" side at play with ITV's push for diversity on This Morning, claiming that the decisions behind the scenes are still made by white, middle-aged people.

Eamonn Holmes said that Phillip Schofield was often 'passive-aggressive'. (Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
Eamonn Holmes said that Phillip Schofield was often 'passive-aggressive'. (Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

The presenter also made reference to an incident in which Schofield appeared to cut off Ruth Langsford — Holmes's wife — while she was delivering a preview for an episode of Loose Women.

"Phillip is renowned for snubbing people. He's very passive-aggressive," the presenter said.

Read more: Ruth Langsford to remain on This Morning despite Holmes exit

He added: "It's up to Ruth to say how she felt, but I was feeling hurt for her. No one would have snubbed me like that.

"I have a good Belfast street fighter in me ... I would be direct. I don't go for presenters who think they have a special privilege or aura or influence."

Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford were regular 'This Morning' presenters for 15 years. (ITV)
Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford were regular 'This Morning' presenters for 15 years. (ITV)

Holmes and Langsford were frequent Friday presenters of This Morning and also provided holiday cover for Schofield and co-host Holly Willoughby.

They first joined the show's roster in 2006, with Holmes having previously been a veteran of GMTV on ITV and Sunrise on Sky.

Read more: Who presents This Morning?

An ITV spokesman said: "This isn't a version of events we recognise and as we have said before we wish Eamonn all the very best.

"We are committed to improving representation both on and off screen and we publicly report on our progress against our commitments and targets."

Watch: Eamonn Holmes says social media trolls plotted This Morning axe

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