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Phillip Schofield marks ‘weird’ birthday ‘lacking in hugs’ amid virus crisis

Phillip Schofield is celebrating his 58th birthday (Ian West/PA)
Phillip Schofield is celebrating his 58th birthday (Ian West/PA)

Phillip Schofield said he was celebrating a “weird” birthday that was “lacking in hugs” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The TV star marked his 58th birthday at the start of ITV’s This Morning.

The words “Happy Birthday Phillip!” were included in the opening credits and the Stevie Wonder song Happy Birthday played at the start of the show.

Schofield’s co-host, Holly Willoughby, said: “First on the agenda, happy birthday Phil.”

Referring to the caterpillar cake on the desk in between them, she said: “Obviously the shops are shut so we are limited with what we can get, however I do think you have the best birthday cake in the world.

“It’s a bit sad that you can’t have candles, because you can’t blow on it.”

She suggested that instead he “pick it up and eat it like a Swiss roll”.

Schofield said: “It’s a weird birthday, lacking in hugs, but I had a lovely Zoom with friends.”

He said he had enjoyed a birthday chat with friends including Christine Bleakley, Bradley Walsh, Davina McCall, Emma Bunton and Leigh Francis.

He added: “Next year’s will be a lot better.”

Willoughby said it would be the first episode of the show without any guests in the studio, with all of them appearing remotely.

Schofield expressed disappointment that his favourite Chinese food was being prepared on the show, adding: “And I can’t even smell it!”

Willoughby also shared a tribute to Schofield on Instagram, posting a photo of them giggling while taking a selfie together and writing: “Happy Birthday to this gorgeous man… @schofe love you to bits…”

It marks Schofield’s first birthday since he revealed he is gay.

In February, the TV star, who has been married for nearly 27 years, made the announcement in a message posted on Instagram.

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