Ulrika Jonsson weighs in on Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby’s ‘feud’: ‘A war of the egos’

Jonsson described daytime TV as ‘a lively, narcissistic melting pot of ego, vanity, hierarchy and domination’

Isobel Lewis
Monday 22 May 2023 12:04 BST
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield share awkward kiss amid feud rumours

Ulrika Jonsson has shared her thoughts on the alleged fall-out between This Morning hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.

Earlier this month, reports emerged claiming that the daytime presenters have a strained relationship behind the scenes and “barely speak” when the cameras aren’t rolling.

In a rare statement, Schofield acknowledged that “the last few weeks haven’t been easy”, but said that he and Willoughby were still “the best of friends”.

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However, on Saturday (20 May), Schofield announced that he was leaving This Morning with “immediate effect”, his last show having aired on Thursday (18 May). Willoughby will remain on This Morning and will co-present with the show’s other hosts.

Writing in The Sun before ITV’s announcement was made, former Gladiators host Jonsson spoke about the rumoured tensions between “the king and queen of daytime TV”.

“Daytime TV is a lively, narcissistic melting pot of ego, vanity, hierarchy and domination, not to mention the bevy of managers and agents standing backstage ready to compete for their clients’ best outcomes,” Jonsson wrote.

“For the show’s dedicated followers, however, I suspect this war of the egos is a great sadness. They have invested in both presenters over the years and are fond of them. On-screen duos are about balance, harmony and respect and it can be very hard to get right.”

Willoughby and Schofield presented together amid reports of a ‘feud’ behind the scenes (ITV)

Discussing other presenting duos who had their ups and downs in front of the camera, Jonsson continued her column: “It’s hard to think of another work environment where your professional relationship with someone is so reliant on you getting on, because the audience always knows when you are faking it.

“And therein lies the rub. Holly and Phil have forgotten about their audience and appointed themselves the stars of the show, which has made them bigger than the programme… Perhaps this really is the end of the road for Holly and Phil.”

She concluded: “You could argue that all good things come to an end – and it’s hard to imagine one without the other on screen. Many will be sad if this is the end of an era – others might say it’s just the end of an error.”

The Independent has contacted Schofield and Willoughby’s representatives for comment.

The reported tensions between the pair were mocked by Jack Whitehall during a recent appearance on The Chris and Rosie Ramsey Show, with the joke eliciting gasps from both the show’s presenters and the audience.

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