Phillip Schofield’s mannerisms were today compared to those of Prince Harry by a body language expert, amid claims he has fallen out with co-host Holly Willoughby.
Phil was back on ITV’s This Morning putting on a brave face today following claims that the duo are ‘not as close as they once were’ and now barely speak off camera.
But Judi James said Phil’s non-verbal ‘reply’ to recent rumours of splits and rifts ‘seemed to have borrowed from the Prince Harry handbook of body language’.
The body language expert also told MailOnline that ‘like Harry at the Coronation, Phil adopted a jaunty, almost cocky air, using some overkill rituals and facial expressions and some status-and-power splaying to suggest resilience and defiance’.
Ms James said Holly ‘looked less comfortable, using some barrier rituals to suggest a cut-off from Phil, with the couple’s normal synchronicity falling apart at times’.
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on ITV’s This Morning today after rumours of a rift
Holly and Phil speak to The Virtues actress Niamh Algar on ITV’s This Morning today
Holly and Phil interview former BBC radio presenter Chris Moyles on ITV’s This Morning today
TV wildlife presenter and zoologist Megan McCubbin also joined Holly and Phil this morning
In addition, she said there ‘were moments of snappish verbal banter and even a couple of moments of what sounded like sarcasm from Phil to suggest a desire to either stand his ground or fight back’.
Prince Harry at Westminster Abbey for the Coronation of King Charles III on Saturday
On today’s This Morning, Holly and Phil hosted a segment on fake tans – while the show also discussed people’s embarrassing moments caused by their mobile phones.
And Ms James said: ‘Phil’s initial pose involved the wide splayed legs of a power pose with the hands stuffed in the pockets that would often hint at an inner desire to avoid or hide.
‘Swinging his arms to a Lulu song he looked to be in party mode and his smile at Holly looked more like a comedy grin than a sign of warmth and connection.
‘Their micro-gestures hinted at inner tension. Phil sucked his lips in before performing a tongue-poke of dislike or rejection at one point when Holly spoke and she was seen to rub her forehead, suggesting anxiety.
‘Phil bounced on his heels in a more cocky display and at one point his smile to camera looked more like a teeth-baring ritual, suggesting supressed anger.’
TV couple Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield appear on ITV’s This Morning today
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield host a feature on fake tan on ITV’s This Morning today
Ms James also claimed Phil ‘looked over-perky and when he listened to Gok Wan at one point he threw his head right back in a long, open-mouthed, pantomime-style laugh’.
She continued: ‘This neck-baring suggested confidence and a lack of inner fear and it lacked synchronicity with Holly’s less enthusiastic laugh.
‘Holly’s barrier gestures seemed to have increased, like an arm across her torso clasping the other wrist, and when she sat on high stools her legs were crossed away from Phil.
‘There was some finger-fiddling from her but when she turned to speak to Phil on the sofa she used an emphatic pointed index finger at him, which is often linked with an attack.
‘The ‘Who farted?’ moment when there was a loud fart noise as Holly was speaking about flatulent neighbours had Phil laughing childishly with a mouth smile of pure delight while Holly looked rather less amused.’
Holly and Phil became ‘great friends’ having first met on Dancing on Ice and they have presented This Morning together since 2009. She was also described as his ‘rock’ when he came out as gay live on This Morning in 2020.
But their relationship is said to have become strained in recent months. They came under fire when they were accused of skipping the queue to see the Queen lying-in-state last September.
Mr Schofield took three weeks off in March as his brother was convicted of child sex offences.
In his absence Holly was paired with Alison Hammond and ITV bosses were said to be overjoyed by their chemistry and are now looking for more opportunities to pair them up.
And Holly, 42, has reportedly made it clear she wants to remain hosting the ITV daytime show if Phil, 61, ever expressed an interest in leaving.
An insider told The Sun: ‘Holly adores This Morning and for the first time in 14 years she has made it clear that should Phil ever leave she would want to stay. They are separate entities. It has become an open secret that things aren’t as rosy as they once were.
‘To those around them on set, it has become clear recently that Holly and Phil are not as close as they once were. Professionally you would have no idea there was anything going on because on camera they are acting exactly the same, but behind the scenes their relationship has cooled.’
The same sources said that Holly and Phil’s banter and ‘camaraderie’ off-camera was not the same and had ‘dwindled’.
An insider also claimed that the pair do not often speak to each other unless on camera while hosting This Morning.
Another insider added: ‘It has become an open secret that things aren’t as rosy as they once were, Holly however has made her position clear and that is that she wants to remain at the heart of This Morning.’
Phil has had a tumultuous few months, taking a break from work when his brother was convicted of child sex offences.
Issues are said to have been going on for some time behind the scenes on the show and the pair are reportedly more distant than they once were.
MailOnline has contacted Holly and Phil’s representatives for comment. ITV declined to comment.
Holly and Phil faced a backlash over claims they ‘skipped the queue’ at Westminster Hall to see the Queen lying in state
Schofield returned to This Morning after three weeks and thanked viewers for their support after his brother was convicted of child abuse
‘Not as close’: The duo have presented This Morning together for 14 years but their relationship has reportedly come under strain in recent months
The presenting duo have worked together for more than a decade after Holly took over from Fern Britton as Phil’s co-host back in 2009.
Holly joined the This Morning team three years after she started hosting Dancing On Ice in 2006, while Phil first appeared on the chat show four years earlier in 2002.
Holly and Phil have since left viewers in hysterics with their on and off-screen antics.
They have previously spoken about their close bond and have gushed over how This Morning is a ‘family’ to them rather than just a job.
After returning to the show following his annual summer holiday last August, Phil described the show as a ‘support group’ for him.
‘It’s like ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!’ Everyone knows everything about everybody, and that’s nice… so I always miss that friendship group,’ he explained.
‘This Morning is more than just a show, it’s such a lovely group of people to come to work with and you do miss that – it’s not really a job.
‘It’s more than a job, it’s much much more than that… and I’m not gonna lie, This Morning is one of my support groups and that’s a lovely thing to have.’
Holly echoed Phil’s sentiments as she described the show as ‘one big family’.
Gushing over their friendship, Phil previously described his co-host as ‘sensitive, kind, intuitive, spiritual, and a friend’, while Holly called him ‘playful, very loyal, kind, very funny, and a friend’.
The presenting duo (pictured in November 2009) have worked together for more than a decade after Holly took over from Fern Britton as Phillip’s co-host back in 2009
Holly and Phillip (pictured in 2012) have previously spoken about their close bond and have gushed over how This Morning is a ‘family’ to them rather than just a job
The pair (pictured in 2012) have left viewers in hysterics with their on and off-screen antics
They are notorious for their amusing antics on the breakfast show, sending fans into fits of laughter as they arrived to the show in the clothes from the night before following a boozy night at the National Television Awards back in 2016.
And the pair reflected on their raucous antics back in 2019, when they nostalgically marked their 10th anniversary together on This Morning.
Marking the milestone, Phil said at the time: ‘They always say ”time flies if you’re having fun” and we have such a ball, such fun together and so the time has whizzed by.
While Holly added: ‘It doesn’t feel like 10 years. It’s gone super-duper fast, but it’s been so amazing. The best mark I’ve got of that time is that it’s the same age as [my son] Harry.
‘So, as I’ve watched him grow, I know how long I’ve been on This Morning, so that’s always a visual reminder of how long I’ve been there.’