THIS Morning presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield hardly speak off-camera, The Sun can reveal.
Insiders say their 14-year relationship has “cooled off” as issues on the ITV show have “been rumbling for a while”.
A source said of Holly, 42, and Phil, 61, “If he left, she would want to stay.”
The couple have been presenting the hit ITV daytime show for 14 years, but their partnership has come under strain in recent months.
Sources say the issues have been quietly rumbling for some time and Holly has distanced herself from Phil off camera.
His absence following his pedophile brother’s recent court case has added to the strain.
A source said: “Holly loves This Morning and for the first time in 14 years she has made it clear that should Phil ever leave, she wants to stay. They are separate entities.
“It’s become clear to those on set of late that Holly and Phil aren’t as close as they used to be.
“Professionally you would have no idea anything was going on because they act exactly the same on camera.
“But behind the scenes, their relationship has cooled.
“There used to be a lot of banter and camaraderie off camera, but that’s waned.”
During their reign as the king and queen of daytime television, they won twelve National Television Awards.
But show staff say the two now appear to only speak to each other on camera.
The insider said: “Like any professional couple who have worked together for over a decade, Holly and Phil have gone through rough patches before.
“They used to always seem to keep going, but this time it seems different.”
Holly took over from Fern Britton in 2009.
Phil lobbied ITV bosses to bring them on board after they presented success with Dancing On Ice, which started three years earlier.
Their partnership also found success off the screen as they regularly vacationed with their extended families.
Holly also became Phil’s “rock” when he came out as gay live on This Morning in February 2020.
But the past year has been difficult for their partnership.
In September they were accused of skipping the line to see that The reclining queen.
The Bath undercover police officer was found guilty of 11 offenses involving a child between 2016 and 2019.
He is due to be sentenced next week.
During Phil’s absence, Holly was a partner Alison Hammond and Joel Dommett.
Fans applauded the fresh look and questions were raised about Phil’s return.
A source continued, “Holly has always been supportive of Phil, but they’re not Ant and Dec.”
“In the past year alone she has presented programs for ITV and the BBC and has more than proved her skills.
“This Morning is Holly’s home and she loves her job.
“Her bosses at ITV know that if Phil ever decides to move on, she would happily stay.
“Holly is focused on her career and doing her best for the fans. That’s what’s really important to her.”
Both Holly and Phil were present her comedian buddy Leigh Francis’ 50th birthday Last month.
They shared selfies from the night on their social media, but weren’t pictured together.
The insider added: “Holly and Phil have respect for each other and together they have a lot of history on screen.
“But it’s become an open secret that things aren’t as rosy as they used to be.
“However, Holly has made her position clear and wants to remain the focus of This Morning.”
Friends’ Road to Best TV Pairing
HOLLY and Phil formed a top TV double.
He transitioned from children’s BBC to game shows before joining This Morning in 2002.
She also got her start in children’s television, hosting The Voice and dating and reality shows.
Here’s how their partnership unfolded…
JANUARY 2006: Holly and Phil team up for Dancing On Ice.
SEPTEMBER 2009: Phil lobbies for Holly to join This Morning and she replaces Fern Britton.
NOVEMBER 2010: The pair win their first gong together and receive the TV Times Favorite Daytime Program award.
FEBRUARY 2011: Their first National Television Award win as a duo.
OCTOBER 2013: The pair are celebrating the 25th anniversary of This Morning with a live broadcast from the show’s original home at the Albert Dock.
SEPTEMBER 2014: Holly goes on maternity leave and is replaced by Amanda Holden.
JANUARY 2016: Holly and Phil make headlines by showing up to work after the party after the NTAs in their happy clothes from last night.
JANUARY 2018: They’re returning to Dancing On Ice to fuel the reboot.
DECEMBER 2020: At the request of fans, the duo will begin the “Christmas Day This Morning” special.
SEPTEMBER 2022: They come under fire for being accused of waiting in line for the filming of the Queen’s Lie.
MARCH 2023: Phil is taking a break from This Morning and Holly is paired with Alison Hammond.