This Morning’s Holly and Phil enjoy onscreen hug for the first time in two years

This Morning hosts and best friends Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield were overjoyed to have their first proper on-screen hug in nearly two years.

On Monday 28 February’s episode of the ITV show, Holly, 40, and Phillip, 60 explained it was their first show together since Covid-19 regulations had been lifted.

To celebrate the fact they no longer have to social distance or sit two metres apart from one another on the show’s famous sofa, Holly told viewers: "Welcome back. Now, with global travel restrictions coming to an end, it's set to be the year of the long haul holiday."

Her co-host Phillip then put his arm around best mate Holly's shoulder, while continuing: "Also the [perspex] screens came down on Dancing on Ice last night… And this is the closest we've been on the telly."

The pair then embraced and cuddled one another tightly, as Holly revealed her excitement, saying: "Look at that!"

However, the mum of three did let slip that it wasn’t the first time she and Phil had enjoyed a hug in recent months, as they'd safely done so behind the scenes.

She revealed: "We've had a few little cuddles off set, we have. But this is the first time on screen that we're allowed, so that was nice."

"It feels very nice," Phil agreed, as the pair jokingly rubbed shoulders, showing they could now stand next to each other.

This comes after Holly and Phil, who also present Dancing on Ice alongside one another, got around strict Covid rules back in September 2020 by hugging through a perspex screen.

The Covid-friendly embrace using the ‘cuddle curtain’ came six months into the pandemic.

The duo previously opened up on the reason they weren’t allowed to hug on-screen, despite relaxed regulations.

On an episode in May 2021 after the government announced that the public could partake in “cautious hugging,” Phil explained: "Today marks the third step in the government's road out of lockdown, including 'cautious hugging'."

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He continued: "Sadly, Holly and I will have to wait a little bit longer for our first hug, because hugging isn't permitted in the workplace," Phil added.

Holly was equally unimpressed and she said” "This is so rubbish! Geographically, we can't hug here."

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