HOLLY Willoughby comforted political heavyweight Andrew Neil as he started crying on This Morning today.
The veteran broadcaster thanked hosts Holly and Phillip Schofield for their “kindness” as he shared a rare moment of emotion on the ITV lunchtime show that also left viewers welling up.
The 72-year-old had joined the programme live in the studio to discuss the day’s news but took a moment to show his appreciation to Holly and Phil for inviting him on.
The former BBC journalist said: “Listen, I wanted to come on today to thank you.”
The hosts were taken off-guard by the comment, as Holly, 40, replied: “Oh well, thank you!”
Phil then asked: “What do you want to thank us for?”
Andrew replied: “Just for being so kind.”
He was unable to say more, and so Phillip stepped in and said: “Andrew, that’s a lovely thing to say, and good luck on Sunday!”
“You are soft sometimes,” Holly added placing a hand on her chest.
Andrew is known as one of the country’s most well-respected journalists, famous for grilling politicians in ferocious, no-holds-barred interviews.
Viewers also reacted to the sweet moment, with one tweeting: “It just shows how Covid has effected everyone. To see @afneil so close to tears was both touching and extremely shocking. Bless your heart, hope you are OK.”
Another wrote: “Ah @thismorning what a lovely gentleman @afneil is. Moved me to tears this morning! Talking lots of sense as always.”
Andrew was on the show ahead of the launch of GB News on Sunday.
He is the chairman of the new television channel and previously admitted creating it was his final “big gig”.
He told Phil and Holly he would be “delighted” to bag Piers Morgan for the start-up channel and that talks with the star were still ongoing.
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Andrew previously helped launch Sky News when in 1988 he became founding chairman of Sky TV.
He was appointed editor of The Sunday Times in 1983 and served in this position until 1994.
He then worked for the BBC for 25 years until 2020, fronting various programmes, including Sunday Politics and This Week on BBC One and Daily Politics, Politics Live and The Andrew Neil Show on BBC Two.