Phillip Schofield threatened to leave 'This Morning' unless Holly Willoughby was hired

Julia Hunt
·Contributor
·2-min read
Tv Presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby pose for photographers on arrival at the TV Choice Awards in central London on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. (Photo by Grant Pollard/Invision/AP)
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby (Grant Pollard/Invision/AP)

Phillip Schofield has told how he threatened to leave This Morning if best pal Holly Willoughby wasn’t picked to co-host with him.

The TV presenter, 58, has been a regular on the ITV show since 2002 and was keen for Willoughby to join him when Fern Britton left in 2009.

According to the Daily Mail, show bosses were not 100% certain about Willoughby but he told them she was his “only choice” for the position.

Read more: Phillip Schofield pens 'deeply emotional' tell all book in lockdown

He apparently opens up about it in his new memoir, Life’s What You Make It, saying: “I had to make it clear that, if I was to continue on the show, Holly was the only person I wanted to work with.”

Schofield, who had already been sharing hosting duties with Willoughby on Dancing On Ice for three years, went on: “I've always tried really hard to pick my battles in my job, and this was a battle worth fighting and a battle I intended to win.”

Watch: Phillip Schofield says Holly Willoughby was ‘vital’ in his decision to come out

Willoughby went on to land the role and 11 years later she and Schofield are hugely popular with viewers.

The pair have also remained close, and Schofield has said several times how much Willoughby’s support has meant to him since he came out as gay this year.

The TV star has told how he went through some “dark moments” as he struggled with his sexuality and in his book reveals how he had trouble sleeping, his weight dropped to under 10 stone and that he once once refused to go on This Morning as he wrestled with what was going on.

Read more: Phillip Schofield says 'talking saved me' after he revealed he was gay

He came out in an emotional interview on the show in February and at the time thanked Willoughby for her support, saying she had been “so kind and wise” and had “hugged me as I sobbed on her shoulder”.

Watch: TV Presenter Phillip Schofield comes out as gay