Phillip Schofield 'axed minutes after going off air from This Morning' but calls 'truce' with Holly Willoughby

21 May 2023, 07:19 | Updated: 22 May 2023, 10:34

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

By Will Taylor

Phillip Schofield was axed from This Morning within minutes of coming off air - but has since declared a truce with Holly Willoughby.

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The presenter was told his contract, which was up in the summer, would not be renewed shortly after coming off-air on Thursday, according to reports.

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

It is also understood Miss Willoughby will not return to the show until June, though who will join her on the sofa is not yet known.

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.

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

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Alison and Dermot pay tribute to Phillip Schofield as they open This Morning

Holly and Phil will no longer present together
Holly and Phil will no longer present together. Picture: Alamy

"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 he was leaving the show on Saturday afternoon.

He said on social media: "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.

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

Phil made no mention of Holly in his statement
Phil made no mention of Holly in his statement. Picture: Alamy

"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.

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

She is due to return to the show on June 5, with back-up presenters standing in next week.

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 yesterday: "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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