Phillip Schofield has defended "magnificent" Eamonn Holmes after the Belfast man was criticised on social media for lighthearted remarks he made on This Morning after his colleague revealed he was gay.
Schofield, who has been married for nearly 27 years, announced the news on Friday morning with a statement posted on Instagram.
After going live on air with co-presenter Holly Willoughby for a special episode of This Morning, the pair were joined by Eamonn and his wife, Ruth Langsford, who present the show on Fridays.
Despite recent rumours of a rift on the This Morning team, Eamonn and Ruth hugged Phillip and Holly, with the Belfast-born presenter offering his support to Phillip.
But the This Morning presenter took to Twitter to defend Eamonn for remarks he made about the announcement after they prompted a backlash from viewers.
Eamonn said: "Nobody should be embarrassed about their sexuality. It's fantastic that you have spoken out and there's so many people who will be strengthened by what you said."
But he admitted "disappointment" at the big announcement.
He said: "The second thing is, there's this great imponderable in life, which has always irritated me. I thought, 'How come he can sit in a hot tub with Holly 'Willoughbooby' and Steph [Phillip's wife] doesn't have a problem and Dan [Holly's husband] doesn't have a problem?"
This Morning viewers felt the comments were clumsy and insensitive after the heartfelt disclosure.
Phillip took to Twitter to defend Eamonn, praising the presenter and his wife Ruth for their support.
1/2 Can I just say that @EamonnHolmes & @RuthieeL were utterly magnificent with me today, privately downstairs just the three of us and upstairs in front of the world. I couldnât have hoped for a better, calming and loving set of hugs and support, I adore them both.
Video grab taken from ITV of TV presenter Phillip Schofield on ITV's This Morning being hugged by Eamonn Holmes after his announcement that he is gay. PA Photo. ITV/PA Wire
"This is a man who was in pain, who today confided in Ruth and I and who knows we stand in support of him, his family and his sexuality. Also unlike some, he appreciated a laugh to break the tension. @Schofe hoping you find happiness."
One Twitter user branded the presenter an "absolute a******".
"That wasn’t funny... get off my TV. @ITV how does he get away with this?" she tweeted.
Another said: "But honestly Eamonn, that was disgusting. Using his moment to be a creep about "sitting in a hot tub with Holly", and how now he knows why his wife was okay with it.
"You ruined this sweet moment by turning it into something sleazy. You should be ashamed."
Another viewer agreed, writing: "Eamonn Holmes, foot ankle-deep in mouth, crashing in to stomp clumsily all over the moment in true Eamonn Holmes style."
But others thought it was "hilarious" and applauded Eamonn for lightening the mood.
One viewer branded said those who were angry at the remarks were "absolute wet blankets".
"Stunning moment on @thismorning with@Schofe and @hollywills. Also, brilliant veteran presenting from @EamonnHolmes, breaking the ice and giving everyone a smile at the end," another Twitter user wrote.