Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield will both appear on This Morning tomorrow following two days of crisis talks, despite reports their friendship has completely broken down.
ITV have confirmed that despite the pair being at war with one another, they will attempt to put their differences aside for the show.
It has left staff at This Morning stunned, and fearing that it could end in disaster after tensions between the pair are said to have risen dramatically in recent weeks.
It was earlier revealed that Holly, 42, had reportedly begun contract negotiations with ITV bosses as she pushes for new terms following the breakdown of her friendship with Phillip, 61, whose future on the programme now hangs in the balance.
An insider claimed Mr Schofield has been nicknamed ‘The Grim Reaper’ on This Morning by some people who don’t get on with him.
It comes after it was revealed that it is ‘too late’ to save their friendship amid allegations Mr Schofield did not tell Ms Willougby that he was going off air earlier this year due to his brother being on trial for sexual offences against a teenage boy.
Holly Willoughby, 42, is said to have begun contract negotiations with ITV bosses as she pushes for new terms following the breakdown of her friendship with Phillip Schofield
The morning duo are to both appear on This Morning this week despite their ongoing feud, MailOnline understands
Sources at ITV say that both Ms Willoughby and Mr Schofield have been locked in discussions with bosses at the network since Friday. The network had previously refused to say whether either she or Mr Schofield will be on air this week.
It is understood that they both insisted on going on – leaving chiefs in a quandary over what to do.
However, some executives on This Morning fear that having both of them on will prompt questions from viewers over how genuine the programme will be.
One insider said: ‘This will seriously undermine the show and its reputation. How can they both go on and pretend to have a laugh and a joke together.
‘Their friendship used to be genuine but it isn’t anymore so surely they will be making fools of their audience. But the fact is that neither will back down and how can you just tell one of them they are to stay at home?
‘The headlines that will come from them being on together could really damage show and its brand.’
As the rift deepened, the This Morning presenter is said to have asked her team to reach out to ITV to negotiate a new contract in a bid to spur the channel into making a decision on the show’s future line-up.
Mr Schofield last week released a statement about their friendship without first consulting her, in which he admitted the last few weeks ‘haven’t been easy for either of us’.
As he made his statement, sources close to Ms Willoughby told MailOnline that she had no idea that Mr Schofield was going to make a statement. They added the first she saw of it was when it was published online.
Both presenters were said to be adamant they wanted to continue with the show
Fans of the pair have spotted tension between them in recent weeks as it is reported their friendship is essentially over
It has been claimed Mr Schofield did not tell Ms Willoughby about the allegations of child sex offences against his brother Timothy
Bosses are said to be in a major crisis, with reports Holly wants to pull the plug on their ITV partnership for good.
She previously put their growing differences aside because she felt strong loyalty towards her co-host, who was key to her landing the This Morning job in 2009.
They had previously been close friends, with Ms Willoughby being a ‘rock’ of support after her co-star came out as gay live on air.
A source close to Ms Willoughby on Saturday night told the Mirror: ‘Holly was considering her position on the show earlier this year, as she couldn’t see Phil being ousted.
‘But that is now a real possibility and she wants to see a decision made on both of their futures quickly. That is what is behind Holly asking her team to reach out to ITV – she is trying to move things forward.
‘There has been no bloodbath meeting yet, but that could well be to come. The sooner it happens, the sooner she can rebrand herself.’
Mr Schofield’s contract is up in September and This Morning’s editor Martin Frizell – formerly one of Mr Schofield’s biggest backers – is said to be ‘fed up of clearing up Phillip’s mess’. However, he still has high-level support elsewhere in ITV.
Ms Willoughby was photographed yesterday looking glum behind her dark glasses as she visited Hampshire.
The rift seems to mark the end of a friendship in which they would enjoy regular dinner dates at one another’s homes and go on holiday together.
A source close to Ms Willoughby told the Mail On Sunday: ‘Don’t be surprised if you never see them together again, apart from on camera. This has all been so heartbreaking for Holly, but she knows she has to stand on her own two feet and cut the strings.
The couple have worked together for years and used to be very close outside of the studio
A close source said: ‘Nobody ever thought it would end like this. They were part of one another’s families and they spent a lot of their weekends socialising’
‘Nobody ever thought it would end like this. They were part of one another’s families and they spent a lot of their weekends socialising. She has tried so hard.’
Insiders say the most likely outcome is that Ms Willoughby will front This Morning with her new friend Alison Hammond – who co-hosts the show on Fridays – or solo.
But it is understood there are no plans for ITV peace talks between the pair, who now are said to barely speak to one another off camera.
Amid fears their working relationship could end, a show source told The Sun: ‘Holly just wants Phil gone.’
The source also claimed that the atmosphere on set has become ‘shocking’, with some believing that mediation would be a good idea.
The presenting duo have worked together for more than a decade after Holly took over from Fern Britton as Mr Schofield’s co-host back in 2009.
Ms Willoughby joined the This Morning team three years after she started hosting Dancing On Ice in 2006, while Mr Schofield first appeared on the chat show four years earlier in 2002.
The presenting duo have since left viewers in hysterics with their on and off-screen antics, and they have been extremely close for many years.
ITV has been contacted for comment.