Holly Willoughby is "rallying around" Phillip Schofield after Eamonn Holmes' "below the belt" comments about him over the weekend.
Eamonn, 62, gave an interview to Daily Mail's Weekend magazine, in which he claimed Phillip, 59, was "renowned for snubbing people" following reports of a feud between the This Morning host and Eamonn's wife Ruth Langsford, 61.
But a source tells OK! that 41 year old Holly felt the need to "defend" Phillip as he celebrates 40 years on TV.
The source tells us: "Phil's This Morning family are rallying around him after the comments, none more so than Holly.
"Despite not always seeing eye to eye, Holly knows she owes a lot to Phil and she'll always be grateful for the way he took her under his wing when she first joined This Morning and how he fought for her to be his co-presenter on the show.
"It's no secret there is no love lost between Phil and Eamonn but Holly felt she had to defend her 'work husband' after all the support he's shown her over the years, particularly on the week he celebrated 40 years in showbiz.
"She thought the comments were very below the belt," the source added.
Eamonn's controversial interview saw the star asked about a clip of Phillip cutting off his wife Ruth Langsford during a live link to Loose Women.
He replied: "Phillip is renowned for snubbing people.
"He's very passive-aggressive. It's up to Ruth to say how she felt, but I was feeling hurt for her. No one would have snubbed me like that.
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Eamonn continued: "I have a good Belfast street fighter in me… I would be direct. I don't go for presenters who think they have a special privilege or aura or influence."
Holly seemingly jumped to Phillip's defence this week, saying in a video message for Phillip to coincide with his 40th anniversary: "Without a doubt, it if wasn't for you, there is no way that I'd be doing This Morning today and I came onto the show and I was green and new.
"I knew how to do a bit of telly because I'd done Saturday morning but This Morning is a huge, grown-up, important, big telly show and I just sat there like a sponge and absorbed everything and learn everything.
"[Phillip is] so generous, so kind, so patient, willing to guide me through.
"He still does it now, I'll still look at him and go, 'You do this bit,' and he never looks at me like, 'Really? Come on.'"
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