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This Morning: The most-talked-about controversies to ever hit the ITV show

'Feuds', a 'race row' and Kerry 'slurring'

This Morning has been on our screens since 1988 and, in its 23-year history, it’s fair to say the show has had its fair share of controversies.

Most recently, Phillip Schofield shocked the nation when he can out as gay live on air.

But he’s not the only member of the This Morning family to have fallen foul when it comes to controversy – so too have Alison Hammond, Eamonn Holmes and Holly Willoughby.

Read on for all the details – including Phil’s infamous “list of paedophiles” that he brandished live on air!

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Phillip Schofield announced he was gay on social media before an emotional interview on This Morning (Credit: ITV)

This Morning controversies: Phil comes out

Phil had been married for almost 27 years when he dropped the bombshell that he was gay.

He broke the news ahead of the show on February 7 2020, before opening up some more in a live interview on This Morning with co-host and friend Holly.

During the emotional interview, he admitted: “I feel a little lighter but I’m also very, very aware, there’s no question it causes pain and upset.”

Speaking about wife Stephanie Lowe, Phil said he was aware she was watching at home with their daughters.

“We’ve been honest and open… Steph…  I can’t write in any statement what I feel about that woman. She’s amazing, she’s incredible.

“There is no one in my life who would have supported me the way… as a wife, as the way she’s supported me. She’s astonishing, literally astonishing,” he said.

The TV veteran was inundated with support after the interview, and co-hosts Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford were also on hand with hugs for Phil.

The move ended what had been claimed as a “feud” between Ruth and Phil.

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Viewers claimed Ruth and Phil put an end to their alleged ‘feud’ after his coming out interview (Credit: ITV)

Ruth and Phil’s ‘feud’ explained

Rumours were flying back in 2019 that Ruth had made a complaint about Phil.

Viewers were convinced they’d seen the moment that started the “feud” during Phil’s cross to Loose Women.

Ruth was seen trailing that morning’s episode of Loose Women, before Phil interrupted her and cut the segment short.

Appearing to slam down her pen, Ruth could be heard to say: “I only had about two more words to say but don’t worry.”

ITV denied reports of a rift behind the scenes at This Morning, but it was claimed that Ruth “made an official complaint” about Phil.

Not only that, it was claimed that a number of staff allegedly spoke of a “toxic atmosphere” on set – something both ITV and Phil denied.

Taking to Twitter in the June of that year, Phil tweeted to say: “The end of another really sad weekend.

“When you try for 35 years to be the easiest, most fun person to work with and you read such hurtful and wildly untrue stories from nameless ‘sources’.

“Obviously I’ll take it on the chin.. I just hope you know me better.”

Holly was also embroiled in the rumours and detailed the “difficult time” she had following claims she too was “feuding” with Phil.

In a statement, ITV said: “Holly and Phil are great friends both on and off screen and are popular among viewers and colleagues alike.”

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Eamonn and Ruth were sensationally axed from the show (Credit: ITV)

Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford axed from This Morning

Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes were regular presenters of the Friday show for years.

However, it all came crashing down when the pair were sensationally axed at the end of 2020.

Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary were then announced as hosts of the Friday show.

The decision saw droves of viewers threaten to “switch off”, so what really happened?

Ruth and Eamonn were reportedly fearful of the axed when claims that ITV was undergoing a “diversity drive” came to light.

Eamonn took to Twitter after the official This Morning account broke the news.

He said: “It’s a changing of the guard on Fridays from January.

“We hope you make Alison and Dermot as welcome as you’ve made us over the years. Have a ball you two!

Read more: Phillip Schofield ‘hasn’t been in touch’ with Eamonn Holmes following This Morning departure

“It’s not Goodbye from us, it’s simply Au Revoir until the next half term.”

However, Eamonn recently quit the show for GB News, with wife Ruth remaining with ITV on This Morning and Loose Women.

Loose Women star Gloria Hunniford also revealed that Eamonn and Ruth were finding it “very difficult” to understand the changes to the show.

