Holly Willoughby statement ‘didn’t come from the heart’ as ITV star slammed over Phillip Schofield script

Holly Willoughby (left), Jim Davidson (right)

Jim Davidson criticised Holly Willoughby's ITV address

ITV / GB News
Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 08/06/2023

- 17:58

The ITV star addressed the scandal on Monday

Holly Willoughby’s statement regarding the Phillip Schofield scandal “didn’t come from the heart”, according to comedian Jim Davidson, who accused the ITV star of having to rely on her autocue.

Willoughby, 41, made her first on screen appearance on Monday following the shock departure of her former co-host and his subsequent revelation of an affair with a “much younger” ITV male employee.

She used a short opening monologue to address the scandal, which she says left her feeling “shaken, troubled and let down”.

During interviews with The Sun and the BBC, Schofield said Willoughby had no prior knowledge of the scandal which resulted in his television career coming to a grinding halt.

Speaking on GB News, comedian Jim Davidson questioned Willoughby’s statement, saying it did not come across in an authentic manner.

He told Dan Wootton: “Don’t these people do anything but read the autocue?

“Let’s blow a bit of sunshine on GB News, you use auto cue because you need to deliver the news, but everyone has got a personality.

“What do they do on This Morning?”

Phillip SchofieldPhillip Schofield resigned as a presenter from This Morning with immediate effectITV

Questioned by Dan Wootton on whether Willoughby’s statement “came from the heart”, Davidson replied: “Nothing!”

Davidson then went on to have a dig at Schofield, saying: “I think Gary Bushell was right when he summed up Phil, he said ‘his smile doesn’t quite reach his eyes’.”

Seated next to her temporary co-host Josie Gibson, Willoughby said: “Josie, thank you for being here. Right, deep breath.”

She continued: “Firstly, are you OK? I hope so. It feels very strange indeed sitting here without Phil. And I imagine that you might have been feeling a lot like I have – shaken, troubled, let down, worried for the wellbeing of people on all sides of what’s been going on, and full of questions.

“You, me and all of us at This Morning gave our love and support to someone who was not telling the truth, who acted in a way that they themselves felt that they had to resign from ITV, and step down from a career that they loved. That is a lot to process.

“And it’s equally hard to see the toll that it’s taken on their own mental health.

“I think what unites us all now is a desire to heal, for the health and wellbeing of everyone.”

ITV’s flagship daytime show has been called into question in recent weeks amid the Schofield scandal, with the claims of “toxicity” being levelled at the programme.

Dr Ranj Singh, the show’s former resident health expert said a culture of “bullying” was prevalent during his time working at ITV, while GB News host Eamonn Holmes, who previously presented the show, said the “toxicity” laid at Schofield’s door.

ITV boss Dame Carolyn McCall has been called to a parliamentary committee on June 14 to answer questions about the broadcaster’s approach to safeguarding and complaint handling following Schofield’s exit.

Schofield has denied claims of “toxicity”, claiming a number of people hold a “grudge” against the show.

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