Relations between This Morning star Phillip Schofield and colleague Ruth Langsford and her husband Eamonn Holmes are so bad, the couple snubbed the show’s Christmas party to avoid Schofield, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
It is the latest in a series of behind-the-scenes rows involving Schofield who has been described as ‘rude’.
Langsford and Holmes host the Friday episode of This Morning and sit in for other presenters’ holidays.
The relationship between This Morning presenter Philip Schofield and Ruth Langsford and her husband Eamonn Holmes are so bad that the couple, who host the programme on Fridays, avoided the Christmas party
But they were surprisingly absent last week from the no-expense-spared dinner at a West London restaurant where 23 of their colleagues enjoyed a four-course meal and champagne.
The tension between Langsford, 59, and Schofield, 57, stems from April when they spoke over each other while she was doing a live preview of Loose Women, which she also hosts.
Langsford and Holmes decided to miss the no-expense-spared dinner at a west London restaurant. Tension started when Langsford and Schofield spoke over each other while doing a live preview of Loose Women in April and the tension remains 'toxic' when the cameras aren't rolling, according to an anonymous source
As he cut her off abruptly, saying: ‘We’re a bit tight for time at this end,’ she retorted: ‘I only had about two more words to say, don’t worry.’
Startled viewers took to social media, with one writing, ‘How rude of Phil’, and another saying, ‘Ruth looks so p***** off’.
Since then, it seems relations between Schofield – who normally co-presents with Holly Willoughby – and Langsford and a protective Holmes have only deteriorated.
The rift is causing anxiety at YMU, the agency formerly known as James Grant, which represents all four.
It is also understood that Schofield is playing down Langsford’s grievance over being cut off by insisting it was the fault of the show’s production team. A source revealed: ‘There are an increasing number of presenters who say that when the cameras aren’t running the atmosphere is toxic.
Missing: Holly shared a snap form the This Morning Christmas party on Instagram in which regular Friday hosts Ruth and Eamonn were nowhere to be seen
‘Phillip is a man with high standards, he has survived a long time in the TV world. There has been an almighty clash. There is currently one household name on ITV daytime who refers to him as “the c***”.’
Schofield, who joined This Morning in 2002, is also said to be envious that Holmes, 60, was given an OBE last year for services to broadcasting.
And Schofield is reported to have been furious over Willoughby landing the co-host role on last year’s I’m A Celebrity while Ant McPartlin recovered from alcohol issues.
It is understood that Schofield suggested to ITV bosses that he could take the role and, when rebuffed, he suggested taking This Morning to Australia to film it from there.
To make matters worse, Schofield is reported to have been furious at Holly Willoughby (pictured with Declan Donnelly in a promotion picture) landing a lead presenting role on last years I’m A Celebrity while Ant McPartlin recovered from alcohol issues
Another source said: ‘Phillip seems to hold huge sway at ITV but there is a growing list of people he’s worked with over the years who, it’s fair to say, are not fans of his... And the cosy, jokey on-screen partnership with Holly is not what it seems.’
Schofield is known to have had a fall-out with Amanda Holden, who believes he blocked her from taking a replacement role on This Morning.
Asked on her Heart FM radio show what three things she would not like to find in her home, Holden replied: ‘Spiders, flies and Phillip Schofield.’
Sources also say chef Phil Vickery was no longer required on This Morning after Schofield had a spat with his wife Fern Britton. Vickery, however, was at the party last week.
Last night, an ITV spokesman said: ‘Phillip is a much respected broadcaster. This appears to be a desperate attempt to tarnish his reputation by maliciously motivated gossip.’