She said: “I don’t fully understand the reasons behind it.

“I’ve talked to Eamonn since, and he’s clearly disappointed. I think they find it very difficult to understand why the change.”

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Amanda Holden has said she has offered Phil an olive branch (Credit: ITV)

Phillip Schofield’s ‘feud’ with Amanda Holden

According to reports back in 2018, Amanda Holden was said to be furious that Phil had supposedly stopped her from filling in for Holly Willoughby, while she was in Australia filming for I’m A Celebrity.

The BGT judge had previously joined Phil on This Morning back in 2014, when Holly was on maternity leave, so had become a regular fixture and certainly made her mark.

Speaking about her stint with him, Phil said Amanda had “kept him on his toes”.

He told Heat: “She has a faulty edit button and she forgets she’s on the telly, which is enormously endearing and funny, but occasionally quite scary.”

When it emerged that Holly was set to replace Ant McPartlin in the jungle, Amanda was convinced she would be sworn in as stand in like she had before.

But she was wrong.

Rochelle Humes was announced as the official stand in for Holly.

According to a former daytime TV executive, Phil had insisted that the former Saturdays singer join him. And this is said to have put Amanda’s nose totally out of joint.

“Phillip actively campaigned for Rochelle Humes to get the job – despite Amanda being more experienced — and having been told privately she’d got the gig,” the telly snitch told The Sun on Sunday.

“She feels Phil unfairly used his powers of persuasion. She was told he’d chosen Rochelle because she was easier to ‘manage’ on air. And understandably that incensed her.”

Are Amanda and Phil friends now?

In 2019, Amanda revealed to her Heart FM co-host Jamie Theakston that she had tried to make things up with Phil.

When news of the alleged “feud” came out, Amanda said that it “wasn’t nice to wake up to those headlines this weekend”.

Co-host Jamie then asked her if she had approached Phil to discuss their problems, and she claimed: “Yes, I texted him recently but didn’t get a text back.”

Phil, on the other hand, rubbished reports of a rift, saying the tabloids have “got it in for me”.

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Kerry Katona said she wanted to kill herself after her This Morning interview (Credit: ITV)

Kerry Katona slurs during interview

One of the most controversial moments in the show came in 2008, the Kerry Katona was interviewed by then hosts Phillip Schofield and Fern Britton.

During the interview, Kerry – who has struggled with drink and drug addiction – appeared to be slurring her words, which left the nation concerned for her.

It sparked rumours that Kerry’s speech was affected due to her being intoxicated, however, she said it was down to her bipolar medication.

Speaking last year, Kerry said she thought about taking her own life in the aftermath of the interview.

She confessed that she finds it bizarre that Phil and Fern never asked about her mental health.

Instead she was quizzed about her drink and drug addiction.

She told the Marnie’s Home Truth’s podcast: “Never once did they say to me: ‘Oh, oh right – what’s bipolar and what’s the medication you’re taking?’ I didn’t get any of that.

“Next day, the front page of the papers: ‘Sherry Kerry’, ‘Merry Kerry’. It was just awful. I was suicidal. I wanted to die, I wanted to kill myself. It was everywhere.

“That was pure bipolar medication. Cocaine doesn’t make you slur. I was never a really big drinker if I’m brutally honest. It was always the drugs for me.

“I never told anybody I had bipolar. I was diagnosed in 2005. My psychiatrist said to me: ‘Don’t tell the public you’ve got mental health issues because they won’t understand it.’”

Are Kerry and Phil friends now?

Kerry went on to insist there’s no bad blood between her and Phil.

Read more: From kitchen fires to split pants, meet the This Morning chefs

“I mean I get on great with Phillip now, and he’s been absolutely lovely. I think we’ve all learnt a lot with regards to mental health. A hell of a lot.

“But even up until last year, that interview stuck with me,” she said.

