1ee-9650-e1a3619f4ee7" target="_self" rel="noopener">Holly Willoughby is spending half term more than a thousand miles away from the This Morning drama as she holidays with family in Portugal, it has been revealed.
The ITV star has been pictured out for dinner with her parents Linda and Brian, sister Kelly, and three children near to her £8million Algarve villa.
An onlooker said Willoughby, 42, appeared to be trying to stay under the radar, wearing a hat and sunglasses.
‘The area is a holiday hotspot for Brits, so she is probably worried about being asked about the This Morning scandal,’ they told The Sun.
‘At one point, Holly spoke at length to a waiter who it seemed like she knew personally.
‘She seemed to be having a great time – unlike her old pal Phillip.’
Holly Willoughby is spending half term more than a thousand miles away from the This Morning drama as she holidays with family in Portugal, it has been revealed (Pictured: Holly on a previous trip)
Holly Willoughby has been spotted on holiday in Portugal. She is pictured with Phillip Schofield on this Morning earlier this month
Schofield was seen today in London for the first time since quitting ITV and This Morning
Willoughby is believed to have spent the week in the 23C sun as the Phillip Schofield scandal deepens.
Willoughby is due to return to This Morning next Monday following the half-term break, having taken the early holiday when news of Schofield’s departure emerged.
Former ITV commercial director Ian McCulloch said although it appears she is ‘clinging on’, producers now need to make a clean break and ‘move the show on’.
Mr McCulloch, who left ITV in 2007 after 27 years with the broadcaster, told GB News today: ‘I do absolutely agree that none of the on-screen talent, well, those two, they cannot be associated with the show. She’s damaged goods.
The ITV star has been pictured out for dinner with her parents Linda and Brian (pictured together), sister Kelly, and three children near to her £8million Algarve villa.
Holly has often spent time with her mother Linda while taking a break from her life on TV
Holly has often posted photographs of herself and her mother to social media site Instagram
She has even mimicked her mother’s dress sense. For her 40th birthday (right) Holly wore a dark floral dress that her mother wore when she was younger (left)
Holly has even attended red carpet events with her mother. Pictured: Holly and Linda at the 2102 Pride of Britain Awards in London
Family: Holly is pictured with Terry in a beaming snap, which she previously shared to Instagram
‘They need a fresh start. I’m not sure that the talent that they’ve got, sort of running through at the minute, is the right talent. But I think the show is a good show, but you certainly can’t have those two.
It comes after former presenter Eamonn Holmes predicted that Willoughby, 42, will not return to the sofa on ITV’s daytime show following Schofield’s bombshell exit.
Schofield, 61, resigned from ITV on Friday and was dropped by his agency YMU after admitting to an ‘unwise, but not illegal’ affair with a younger male colleague.
Willoughby has been silent since putting out an Instagram statement on Saturday which said it had ‘taken time to process yesterday’s news’ following Schofield’s statement, adding: ‘When reports of this relationship first surfaced, I asked Phil directly if this was true and was told it was not. It’s been very hurtful to now find out that this was a lie.’
She is due to return to This Morning next Monday following the half-term break, but former presenter Eamonn Holmes predicted she will not return to the sofa following Schofield’s bombshell exit.
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on the sofa of ITV’s This Morning earlier this month
On Saturday, Willoughby wrote on Instagram that it had ‘taken time to process yesterday’s news’ following Schofield’s statement
Schofield was also today seen for the first time since he quit ITV nearly a week ago.
The former This Morning presenter was photographed being driven in London while sitting in the back seat of a car next to a woman believed to be his daughter Ruby.
The presenter was spotted as it was revealed Willoughby may be grilled by a top barrister over the scandal – and the show’s past and present presenting teams may also be quizzed about what they knew about his affair.
An ITV spokesman told MailOnline: ‘We would expect the KC to be able to ask to talk to anyone she considers relevant in order to conduct the review’.
In a humiliating climbdown after a crisis staff meeting, the broadcaster said it was bringing in a barrister to ‘carry out an external review to establish the facts’.
Since Schofield’s resignation, the show has been plagued by allegations of ‘toxicity’ – which has also impacted Willoughby’s standing.
Producers have also faced guests turning down offers to appear on This Morning – and its biggest sponsor, car dealer Arnold Clark, has confirmed it will not be renewing an existing multi-million-pound deal with the channel in autumn.
Yet Holly Willoughby is determined to fight to keep her spot on This Morning’s sofa and hopes to ‘ride out’ the ongoing scandal surrounding Phillip Schofield that has plunged ITV into a crisis, a source has claimed.
It comes amid fears that the programme will lose more of its advertisers as one insider said ‘brands do not feel ITV is a safe bet at the moment’.
Since Schofield dramatically left the programme earlier this month, photos of the long-time host have been removed from ITV studios in White City.
A large framed picture of Schofield which hung in TV Centre in London where the show is filmed was also removed.
All photos of Schofield are said to have been stripped out of the ITV studios following the star’s statement on Friday where he confessed that he lied to his employer ITV, to his colleagues, his friends and his agents at the management firm YMU about his relationship with the younger man.
Some have called for the mid-morning show to be cancelled all together, with the editor who launched it 36 years ago calling for it to ‘die with dignity’ yesterday evening.
She added: ‘The situation is very sad. Whatever has gone on, Phillip has been a stalwart presenter of the show.
‘I don’t think that Holly can hold this show on her own, not even with Alison Hammond which is said to be the favoured outcome. I don’t think Holly can handle it. Phil will be missed.’
As the scandal pushed into its third week, former This Morning star Dr Ranj slammed the ‘toxic’ culture at the ITV daytime show as the scandal at the programme continues into its third week.
The TV doctor, who left the show last year, claimed he was ‘managed out’ after taking his concerns to ‘the top’ of ITV, raising even more questions for bosses about whether they knew and when.
Dr Ranj – who is now the resident doctor on the BBC’s Morning Live – said he thought ‘long and hard’ before weighing in on the scandal currently engulfing ITV but decided to speak out ‘in light of recent events’.
And last night, sources told the Mail that the former production assistant insists ‘he was never asked’ about the romance with the former TV host, while another ITV insider said: ‘Everybody just knew about it’.
He wrote on Instagram: ‘I was on the show for 10 years and I genuinely loved and valued working there. However over time I grew increasingly worried about how things were behind-the-scenes and how people, including myself, were being treated.
‘I didn’t know the truth about what was going on with Phillip, but I do know the issues with TM go far beyond him. It takes more than one person to create a culture.’
ITV said it was ‘sorry’ to read Dr Ranj’s post, adding that its ‘fully committed to providing every opportunity for anyone who works with us to raise any concern or comments they may have’.
It’s statement continued: ‘Following a complaint made by Dr Ranj, we appointed an external and independent advisor to carry out a review. This external review found no evidence of bullying or discrimination.’