Holly Willoughby 'saddened' to hear of Phillip Schofield's mental health struggles

Holly Willoughby is “saddened” to hear her former co-star Phillip Schofield has been suffering with mental health problems since leaving the show, according to reports.

Holly, 42, will return to host ITV’s This Morning alongside former Big Brother winner Josie Gibson, 38, on Monday after flying back to the UK from a holiday in Portugal.

Schofield said he “lost everything” amid the fallout from the news of his affair with a younger colleague on the set of This Morning.

In a BBC interview with Amol Rajan on Friday, he spoke about the effect of the backlash on his mental health. “It is relentless, and it is day after day, after day, after day,” he said.

“If you don’t think that that is going to have the most catastrophic effect on someone’s mind... do you want me to die? Because that’s where I am. I have lost everything. My girls [his daughters] saved my life.”

“This is how Caroline Flack felt,” he added, referencing when the presenter took her own life in February 2020.

Insiders told The Sun that Holly has been left distraught following the revelations.

A source said: “Holly has not spoken to Phil, but was saddened to see him like that. Seeing Phil so downtrodden and in a bad way was distressing for a number of people who know him personally. There is a big team on This Morning and it was shocking for people to see him that way.

The pair were once best friends (PA Archive)
The pair were once best friends (PA Archive)

“It is an incredibly sad situation. Phil has his daughters and friends supporting him now. The focus for the This Morning team and Holly is to deliver the best shows they can, moving forward.

“It is what Phil wants too ? he has made that clear. He loves This Morning and wants it to thrive again, despite his exit.”

Asked whether he told his co-host about the relationship, Schofield said: “No, oh God, no, that’s a bigger question because our make-up room was like a sanctuary so you tell everything in that room. Holly knows everything about me, I know everything about Holly.... Holly did not know. Nobody knew. I didn’t tell anybody.”

He earlier apologised to Holly for lying to her about his relationship, adding: “I’ve lost my best friend. I let her down. I let that entire show down. I let the viewers down.

“Holly did not know [about the affair] and she was one of the first texts that I sent, to say: ‘I am so, so sorry that I lied to you’. She didn’t reply and I understand why.”

Schofield was dropped from his talent agency YMU after admitting he lied to the company about the affair.

on Friday the This Morning presenter Alison Hammond became emotional live on air as she spoke about her former colleague.

Hammond, who has been co-hosting This Morning with Dermot O’Leary, said the situation was “really painful”.

She said: “I’m finding it really painful. I still love Phillip Schofield, however, what he’s done is wrong.”