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Phillip reportedly ended up out of pocket after his ‘peadophiles list’ stunt went wrong (Credit: ITV)

Phil produces his ‘list of paedophiles’

Back in 2012 Phil was reportedly disciplined by ITV for passing a list of alleged paedophiles to David Cameron.

However, the 10-second stunt reportedly ended up personally costing him tens of thousands of pounds.

Phil presented a list he’d obtained from the internet of names of five former politicians apparently connected to the North Wales child abuse scandal.

But a technical fault was blamed when it accidentally flashed up on screen. This meant one name was visible to over a million viewers.

It was reported that Phil agreed to split the £125,000 damages plus legal costs, meaning he lost at least £62,500.

A source told the Daily Mail at the time: “Phil was aware his job was on the line. He felt very grateful to ITV for the significant public support they showed him at the time when there were many calls for him to be sacked.

“Obviously £60,000 is a significant amount of money, even for someone making as much as him.

“It shows how seriously he took the situation, but he has no plans to speak publicly about it. He wants to move on.”

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Meghan Markle’s insistence of no photos at Wimbledon led to a race row for Eamonn Holmes (Credit: Splash News)

Eamonn Holmes under fire for ‘racist’ Meghan Markle comment

Former This Morning host Eamonn reportedly came in for a telling off from bosses over a comment he made about the Duchess of Sussex.

The alleged dressing down came after comments he made in July 2019 about Meghan not wanting to have her picture taken in the royal box at this year’s Wimbledon tournament.

He called Meghan “uppity” – a term that has racial connotations – and a viewer complained to Ofcom.

He said on the show: “If you have an uppity attitude, you’re only through the door two minutes and suddenly you’re sitting at Wimbledon and your royal protection are saying: ‘No photographs, no photographs!’”

As well as complaining to the broadcasting watchdog, the viewer also wrote to ITV’s head of diversity Ade Rawcliffe.

Historically, the word “uppity” was a slur used in 19th Century America to insult black people who “didn’t know their place”.

The word is now reportedly banned from the show and This Morning bosses are believed to have written to the viewer to apologise.

According to reports, the letter said: “Eamonn was unaware of the history of the term ‘uppity’ and how it could be interpreted when describing Meghan Markle.”

It added: “We are not saying that ignorance is in any way a defence. He was using the term to describe what he interpreted as arrogance.”

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Eamonn has now left the show for GB News (Credit: Splash News)

Alison Hammond misgenders Caitlyn Jenner

Alison Hammond can under fire from This Morning viewers following an accidental slip of the tongue back in November 2019.

Host Ruth Langsford corrected Alison after she twice misgendered I’m A Celebrity star Caitlyn Jenner as “he” during a segment previewing that night’s episode of the ITV reality series.

Speaking about Caityln’s banter with presenters Ant and Dec, Alison said viewers were “loving” the 70-year-old reality star.

“He keeps coming up with these Geordie sayings every time Ant and Dec come into the jungle,” she continued.

“So he’s officially a Geordie.”

Noticing the mistake immediately, Ruth jumped in: “She is very funny.

“She is very, very funny. She’s got wit.”

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Caitlyn Jenner was misgendered on the show by Alison Hammond (Credit: ITV)

Phil and Holly ‘cross the line’

Back in 2016, Phil and Holly turned up to work hungover as hell and proceeded to present the show.

The episode came after a particularly boozy night at the National Television Awards.

And, while viewers found the hungover pair hilarious, Phil has since admitted they “crossed the line” with their antics.

At the time, he said: “We’re in a mess. We can only apologise. We celebrated on behalf of every one of you.”

However, he has since said that the “stunt” did push things a little too far.

“That’s not a stunt we’d pull lightly, although we didn’t know we were doing it in the first place, it just sort of happened,” he said.

“I like to think we know where the line is. I do agree that we may have crossed the line. But it was a one-off.”

Phil added: “In all my time in TV, I’ve never done that before. I’ve done it hungover but I’ve never done it in that state.”

This Morning is on weekdays on ITV at 10am.

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