Phillip Schofield defends Eamonn Holmes after ‘sleazy’ remark about his sexuality

Emma Powys Maurice February 8, 2020
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Eamonn Holmes and Phillip Schofield set things straight (Twitter/@EamonnHolmes)

Phillip Schofield has defended his This Morning co-host Eamonn Holmes as he faced criticism over a “sleazy” joke about Schofield’s sexuality.

Schofield, 57, announced yesterday on social media that he is gay. Appearing later on This Morning, the star gave an emotional and impassioned interview in which he discussed his internal battle with his sexuality throughout his 27-year marriage to his wife.

Eamonn Holmes then attempted to lighten the mood with a joke that many considered to be in poor taste.

“I’m disappointed in a couple of ways,” Holmes said. “First of all I thought you were going to come in and announce you had resigned and I could have your job, but that wasn’t to be.

“And the second thing, there is this great imponderable in life that has always bothered me, I thought how come he can sit in a hot tub with Holly Willoughby and [your wife] Steph doesn’t have a problem and [Willoughby’s husband] Dan doesn’t have a problem.”

Schofield shrugged off the joke, laughing: “Holly’s the sister I never had.” But viewers at home were far from impressed.

“Making tin-eared comments about [a person’s] sexual availability to you or others serves only to feed homophobia,” wrote Justin Myers in the i.

“You immediately disempower the person coming out, making assumptions, switching the narrative to yourself.”

But Schofield himself has now cleared the air. He tweeted in defence of his colleague, insisting that he wasn’t offended and is glad Holmes “lightened” the moment.

“Can I just say that @EamonnHolmes & @RuthieeL were utterly magnificent with me today, privately downstairs just the three of us and upstairs in front of the world. I couldn’t have hoped for a better, calming and loving set of hugs and support, I adore them both,” he wrote.

“And for the record, @EamonnHolmes made me laugh, he lightened a very emotional moment and I’m very happy that he did.”

Holmes also rebuffed the criticism by sharing a picture that “paints a thousand words”.


More: coming out, Eamonn Holmes, ITV, Phillip Schofield, This Morning

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