Tense Holly Willoughby returns to This Morning for first time since Phillip Schofield scandal amid fears she'd quit | The Sun

TENSE Holly Willoughby has returned to This Morning for the first time since Phillip Schofield's axe.

The presenter returned from her £8million holiday villa in Portugal to front the crisis-hit show despite rumours she'd quit.

Appearing on ITV during Lorraine Kelly's show, bronzed Holly ignored the drama and told viewers what to expect from the show.

She said: "Nice to see you, Lorraine."

Alongside her stand-in co-host Josie Gibson, Holly put on a brave face to address Phillip's exit in a specially prepared statement at the beginning of today's show.

"Josie, thank you for being here," Holly said as she held her co-host's hand.


Holly Willoughby arrives at ITV for first This Morning show since Phillip exit

I won’t watch Holly’s return to This Morning, says Phillip Schofield

"Right, deep breath.

"Firstly, are you OK? I hope so. It feels very strange indeed not being here with Phillip.

"I imagine you might have been feeling a lot like I have. Shaken, troubled, let down, worried for the well-being of people from all sides of what's been going on and full of quesitons.

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

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I won't watch Holly's return to This Morning, says Phillip Schofield

"That's a lot to process and it's equaslly hard to see the toll it's taken on their own mental health.

"I think what unites us all now is a desire to heal and the health and well-being for everyone.

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

"From my heart thank you for all of the kind messages. Thank you for being here this morning."

Holly has been absent from the set for the past two weeks — during which time her former pal, 61, has come clean about his affair with a much younger ITV runner.

Phillip, who was married at the time, branded the relationship "unwise but not illegal".

He insisted to The Sun that Holly did not know about his affair.

He said: “I’ve lost my best friend. Holly did not know. And she was one of the first texts that I sent to say ‘I am so, so sorry, that I lied to you.’”

Queen singer Adam Lambert will be interviewed later in the show to celebrate Pride month and the LGBT community.

Phone-ins involving the public will be heavily vetted by production staff to filter out any attempted viewer outbursts over the scandal.

And interaction segments where viewers send in pictures and social media posts are being paused to avoid the risk of any abuse being targeted at the presenters.

Later in the week, Holly will be joined by Irish presenter Craig Doyle, while Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary will be back for their usual slot on Friday.  

Holly's much-anticipated return comes after speculation she would follow in Phillip's footsteps by quitting.

Fans were convinced she had left the show while holidaying her £8m Algarve villa.

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Even former This Morning host Eamonn Holmes predicted she wouldn't be seen on the sofa again.

It was also reported she is in talks to quit ITV for BBC following the recent upset on This Morning.

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