THIS is the toe-curling moment Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield burst out laughing as they discussed office politics and workplace bullying amid reports of a “toxic” environment on the show.
The presenters – whose relationship is said to be cooling – were joined by the stars of new drama Sticks and Stones on This Morning who revealed the plot behind the three-part psychological thriller.
Talking over each other as they excitedly spoke about the teaser clip, Holly said: “Oh that’s intense. Are you going to watch? I’m going to watch!”
Phil and Holly then bent over laughing after actor Ben Miller said it looked better than he thought.
“It’s bullying, but it’s so clever because it’s really deniable bullying,” explained Ben.
“It’s not the sort of thing you could ever prove.
“It feels like a thriller because you’re thinking, ‘is he going to stand up to these people or not?’
“Then you start wonder whether he should have stood up to them. Should you meet bullying with essentially bullying itself?”
Describing Ben’s character Carter, Phil says: “It’s all ‘bants’, but without realising how it lands.”
Introducing Ben’s co-star Susannah Fielding, Phil then adds: “Meanwhile your character Isobel is a powerful woman who knows what she wants and is very ambitious. She appears to be his ally.”
Susannah said: “There are a lot of scenes where you think Isobel is helping him, but in Thomas’ mind he then starts to wonder if even that’s real.”
Holly added: “Right, I see. Even just watching the promo then you can feel the intensity of it.”
Ben added that everyone on the TV set was being extra nice because they were making a drama about bullying.
“It really makes you think about the way you deal with people at work. When I ask them to do something, am I asking them in a way that’s respectful? Or am I asking in a way that’s abusing my power.
“We’re all having these debates about how we want to be with each other, questioning all kinds of authority…” before being cut off by Holly who explained the drama was written by Doctor Foster writer Mike Bartlett.
Susannah added: “It’s a super relevant show, isn’t it?”
This Morning viewers cheekily agreed, with one saying: “How ironic! New drama ‘Sticks and Stones #justsayin #ThisMorning.”
It comes after we reported Phillip is at the centre of a civil war at This Morning, with a series of presenters unhappy about the host’s attitude behind the scenes.
Eight star ITV presenters have also spoken out about what they describe as a “toxic” environment on the show.
And This Morning’s Friday presenter Ruth Langsford has made a complaint about Phillip after he abruptly cut her off live on Loose Women.
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ITV bosses have even considered replacing Phillip on This Morning with Ben Shephard after he showed great chemistry with Holly in the past.
ITV insists Schofield is the target of “malicious gossip”.
A show spokeswoman said: “This is absolutely not a description of This Morning we recognise.”
Published at Tue, 10 Dec 2019 04:01:00 +0000