ITV viewers see parallels in Holly Willoughby and Jennifer Aniston’s The Morning Show statements

This Morning viewers have highlighted parallels between Holly Willoughby’s statement addressing Phillip Schofield’s scandal with that of Jennifer Aniston’s character on The Morning Show.

The presenter, 42, returned to ITV on Monday after two weeks off air and addressed her former co-host’s exit in an emotional monologue alongside Josie Gibson.

After delivering her statement, fans of the mid-morning stalwart stated that Willoughby’s words had striking similarities to the speech given by Aniston’s character, Alex Levy, in the opening episode of the AppleTV+ series.

The first season of The Morning Show focused on Aniston’s character in the wake of her co-anchor Mitch Kessler’s #MeToo scandal in which she addresses his exit in the opening episode.

Notably, Aniston’s character began her speech by telling herself to “stay strong” before speaking to viewers, while Willoughby opened her This Morning speech by telling herself “right, deep breath.”

The British TV star then asked if viewers at home “are OK” before adding, “I imagine that you might have been feeling a lot like I have – shaken, troubled, let down, worried for the wellbeing of people on all sides of what’s been going on, and full of questions.”

Willoughby appearing on Monday’s show alongside Josie Gibson (ITV)

The sentiments bear a resemblance to Alex Levy’s speech in which she checked in on fans, telling the camera: “And to you at home, I understand how you must be feeling because I and the whole team here at The Morning Show are feeling the same way.”

Both statements ended with the presenters’ joy at working on their respective shows as they looked to the future and overcoming the controversy.

Fans of the shows at home were quick to comment on the similarities on Twitter, with one viewer writing, “this is uncanny”.

“Anyone else getting Jennifer Aniston ‘The Morning Show’ vibes?” another commented.

A third claimed: “Holly literally gave Jennifer Aniston’s The Morning Show speech, I’m dying.”

“Something tells me Holly has been watching The Morning Show lol, that opening monologue came straight out of episode 1 or how fiction became reality,” another weighed in.

Last week, fans likened the ongoing scandal at This Morning to that of The Morning Show, even noting how Willoughby and Schofield featured in the background of a scene where the lead character is embroiled in a row with show bosses.

Sharing a screenshot of the scene, one viewer wrote: “Holly Willoughby is literally Jennifer Aniston in The Morning Show. A show that they also featured in the background on... full circle moment? Or subliminal messages?”

“Sorry but I haven’t seen anyone draw the obvious comparison between The Morning Show and This Morning stuff – very on the nose?” another tweeted.

A third added: “We’re basically watching The Morning Show in real life.”

“This whole This Morning drama feels like watching The Morning Show in real time,” another penned.

Willoughby’s return comes as the ITV show has been plagued by allegations of “toxicity”, including from former This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes who has alleged there was a “total cover-up” over the Schofield affair with a much younger male colleague.

The show’s former resident doctor, Dr Ranj Singh, also hit out at a “toxic” culture, saying he raised concerns about “bullying and discrimination” two years ago when he worked there and afterwards felt like he was “managed out” for whistleblowing.

In a letter from ITV boss Dame Carolyn McCall to Parliament on Wednesday, she said an external review conducted following a complaint made by Dr Ranj found “no evidence of bullying or discrimination”.

Meanwhile, former This Morning head of news Emily Maddick, who worked on the show from September to December 2019, claimed she quit the programme due to “bullying, sexism and a toxic culture of fear and intimidation”.

On Saturday, This Morning editor Martin Frizell told a Sky News reporter to “read between the lines” amid claims of toxicity, adding: “I think there’s some scores being settled.”

Dame Carolyn has been called to a parliamentary committee on June 14 to answer questions about the broadcaster’s approach to safeguarding and complaint handling following Schofield’s exit.

On Wednesday, she confirmed the broadcaster had instructed barrister Jane Mulcahy KC of Blackstone Chambers to carry out an external review of the facts.