Phillip Schofield 'agreed to quit This Morning after being offered his own solo show'

21 May 2023, 12:28

Holly Willoughby will host This Morning without Phillip Schofield
Holly Willoughby will host This Morning without Phillip Schofield. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Phillip Schofield agreed to walk away from This Morning and leave presenting to Holly Willoughby after being assured he would get a new solo show.

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The 61-year-old had a showdown with bosses in which he asked to keep roles on other shows like Dancing on Ice.

It was thrashed out after ITV bosses decided he should go on Friday, following his spat with Ms Willoughby going public.

The two awkwardly fronted the show during the week but audiences repeatedly commented on how strange the saga was, and there were fears about the impact on viewing figures.

ITV chiefs spoke to Mr Schofield, in which he was promised a new show he could front on his own.

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But despite that olive branch, he has grumbled that he was "hung out to dry" by his former friend Ms Willoughby and figures at the broadcaster.

It is believed the feuding pair have not spoken since the decision was made for him to leave This Morning, but they are said to have arranged a kind of truce after Thursday's show.

"Phil's fate was decided on Friday. It was a unanimous decision that he had to go," a source told The Mirror.

Phillip Schofield has left This Morning
Phillip Schofield has left This Morning. Picture: Alamy

"He was upset, but firm that if he was going to walk away he wanted to keep his roles on The Cube, the British Soap Awards, and Dancing on Ice – crucially, with or without Holly.

"And they agreed to the terms he laid out. As far as he was concerned, if he was going to take one for the team, they would owe him.

"It has all been worked out in the smoothest way possible, but behind the scenes he has told friends he has been hung out to dry.

Read more: Phillip Schofield leaves as This Morning host after spat with Holly Willoughby

"And his friendship with Holly is now in tatters.

"It is hard to see how it could recover. The fact he chose to pointedly thank people who supported him – and the viewers – without mentioning her says it all."

It is understood Miss Willoughby will not return to the show until June, and it remains to be seen who will join her on the sofa.

Ms Willoughby will continue presenting This Morning
Ms Willoughby will continue presenting This Morning. Picture: Alamy

Her relationship with Phillip was rocked amid public criticism at "queue-gate" during the late Queen's lying-in-state last year.

Mr Schofield publicly admitted that recent weeks had been tough for the pair as his brother was convicted of sexually abusing a boy.

After ploughing on for one last week, Mr Schofield said in a statement on Saturday afternoon: "I have always been proud to cover fascinating stories on This Morning, but recently, This Morning itself has become the story.

"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."

Ms Willoughby is described as being relieved the saga is over, and bosses were said to be keen to secure her position on their brand.

"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," Ms Willoughby wrote

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

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