Phillip Schofield, 61, apparently phoned up This Morning co-star Holly Willoughby, 42, following her “deafening silence” in response to reports that a rift has been growing between them for some time.
The ITV star issued a long statement yesterday, where he insisted that while “things have not been easy” for the pair in recent times, he still considers her “my rock”.
However, according to the latest reports, it seems Phillip confronted Holly over the phone following fears he could be axed from his long-time gig on This Morning.
A source has claimed: “Phil loves This Morning, it’s his life and he wants to stay. He is scared he’s going to be pushed out over what’s happened.
“Phil said he’s going to fight to keep his job but he’s under no illusion he has become deeply unpopular with some people on the show and some sections of the public.
“His relationship with Holly had become more distant recently but Phil had no idea it would all become so public and that she wanted to strike out alone,” the source told the Sun.
Holly has chosen not to speak publicly on the matter, despite Phillip releasing a lengthy statement, where he praised Holly for all of her support.
A pal added to the paper: “Phil put out that statement saying Holly was his best friend in the hope it would prompt her to do the same.
“To Phil, her silence is deafening. He feels blindsided, betrayed and has been left really upset by it all.”
While another source added: “Things have been difficult between them, but for it to play out so publicly was the last thing Phil was ever expecting.
“He has spoken with Holly over the phone about how this all played out. He’s devastated by it all and is incredibly upset.”
Express.co.uk has contacted Phillip and Holly’s representatives for comment.
The news comes after Express.co.uk learned Phillip’s statement may be a sign he is “possessive” of his ITV pal, according to an expert.
Dr Sandra Wheatley, a chartered member of the BPS and social psychologist working as a consultant for Potent, gave her opinion on the emotional statement in an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk.
Analysing the part of the statement where Phillip claims “Holly is my rock”, Dr Wheatley explained: “What he is doing here is reaffirming, if you want to put a positive spin on it, that he depends on her.
“That they have been close historically and that he feels they should continue to be close.”
However, she went on to suggest: “In a way it’s kind of like he’s possessive of her if you look at it from a more negative perspective.”
Express.co.uk contacted Phillip’s representatives for comment earlier today.