Willoughby and Schofield to wed

This Morning presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield are to marry, it has been confirmed.

The couple hope their impending nuptials will lay to rest rumours of a rift between them, and now look forward to consummating their marriage during a luxury two-week honeymoon in Bali.

They brushed off claims of crisis talks and tension in their professional relationship, reassuring ITV viewers that everything in the daytime TV garden is perfect and lovely as usual.

Willoughby said: “For 14 years Philip and I regarded ourselves as just good friends, but over the past week I’ve discovered extremely strong feelings of love and sexual attraction for him.

“I’ve explained it to my longstanding husband and children and they agree I must follow my heart and do what’s right for the programme – the programme of entirely spontaneous love between me and Phil.”

Schofield said: “A few years ago, I came out of the closet and declared I was gay. But I was mistaken and I’m actually deeply in love with my co-presenter, so we must take a vow of holy matrimony before God.

“What can I say? Life is full of surprises. I’m so happy. We can’t keep our hands off each other, etcetera etcetera.”

An ITV spokesperson said: “We extend the station’s best wishes to Phil and Holly and they can look forward to a particularly romantic wedding present from us – an 18.5 per cent pay rise subject to confirmation by their respective agents.”

The church ceremony will take place in June at an unspecified location in Sussex, with celebrity guests including Andi Peters and Gordon the Gopher.

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'We're only three hours from London' and other bizarre boasts Northerners make

SALT-of-the-earth Northerners hate showing off. Yeah, right. Here are some of the weirder humblebrags about the North they’re inexplicably proud of.

‘Our fish and chips are incredible’ 

In some cases this is true. Whitby cod drenched in salt and vinegar is delicious, but it assumes the nation’s coastline doesn’t exist south of Yorkshire. Ask Rick Stein, if you can face an interminable conversation about fish. Everyone else in the UK doesn’t just order battered saveloy and chips from inner-city chippies, or they’d have stupid names like The Golden Sausage.

‘We’re only three hours from London’

Yes, one way to really extol the virtues of the North is to constantly bang on about how quickly you can get the hell out of there and go somewhere good. It’s not like you could practically get a job in London – 30 hours a week would be a pretty hefty commute. Other places that are ‘only’ three hours away if you ignore all the extra bits of travel besides your direct journey, are Lisbon, Reykjavik and Crete. And for those you don’t have to change at f**king Doncaster.

‘Our tap water tastes the best’

In the game of Northern one-upmanship, showing off about your tap water is compulsory. Northerners only just stop short of claiming that their ‘council pop’ deserves protected status like f**king champagne or Parmesan or something. The whole boast seems to hinge on all water south of Birmingham being sickly chemical effluent full of dead flies warmed to an unrefreshing temperature, and it’s not. Water companies wouldn’t go to the expense of warming it up for you.

‘A pint only costs £2.50’

This might sound like a genuinely great boast but it isn’t. For two simple reasons. Firstly, it’s incredibly hard to find a pint that cheap even in the North. And secondly, if you do it’s no gastropub situation. You’ll be drinking warm, insipid bollocks called Clagford Bitter in an isolated village pub where the bar staff disappear for 45 minutes and if you order wine you’ll immediately be murdered by locals.

‘It’s so green up here’

The South is a tarmacked wasteland, Mad Max in an endless Asda car park. That includes the Cornish Coast and the Cotswolds. In the North there are endless gorgeous moors with pretty heather where nothing bad could ever happen. But in fairness, the North is very green. Because it pisses down 300 days a year.

‘You must try [insert stupid name of weird local food]’

The North is not a culinary hotbed, more a culinary hotpot, ie. stodge that makes you want to go to sleep for a couple of days. Be suspicious when a Northerner mentions their local delicacy with a wistful look in their eye. They mean something like Henderson’s Relish, aka shite Worcestershire sauce. Carbohydrates feature heavily, hence the ‘Wigan kebab’ (an actual pie in a sandwich) or Hull’s ‘pattie butty and chips’ (battered mashed potato, served in a ‘bread cake’ with fries), a quadruple carb horror a hungry puma would have difficulty finishing.

‘Everyone’s so friendly’

F**k that. This just means you’ve got people prattling at you 24/7. Spontaneously chatting at the bus stop. Saying ‘Good morning’ even though you’ve got your headphones in listening to an important podcast about murder. Engaging you in conversation for your entire bloody train journey. Most people just want to be left the f**k alone, and the sooner the North realises that, the better.