Holly Willoughby fights tears on This Morning as widower appeals for friends

This Morning viewers were left in tears during Wednesday's show as a lonely widower appealed for some friends.

Tony Williams, 75, lost his wife Jo in May and says he now goes days without speaking to a single person and feels like his life is "cursed by loneliness".

The retired physicist told hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby that he often sits at home waiting for the phone to ring but it never does.

Tony revealed he has put two adverts in his local newspaper looking for a friend to chat to, but didn't get any replies – leaving presenter Holly, 39, clearly choked.

In a bid to find a pal to listen to music with, or sit in the garden alongside, he had business cards made, to hand out when he went to the supermarket or out for a walk.

Emotional viewers rushed to their keyboards to offer their support to Tony following his heart-wrenching interview.

Taking to Twitter, one fan penned: "Tony is breaking my heart. The nation is your friend Tony.

Another added: "I’ll be Tony’s friend for life. I'm in tears."

A third posted: "The elderly shouldn’t be that lonely. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.

While a fourth said: "My heart breaks for that old fella. You can tell he absolutely adored his wife.

"I hope he makes some wonderful new friends. I’d chat to him on Twitter if he had an account."

Chatty Tony handed out dozens without receiving a call back, so has now put a poster up in his window asking for pals

The sign reads: "I have lost Jo. My lovely wife and soul mate.

"I have no friends or family. No one to talk to.

"I find the unremitting silence 24 hours a day unbearable torture.

"Can no one help me?"

Tony told Holly and Philip on the ITV daytime show: ""We first met one night in a bar, and we got on so well.

"It was just incredible. It was like I'd known her all my life. She was just so lovely."

He later revealed that he has been inundated with emails since his appeal for a companion hit the national headlines yesterday.

"My emails have erupted since yesterday," Tony said.

"A local primary school teacher has also asked if it was ok for pupils to write letters to me, which I said yes."

Tony met Jo, a legal secretary, in a bar more than 35 years ago, and their marriage was "perfect harmony".

The couple were unable to have any children, and lived in Kempley, in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, for 25 years.

This Morning airs weekdays on ITV at 10am

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