Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary to host This Morning on Monday following bombshell Schofield exit

21 May 2023, 17:19 | Updated: 22 May 2023, 01:45

Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary will step in to host This Morning on Monday after Phillip Schofield confirmed his exit from the show on Saturday.
Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary will step in to host This Morning on Monday after Phillip Schofield confirmed his exit from the show on Saturday. Picture: Alamy

By Chris Samuel

Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary will step in to host This Morning on Monday following Phillip Schofield's bombshell exit.

ITV have yet to confirm who will front the show for the rest of the week, after Schofield confirmed he was leaving the programme on Saturday amid reports of a feud with long-time co-presenter Holly Willoughby.

Ms Hammond, 48, came to fame in 2002 as a contestant on Big Brother before joining This Morning later that year.

Mr O'Leary, 49, has also regularly presented on the show, and is among the favourites with Ms Hammond to replace Schofield.

Mr Schofield is expected to present other ITV shows but is also due to leave Dancing on Ice, which he also fronted with Ms Willoughby.

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It is understood Ms Willoughby is taking early half term holiday leave and will return to the show on June 5.

The pair's relationship was rocked amid public criticism at "queue-gate" during the late Queen's lying-in-state last year, while Mr Schofield admitted recent weeks had been tough for the pair as his brother was convicted of sexually abusing a boy.

ITV have confirmed that O'Leary and Hammond will step in to front the show
ITV have confirmed that O'Leary and Hammond will step in to front the show. Picture: Alamy

But they are now said to have had a private chat since their last show together on Thursday.

"It’s been a very difficult time for them but they talked about the end of an era and called something of a truce," a source told The Sun.

Mr Schofield, who has since been pictured walking in Cornwall with his mother Pat, confirmed the news of his departure on social media.

"I have always been proud to cover fascinating stories on This Morning, but recently, This Morning itself has become the story," he said.

Phillip Schofield's departure came amid reports of a feud with long-time co-presenter Holly Willoughby
Phillip Schofield's departure came amid reports of a feud with long-time co-presenter Holly Willoughby. Picture: Alamy

"Throughout my career in TV - including the very difficult last few days - I have always done my best to be honourable and kind.

"I understand that ITV has decided the current situation can't go on and I want to do what I can to protect the show that I love.

"So I have agreed to step down from This Morning with immediate effect, in the hope that the show can move forward to a bright future.

"I'd like to thank everyone what has supported me - especially This Morning's amazing viewers - and I'll see you all for the Soap Awards next month."

His statement made no reference to Miss Willoughby, who said: "It's been over 13 great years presenting This Morning with Phil and I want to take this opportunity to thank him for all of his knowledge, his experience and his humour.

Phillip Schofield made no reference to Ms Willoughby as he announced his exit from the show
Phillip Schofield made no reference to Ms Willoughby as he announced his exit from the show. Picture: Alamy

"The sofa won't feel the same without him."

It was reported that bosses were concerned about a drop in figures. Social media users commented about the pair's grin-and-bear-it routine as they ploughed through the week without acknowledging the controversy.

A source told The Sun that there was a "tense atmosphere backstage" which was "completely unworkable and toxic".

ITV managing director Kevin Lygo said on Saturday: "Phillip is hands-down one of the best broadcasters of his generation and we thank him for his two decades worth of absolutely terrific television on the This Morning sofa.

"This Morning is made by one of the best and most diligent teams in television, who produce over 12 hours of live television each week.

"We look forward to continuing our relationship with Phillip starting with The British Soap Awards in June and a brand new peak-time series to come."

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