EAMONN HOLMES has spoken out about criticism he faced after making a humorous remark to lighten the mood when Phillip Schofield came out as gay on This Morning, as the presenter admitted he made the joke to point out that “there are more important things in life to worry about”.
Eamonn Holmes, 60, has reflected on when he “got into trouble” with some This Morning viewers after making a joke about Phillip Schofield, 58, coming out as gay on the programme in February. The television and radio personality explained he was attempting to show that “there are more important things in life to worry about” at the time after Phillip became emotional as he shared his announcement with his co-host Holly Willoughby, 39.
Eamonn spoke about his decision to “throw a bit of humour” into the situation when he joined Holly and Phil on the This Morning sofa with his wife Ruth Langsford, 60, during an appearance on The Journey with Pete Snodden podcast.
He revealed: “Its amazing the amount of people who cant really understand when you throw a bit of humour into something, why you would do that.”
Eamonn then chuckled and admitted: “I do get into terrible trouble about things but I think, What are you talking about?
“When Phillip Schofield came out on This Morning and everybodys crying, and its all so horrible and awful or whatever it is.
“And I thought, Ill just lighten the mood here and I said, Well that explains a lot, and he said What? And I said, I used to say to Ruth, How does he get away with being in a hot tub with Holly Willoughby? You wouldnt let me do that.
“And I said, Now we know, now we know, and everybody starts laughing.”
Eamonn went on to insist Phillip was “appreciative” after he lightened the mood following the presenters tearful discussion with his friend and co-star Holly on the show.
The Northern Irish journalist continued: “But the amount of people who wanted to be offended by that, he was
“That was very much the Irish humour, the Irish banter.
“It doesnt mean you dont care, it just means that youre saying there are more important things in life to worry about.”
At the time, some This Morning fans branded Eamonns joke “tacky”.
One Twitter user wrote: “If Ive said it once Ive said it a thousand times: Eamonn Holmes ruins everything x.”
Another added: “A beautiful interview on #ThisMorning wrecked by Eamonn making a tacky hot tub joke.”
However, Phillip quickly took to Twitter to thank Eamonn and his wife Ruth for their support after he came out.
He wrote in view of his 4.5 million followers: “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 couldnt have hoped for a better, calming and loving set of hugs and support, I adore them both.”
In reference to the controversy caused by Eamonns joke, Phillip added: “And for the record, @EamonnHolmes made me laugh, he lightened a very emotional moment and Im very happy that he did.”
Phillip opened up about his sexuality on the show after sharing a lengthy social media statement praising his wife Stephanie Lowe and their two daughters for giving him “strength” to talk about it for the first time.
His Instagram post read: “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 has been consuming me for the last few years.
“With the strength and support of my wife and daughters, I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay.”