‘It was a battle I intended to win!’ Phillip Schofield reveals he threatened to QUIT This Morning after bosses refused to hire Holly Willoughby
Phillip Schofield has revealed he threatened to quit This Morning after ITV bosses refused to hire Holly Willoughby to replace Fern Britton.
Having worked with the presenter for three years on Dancing on Ice, the star said he knew Holly was the perfect choice to host the show, and told producers he wouldn’t continue without her.
Of course Holly did go onto land the This Morning job and has been hosting the show alongside close friend Phillip ever since, and proudly stood at his side when he decided to publicly come out as gay in February.
It’s her or nothing! Phillip Schofield has revealed he threatened to quit This Morning after ITV bosses refused to hire Holly Willoughby to replace Fern Britton (pictured in February)
Phillip spoke about his friendship in Holly in his memoir Like’s What You Make It, explaining he lobbied hard for Holly to take over This Morning following Fern’s departure in 2009.
Sharing the conversation he had with the show’s bosses, Phillip admitted he was told that Holly ‘lacks gravitas.’
Issuing an ultimatum he told bosses: ‘It has to work. She’s my only choice.’
Dynamic duo: The star said he knew Holly was the perfect choice to host the show, and told producers he wouldn’t continue without her (pictured together in 2009)
Pals: Phillip explained he know Holly was the perfect choice to replace Fern as they’d presented Dancing on Ice together for three years
Phillip then added: ‘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.
‘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. Thankfully, in the end, I got my way.’
Phillip and Holly have now been hosting This Morning together for 11 years, and leave viewers in hysterics with their unexpected innuendos and giggling fits.
Close: Fern departed This Morning in 2009 after seven hosting alongside Phillip, with Holly then hired by bosses to replace her
Hilarious: Phillip and Holly have now been hosting This Morning together for 11 years, and leave viewers in hysterics with their unexpected innuendos and giggling fits
In his memoir Phillip has also spoken about his decision to public come out as gay in February, and during an appearance on The One Show, explained Holly was the first person at work he told about his sexuality.
He said: ‘[Holly was] absolutely vital, couldn’t have done it with anyone else, I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to be sat beside me.
‘We had a big lead up, Holly was one of the first people I told when I knew what I had to do, she is such a wise person.
‘She has got such a calm sensitive aura to her, at home everyone was saying it’ll be fine and Holly was saying at work, ”it’ll be fine”, she was the only one that knew at that time at work.’
Phillip admitted he knew there would be a ‘massive amount of scrutiny’ on him after he came out.
He said: ‘We had to figure out how to do something like that, it had to be public. I knew there would be a massive amount of scrutiny.
‘I said to Holly: ‘I’ll do it on a Thursday morning and then I’ll go and you carry on,’ and we were in a bar in London secretly having this meeting and she said: ”Are you joking? There’s no chance that you leave and I carry on.”
‘She said: ”No, we’ll do it on a Friday and ask Ruth and Eamonn if we can nick 10 minutes from their show, so we do it and then both leave together”.’
Supportive: In his newly-published memoir, Phillip credited Holly for being a pillar of support when he made the decision to publicly come out as gay in February