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

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."

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.

"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."