I’m a PR expert – there’s no way back for Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield… but it’s good news for This Morning | The Sun

THEY put on a united front this morning – but it's all over for the King and Queen of daytime TV, according to PR experts.

Today we revealed Phillip Schofield has hired a lawyer to defend his reputation and “tough it out” amid claims of an escalating feud with his This Morning co-star Holly Willoughby.

The pair are reportedly barely speaking off camera, after it was reported their friendship had become strained and is "nothing like it was".

The Sun reported their relationship fell apart when Phil allegedly failed to tell Holly, his co-star of 14 years, about his brother Tim's child sex offences.

And Holly was said to have been "blindsided" by Phil when he issued a statement admitting “the last few weeks haven’t been easy for either of us".

Brand and culture expert Nick Ede tells The Sun the fact the row is playing out so publicly means there's "no going back for the pair".

He says: "They are stars because of their mass appeal and loyal fans, but now that they have seen that there are such public cracks, audiences wont believe their friendship or relationship any more… I don’t think this is fixable as it stands."

PR expert and talent agent Carla Speight adds: “If they were to fix things, they need to do it quickly. 

“Phil is clearly making the effort with his statement, but perhaps Holly finds that a bit too much as she isn’t normally so public about these sorts of things. 

“Broadcasting it via a statement to the press could feel a little invasive and exposing for her.

Most read in TV


Eamonn Holmes rips into This Morning's Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby


Tense Phil heads to This Morning after taking legal action over Holly fallout


Phil takes legal action over Holly rift ahead of pair's return to This Morning

no holl-ding back

BAFTA hosts Rob and Romesh take brutal swipe at Holly and Phil

The This Morning duo were seen looking 'uneasy' in each other's company recentlyCredit: Rex

"It’s a telling sign of how things are between them, as he has resorted to what is essentially an open letter for all to read.”

But it's not all bad news for This Morning, as Carla points out some viewers will be intrigued to watch how Holly and Phil behave around each other.

She tells us: “I think This Morning’s ratings will peak from now until [Holly and Phil's summer] break. 

“Audiences old and new will be avidly watching for signs of which way their friendship is going as speculation is rife.”

Nick adds the "excitement" surrounding their tension is “like watching a real-life version of Apple TV's The Morning Show”.

He believes the This Morning brand can weather the storm as, like Loose Women, it's "bigger than its presenters".

Nick says: "This Morning has other great presenters and is a multi-award winning show, so I think it, as a brand, is fine."

Carla adds that the alleged "feud" could provide an opportunity to freshen up its format.

"This Morning is an institution. I can’t see it being derailed by the situation with Holly and Phil," she says.

"It offers the opportunity to refresh things over there, rather than be seen to ‘keep calm and carry on’.

"Switching things up, changing the line-up and format could bring in more viewers, which is a win for the show."

Both predict Holly and Phil will be split up and paired with other personalities from the This Morning line-up who are waiting in the wings.

Carla reckons Holly would be a good match for Dermot O'Leary or Rylan Clark, adding: “They’re both fun presenters and would lighten things up. They’re also both really well suited to the show – they’re experienced, fun, sensitive and professional."

Switching things up, changing the line-up and format could bring in more viewers, which is a win for the show

She believes the "most logical" move would be to replace Phil with Dermot, and suggests doing so would help Holly's bubbly personality "shine".

"Holly’s a naturally funny woman and Dermot is reportedly a close friend which will no doubt put her at ease," she says.

"The two are up there as national treasures, both professional, and also a little bit cheeky, which could make for great telly and lots more laughs."

Nick believes This Morning could experiment further by giving newer presenters more of a regular slot.

He tells us: “We’ve seen such great pairings with Craig Doyle and Josie Gibson and Dermot and Alison Hammond. 

“I think they will be asked to do more, with Phillip and Holly potentially appearing less often in the run-up to their summer hiatus.

"There are other options too, like bringing back ITV stars like Davina McCall and Amanda Holden."

'Rocky road'

Both Nick and Carla predict a rocky road ahead for Phil. 

“You have to feel for Phil at the moment," Carla says. “He’s fighting to keep his main source of income and his place on a show he’s devoted years to amidst a huge backlash and very public pile-on. 

“If he were to stay, he has to work out his issues with Holly first, or be moved to other days next to the other presenters for a short while until things between him and Holly are sorted out.” 

Nick says This Morning will need to work on boosting Phil's reputation by "giving him all the tools to win the audience and viewer over". 

Meanwhile for Holly, the "world is her oyster" according to Carla.

Read More on The Sun

I went to Turkey to get my eyelashes done – it cost me £11 and they’re stunning

Tense Phil heads to This Morning after taking legal action over Holly fallout

"Her skills are wide-ranging thanks to the variety of shows she’s presented, and she’s showcased her ability to switch from relaxed to comedic, serious and sensitive," she says.

"If she were to leave This Morning, which I can’t see happening, she would no doubt have execs from all channels fighting to get her to host their shows, which could prove to be a very lucrative opportunity for her."

Source: Read Full Article