Eamonn Holmes has been slammed by fans for ‘ruining’ Phillip Schofield’s heartfelt announcement that he is gay on Friday’s episode of This Morning.
Viewers were left outraged after the Irish presenter, 60, made a ‘tacky’ hot tub joke and quipped that he thought he was getting his job just minutes after Phil, 57, broke down in tears live on television after coming out.
Phillip, who has been married to wife Steph for 27 years, revealed earlier on Friday in an emotional Instagram message that he is ready to ‘celebrate’ his sexuality after suffering years of ‘inner conflict’.
The television star then appeared on This Morning’s sofa on Friday to be interviewed by his best friend and co-host Holly, 38, as the two broke down in tears over the heartfelt announcement.
After Phillip’s emotional interview, Eamonn and wife Ruth Langsford, who present the Friday show, joined the duo on the sofa as they warmly hugged and congratulated the star.
Showing their support to the ITV presenter, Eamonn said: ‘Nobody should be embarrassed about their sexuality.’
To which Phillip awkwardly responded: ‘I’m not,’ with Eamonn adding: ‘It’s fantastic you have spoken. We are all here by your side. We will be the first to stand beside you. It’s brilliant, mate, as long as Steph and the girls are happy.’
Eamonn went on to joke that he was told the television star would be making an announcement and he thought he would be resigning so he could get his job.
He quipped: ‘I am disappointed in a couple of ways, first of all, I thought “big announcement from Phillip” I thought you were going to come in and announce you had resigned and I would take your job, so that wasn’t to be.’
While he went on to joke about Phillip spending so much time with Holly in a hot tub, even poking fun at her ‘Willoughbooby’ nickname.
He added: ‘The second is there’s this great imponderable in life, which has always irritated me, I thought, “How come he can sit in a hot tub with Holly Willoughbooby and Steph doesn’t have a problem and Dan [Holly’s husband] doesn’t have a problem.”
‘I thought, she [pointing to wife Ruth]would have a problem, I thought “no, no”.
Phil was quick to change the subject, as he added: ‘This [Holly] is the sister I never had,’ with Holly adding: ‘We are very lucky, very blessed.’
Following the interview, Eamonn took to Twitter to publicly show his support for Phil, writing: ‘A picture paints a thousand words.
‘This is a man who was in pain, who today confided in Ruth and I and who knows we stand in support of him, his family and his sexuality… Also unlike some, he appreciated a laugh to break the tension. @schofe hoping you find happiness.’
Viewers had been quick to slam Eamonn over his insensitive comments and even accused him of ‘ruining’ Phil’s heartfelt announcement.
One person said: ‘Eamonn being Eamonn and saying he wondered how Phil’s wife wasn’t worried that he worked alongside Holly so much. And now it makes sense because Phil is gay. [face palm emoji]#ThisMorning.’
A different user put: ‘A beautiful interview on #ThisMorning wrecked by Eamonn making a tacky hot tub joke,’ followed by a glaring emoji.
Another follower commented: ‘Eamonn ruined a very heartfelt moment there #ThisMorning.’
While a different account added: ‘But honestly Eamonn, that was disgusting. Using his moment to be a creep about “sitting in a hot tub with Holly”, and how now he knows why his wife was okay with it.
‘You ruined this sweet moment by turning it into something sleazy. You should be ashamed. #ThisMorning.’
Yet not all viewers were outraged and some fans defended Eamonn, insisting that he was just trying to ‘lighten the mood’.
One person said: ‘I thought that was hilarious, coming out as should be treated as a everyday natural thing, so Eamonn acting normal and having friendly banter with his friends is the perfect reaction.’
Another show watcher put: ‘Eamonn Holmes lifting the mood perfectly- saying he always wondered how Phillip got away with getting in a hot tub with Holly and their partners not kicking off [crying laughing emojis]High 5 to #PhillipSchofield #ThisMorning.’
While a different account added: ‘Good ol Eamonn Holmes “I thought the big news was that you were going to resign” ROFL #phillipschofield #ThisMorning.’
MailOnline has contacted ITV for comment.
Also during Friday’s This Morning, Ruth threw her arms around Phillip as they appeared to put their feud to bed after he came out as gay.
Following his announcement, Ruth, 59, and Eamonn, 60, joined Phil and Holly on screen and offered them both a hug before sitting down on the sofa.
After wrapping her arms around Phil, Ruth could be heard asking him if he felt ‘better’ after telling viewers the truth about his sexuality, which he claimed had been ‘filling his head’ for a long time now.
During his impassioned announcement, Phil revealed that he was getting to the stage where he ‘no longer liked himself’, which may have been a reference to his ongoing row with Ruth.
Ruth is said to have previously made a formal complaint against him due to the ‘toxic’ backstage atmosphere the alleged feud has created.
However it seems judging by their friendly display during the latest episode of the daytime TV show that their bitter feud has been dispelled by Phil’s announcement.
Moments before the show, Phil took to his Instagram Story to share a lengthy statement about how he has decided to come out as gay.
Beginning the statement, Phil penned: ‘You never know what’s going on in someone’s seemingly perfect life, what issues they are struggling with, or the state of their wellbeing – and so you won’t know what he has been consuming me for the last few years.
‘With the strength and support of my wife and my daughters, I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay.’
Ruth and Eamonn have reportedly been involved in a high-profile rift with Phil, after he interrupted her while she was presenting a preview for the show via a video link-up last year.
Reports have long been rife about troubles between the TV hosts, with the latest detail of the story claiming Amanda Holden headed to the top by lobbying ITV executives over the animosity after Phil allegedly pushed for Rochelle Humes to take the job.
Last year, Phil was accused of creating a ‘toxic atmosphere’ for his This Morning co-stars, with allegations of ongoing spats with Holly and stand-in hosts Ruth and Eamonn.
It is claimed eight different ITV presenters have broken their silence regarding Phillip’s attitude, while Ruth is thought to have made a formal complaint to ITV’s new head of daytime TV Emma Gormley.
It followed an incident in April which saw Phillip interrupt Ruth while she was presenting a preview of Loose Women during This Morning.
As This Morning scooped top prize in the Live Magazine Show category at the NTAs, Ruth, who was seated behind Phillip and Holly with her co-presenter Eamonn, made her way to the stage at London’s O2 Arena.
And viewers couldn’t help but point out the ‘frosty’ and ‘awkward’ interaction between the TV personalities, following reports that Ruth filed a formal complaint with ITV bosses in December about Phil.