Phillip Schofield praises ITV co-star Holly Willoughby amid rumours their friendship is ‘under strain’

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Rumours have recently been circulating that Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield’s relationship was ‘under strain’ with his recent absence from ITV’s This Morning a factor in them ‘cooling their friendship’

Phillip Schofield has praised his This Morning co-star Holly Willoughby amid rumours of a fall out between the pair. Schofield said the last few weeks "haven’t been easy" for him or Willoughby, hailing her as his "rock".

The 61-year-old has spoken out after reports emerged that the duo, who also present Dancing on Ice together, were ‘cooling their friendship’ and that it was ‘under strain’.

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It comes after his lengthy absence from This Morning reportedly contributed to the deterioration of the friendship. He recently returned after taking pre-planned leave during his brother’s sex abuse trial last month.

In a statement, Schofield told a national newspaper: "As I have said before, Holly is my rock. We’re the best of friends - as always, she is an incredible support on screen, behind the scenes and on the phone.

"Holly has always been there for me, through thick and thin. And I’ve been there for her. The last few weeks haven’t been easy for either of us.

"My family went through a real ordeal, and Holly’s support throughout meant the world to me - as did the support of my bosses at ITV, my editor Martin Frizell and the whole This Morning family, including our amazing viewers."

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Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

However, the Daily Mail has since claimed a source told them his statement on Thursday night (May 11) ‘blindsided’ Holly, with the 42-year-old reportedly wanting to pull the plug on their ITV partnership for good, after 14 years of co-hosting together.

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