Phillip Schofield defends Eamonn Holmes amid criticism of joke made after he came out as gay
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Phillip Schofield defends Eamonn Holmes amid criticism of joke made after he came out as gay

PHILIP SCHOFIELD has defended Eamon Holmes against criticism of a joke made by the Northern Irishman in the wake of his This Morning co-presenter’s announcement he is gay.

Schofield made a surprise appearance on Friday’s edition of This Morning in which he spoke candidly with co-host Holly Willoughby about the fact he had come to terms with his sexuality.

They were subsequently joined by co-presenters Holmes and Ruth Langsford who offered some kind words of support for their colleague.

However, some on social media took umbrage with the Belfast-born television host’s decision to make light of the situation with a couple of jokes.

Holmes quipped: "I am disappointed in a couple of ways. First of all, I thought you were going to come in and announce you had resigned and I could have your job, but that wasn't to be."

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He then continued to joke that it had a "great imponderable in life" that Schofield's wife and Holly Willoughby's husband never had "a problem" with the two sharing a hot tub on occasion.

In the wake of the criticism, Schofield has taken to Twitter to thank Holmes for lightening the mood in such raw emotional circumstances.

"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," he tweeted. "I couldn't have hoped for a better, calming and loving set of hugs and support, I adore them both.

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"And for the record, @EamonnHolmes made me laugh, he lightened a very emotional moment and I'm very happy that he did."

Holmes liked the tweet, and went on to post his own kind message of support writing: "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."