This Morning loses out on NTA’s Daytime award for first time after Phillip Schofield scandal
PHILLIP Schofield unfollowed ex-best pal Holly Willoughby — hours before This Morning lost out on the National TV Awards’ Daytime gong for the first time in 12 years.
Many blame the Schofield scandal for the show’s nosedive in popularity.
A source said: “This Morning have won the Daytime award for 12 years so to lose now is a real kick in the teeth.
“There is a feeling that all the scandal surrounding Phil and what happened has damaged the brand.
“It is so hard for the team behind This Morning because they work so hard.
“Holly is doing her best to get the public back onside but it will take a while for the show to get back its popularity. She’s key to the future of This Morning’s success.”
Phil, who was pictured the day before the awards leaving a London pub, stepped down in May after confessing he’d had an affair with a young runner.
Holly told The Sun she was keen to distance herself from the upset, adding: “It’s been a difficult year.
“People want to move on now. It feels different. If I am really honest, it has been up and down.
“But what’s lovely is you find that people rally around you and the goodwill is there.”
She returned to the show on Monday after a summer break and said she is keen for ITV bosses to give her a permanent co-host.
She added: “That would be lovely. A lot of people keep asking me and I guess I ask myself too.
“But the truth of it is, it is not really down to me.”
The actress, 58, welled up as she scooped the Best Drama Performance award for her epic portrayal of Sgt Catherine Cawood in the BBC1 police thriller.
The hit series also triumphed in the Returning Drama category following the sensational climax to its third and final series this year.
And former Corrie favourite Sarah was thrilled to land the prestigious Outstanding Contribution award at the end of the evening.
The emotional star said as she picked up her Happy Valley gong: “Thank you so much for this. I have adored every scene, every moment of Happy Valley. And I know I will never forget it.”
She paid tribute to co-stars James Norton and Siobhan Finneran and thanked show creator Sally Wainwright, adding: “She is what makes Happy Valley. Her writing is so extraordinary, her characters are extraordinary.”
Lancashire-born Sarah was also honoured for her stellar telly performances over the past four decades.
She first appeared as Rovers Return barmaid Raquel Wolstenhulme in 1991, turning her into one of Weatherfield’s best-loved characters.
Raquel married Curly Watts before Sarah decided to leave the ITV soap at the height of her fame in 1996.
She starred in a string of other major shows, including ITV’s Where The Heart Is and BBC1’s Last Tango in Halifax, which was also written by Wainwright.
They teamed up again for Happy Valley, which first aired back in 2014 and became an instant hit. Fans had to wait seven years for the final dramatic series, with more than 11.5million viewers watching the conclusion.
Co-star Norton was also nominated for Best Drama Performance as villain Tommy Lee Royce.
Phillip Schofield unfollowed ex-best pal Holly Willoughby hours before the awards show Credit: Splash