Holly Willoughby's This Morning speech decoded

Holly Willoughby’s speech decoded: How This Morning host distanced herself from Phillip Schofield and signalled she isn’t going anywhere in message to viewers following scandal

  • Holly Willoughby gave an emotional speech on the Phillip Schofield saga 

Holly Willoughby made a dramatic return to the This Morning sofa following the departure of co-host Phillip Schofield after he lied to her and ITV colleagues over his affair with a younger man who worked on the show. 

Dressed in white, the 42-year-old gave an emotional speech to viewers where she called Schofield a liar and opened up on feeling ‘troubled’ and ‘let down’. 

Here, MailOnline decodes Holly’s astonishing monologue, where she painted herself the victim while also making it clear she is ready to captain the This Morning ship:

‘Hi there. Good morning. Josie (Gibson), thank you for being here. Right, deep breath. Firstly, are you OK? 

Holly groups herself with the audience, suggesting she too is a victim. Body language expert Judi James also told MailOnline that her white outfit is another deliberate attempt to portray her ‘innocence’.

Meanwhile, starting with ‘firstly’ implies that the wellbeing of the audience is her priority, another attempt to make her appear sympathetic. 

Some watchers were less than impressed, with one commenting on social media: ‘Poor Holly, stop acting the victim. Round of applause for your acting skills though.’

While another added: ‘I’m sorry, but why is Holly continuing to act like she was the victim of this? The victims are the boy Phillip was having the affair with, and Phillips family.

‘I get they were close, but she is far from the victim in this case, and neither are we.’

It feels very strange indeed sitting here without Phil. 

This is the only time she mentions Phillip Schofield my name – a paltry reference to their years together. 

And I imagine that you might have been feeling a lot like I have – shaken, troubled, let down, worried for the wellbeing of people on all sides of what’s been going on, and full of questions. 

Again, she is grouping herself with the audience, suggesting that she, like the people watching, was a helpless victim of Schofield’s behaviour. 

She shows concern for Schofield’s wellbeing but is also firm on how she has been ‘let down’ by her longtime partner. 

Her manner sparked a flurry of comments and Mamta Saha, who is a British Psychological Society-accredited analyst, told the Mirror that her exhale and opening made her come across as disingenuous.

This opinion was echoed by several viewers on social media. 

One said: ‘Holly stating she knew nothing, playing the victim, and now doing an emotional speech on national TV is taking her viewers as absolute mugs, again.’

A second added: ‘So patronising!!! Covering herself and playing the victim. NO Holly you do not speak for everyone.’

You, me and all of us at This Morning gave our love and support to someone who was not telling the truth, who acted in a way that they themselves felt that they had to resign from ITV, and step down from a career that they loved. 

Here, she sticks the knife in. Holly, and all of us, are victims of Schofield, a liar who she only refers to as ‘someone’, despite their previous closeness. 

She justifies herself in the next breath. Schofield’s behaviour was so bad that he himself had to ‘step down’ from a career he ‘loved’. 

Holly Willoughby has returned to This Morning for the first time since Phillip Schofield’s admission of an affair with a ‘much younger man’

These are strong words against Schofield, making it clear to the audience where she stands. 

The audience concurred – though some were less convinced by her statement. 

One said: ‘Holly has done nothing wrong, and does not deserve to lose her job.

However, another commented: ‘Wow Holly is using her statement to stick the knife in. Not a good look. Why isn’t she addressing her role?’

That is a lot to process. And it’s equally hard to see the toll that it’s taken on their own mental health. I think what unites us all now is a desire to heal for the health and wellbeing of everyone. 

I hope that, as we start this new chapter and get back to a place of warmth and magic that this show holds for all of us, we can find strength in each other.

After laying into Schofield, Holly suggests that we should cut him some slack. She also clearly tries to draw a line under the affair and move on. 

It’s a bizarre switch. In a matter of breaths she’s gone from calling Schofield a liar to asking the British public to think of his mental health. 

One viewer tweeted: ‘There was no point in that statement from Holly…it acknowledged Philip’s poor state of mental health but then went on to say he’s a liar and basically deserves it.’

And, from my heart, can I just say thank you for all of your kind messages. And thank you for being here this morning. 

This is yet another example of Holly painting herself in a sympathetic light as the victim of Schofield’s actions. 

Thanking the public for their kind messages and for tuning in sends a clear message: This happened to us. We did nothing wrong. 

Again, there were mixed reactions to her message. 

One fan wrote: ‘Why should she go? She did nothing wrong, don’t blame another woman for another man’s mistake.

‘Will we never learn people? Ladies, please stand firm again.’

While a second said: ‘Nobody needs friends like Holly Willoughby. When the going gets tough, she is nowhere to be seen. Disassociating herself with Phillip.’

Holly gave an emotional speech to viewers where she called Schofield a liar and opened up on feeling ‘troubled’ and ‘let down’.

Myself, Josie (Gibson), Dermot (O’Leary), Alison (Hammond), Craig (Doyle), and every single person that works on this show will continue to work hard every single day to bring you this show that we love.’

This is an emphatic message to those wanting Holly removed from her role.

She makes it clear she is not leaving and by thanking her co-hosts and production staff, she paints herself as the leader of This Morning, as the captain of the ship moving forward.

Holly embraced co-host Josie Gibson, who was acting as her ‘bodyguard’ and ‘carer’ as they held back tears, body language expert Ms James said. 

She described the pair as behaving like ‘survivors of a disaster’ – but added that Holly could not hide her tension and anxiety. 

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