phillip-eamonn

Phillip Schofield defends Eamonn Holmes after he's criticised for inappropriate hot tub joke

The This Morning presenter came out as gay on Friday

Jenni McKnight

Phillip Schofield has defended his This Morning co-star Eamonn Holmes after he was accused of "ruining" his announcement that he is gay. The 57-year-old bravely opened up about his sexuality on Friday morning, sharing a post on social media before appearing on the ITV show alongside best friend and co-host Holly Willoughby. After he thanked his family at This Morning, Eamonn and his wife Ruth Langsford appeared on-screen to support their colleague. After praising Phillip for his bravery, Eamonn went on to joke about him spending so much time with Holly in a hot tub.

WATCH: Phillip Schofield make his announcement regarding his sexuality

"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 Willoughby and Steph doesn't have a problem and Dan [Holly's husband] doesn't have a problem,'" Eamonn said before Phil quickly changed the subject. Eamonn's joke didn't sit well with some viewers who accused him of ruining Phillip's moment. One wrote on Twitter: "A beautiful interview on #ThisMorning wrecked by Eamonn making a tacky hot tub joke," while another said: "Eamonn ruined a very heartfelt moment there #ThisMorning." However, the TV star later defended his friend, saying his jibe was some welcomed relief at "a very emotional moment".

"Can I just say that @EamonnHolmes & @RuthieeL were utterly magnificent with me today, privately downstairs just the three of us and upstairs in front of the world. I couldn’t have hoped for a better, calming and loving set of hugs and support, I adore them both," he wrote on Twitter, adding: "And for the record, @EamonnHolmes made me laugh, he lightened a very emotional moment and I’m very happy that he did."

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Phillip Schofield thanked Eamonn Holmes for making him laugh

MORE: Ruth Langsford warmly embraces Phillip Schofield as they put 'feud' aside on This Morning

Eamonn also shared a photo on the social networking site of him and Phillip embracing, which he captioned: "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."

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Phillip Schofield announced he is gay on Friday

MORE: Who are Dancing on Ice host Phillip Schofield's daughters?

The popular daytime presenter is married to Stephanie Lowe, with whom he shares two daughters, Molly, 27, and Ruby, 24. In his statement, he confessed he had been "consumed" by his sexuality for years, but later thanked fans for their support. He wrote on his Instagram Stories: "You will never know how important your support has been today. I've read as much as I can. Please, please, no matter your age or your thoughts, talk to someone. Don't let your head beat you and hopefully you'll find out that your friends and family have a remarkable ability to surprise you with their love and understanding. #Bekind."

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