Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary step in to host This Morning
Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary step in to host This Morning after Phillip Schofield was axed and Holly has two week break – as Phil takes refuge in Cornwall with his mother after telling friends he’s been ‘hung out to dry’
- The pair who host the show on Fridays will host tomorrow morning’s programme
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Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary will host This Morning on Monday, ITV has confirmed after Phillip Schofield was axed from the programme.
Earlier today it was revealed that Phil’s fate on the flagship breakfast show was sealed on Friday when his co-star of 14 years Holly Willoughby is said to have handed the channel an ultimatum – either Phil would leave the sofa, or she would.
Following his announcement on Instagram yesterday that he would be leaving after 21 years, amidst a feud with his co-host and ex-best friend, the former presenter told those close to him he was ‘hung out to dry’ by This Morning bosses.
Holly, who Phil has hosted alongside since 2009, will remain on the show but she is taking early half term holiday leave next week and will return on June 5.
Alison and Dermot, who co-host the show on Fridays, will be on the sofa in their absence on Monday morning and are hot contenders to take over Phil’s role permanently given their experience.
However, ITV have not yet confirmed a permanent replacement nor who will host for the rest of the week.
Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary will host This Morning on Monday, ITV has confirmed after Phillip Schofield was axed from the programme
Phil’s fate was sealed after Holly Willoughby who is said to have handed the channel an ultimatum – either Phil would leave the sofa, or she would
Phil appeared downcast and glum as he made phone calls the day after he was forced out from presenting This Morning on Friday
Alison, 48, is currently the bookmaker Ladbrokes favourite to take on the role, giving her 2/1 odds.
She rose to fame in 2002 as a Big Brother contestant and joined This Morning later that year as a reporter.
Throughout her two decades on ITV she has been applauded for her ability to reduce even the biggest A-listers into fits of laughter.
Martin Frizell, This Morning’s veteran editor, is keen to pair Holly with Alison, who he promoted to a presenter role two years ago.
Dermot, 49, who has appeared as a presenter on the show throughout the years has been given a 4/1 odds by Ladbrokes.
There are also other contenders in the running to nab a permanent slot on one of Britain’s most popular daytime television programmes.
The Saturdays singer Rochelle Hunt and her husband JLS star Marvin Humes, are amongst those in the running, as well as Rylan Clark, Josie Gibson and Gino D’Acampo.
ITV said in the interim, Holly will continue to present the show with ‘members of the This Morning family’.
Photos revealed today showed Phil appearing downcast and glum on the day he quit ITV’s This Morning as he sat in his car with his mother – after fleeing 300 miles from London to Cornwall.
Alison, 48, is currently the bookmaker Ladbrokes favourite to take on the role, giving her 2/1 odds
Dermot, 49, who has appeared as a presenter on the show throughout the years has been given a 4/1 odds by Ladbrokes
Alison and Dermot, who co-host the show on Fridays, will be on the sofa in their absence on Monday morning
Holly and Phil have called a truce in a private chat with Phil agreeing to leave the show in a deal which will ensure he gets a new solo-presenting gig – and can keep discussions open about his future on other shows such as Dancing On Ice.
Pictured after his statement on Saturday, the veteran presenter looked tired and serious as he sat with his mother in the front of the vehicle, appearing to be conducting tense phone conversations.
Being photographed after what is now known to have been his final show, Phil spent two hours in the vehicle with his 85-year-old mother in a car park in Cornwall on the day his fate was published by the channel.
He was pictured vaping and staring out at the sea as his body language appeared dejected.
Phil now has just ‘tatters’ of his friendship with Willoughby left after he failed to tell her about his brother’s child sexual abuse case.
An ITV source told the Mirror last night: ‘Phil’s fate was decided on Friday. It was a unanimous decision that he had to go.
‘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.
Troubled TV presenter Phillip Schofield sits in his car next to his mother, 85, in Cornwall
Phil spent two hours vaping and looking out to sea as he made phone calls from his vehicle
Sources say it is hard to see how the pair’s friendship could ever recover from the row
‘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. 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.’
The once inseparable pair had increasingly grown apart in recent months, but the split became final after Phil kept Holly, 42, in the dark about his brother’s child sex abuse trial.
Phillip left the show after frantic meetings with his representatives and ITV’s most senior chiefs. They agreed a trade-off in which he was promised he would be able to host a new show solo and that conversations around existing shows would continue, The Mirror reported.
He issued a pointed statement on social media thanking fans for their support, but failed to mention Holly at all.
It is understood that Phil, who was described as ‘a broken man’, was digging his heels in to stay right up until the end, and that it took ‘much persuasion’ for him to agree to terminate his contract immediately. It means last Thursday was his final appearance on This Morning.
An insider told The Sun : ‘ITV bosses had to choose which horse to back – Phil or Holly. And it was clear where their loyalties lay.’
They added: ‘Holly is the real winner in all of this as she has emerged victorious and classy.’
Phillip Schofield was yesterday sensationally ousted from This Morning after co-star Holly Willoughby told ITV bosses she no longer wanted to work with him
The following day Phil would issue a pointed statement on social media confirming he had decided to leave the show
Schofield’s retreat to the picturesque setting of Cornwall was said to be an attempt to avoid the limelight
It is understood that Schofield, who was described as ‘a broken man’, was digging his heels in to stay right up until the end
Phil said in his short statement: ‘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 who has supported me – especially This Morning’s amazing viewers.’
The decision was made late on Friday after days of crisis meetings at ITV. It was decided that the announcement would be made yesterday to give Phil time to leave his West London home to go away on a break and escape the limelight.
Phil issued a pointed statement on social media thanking fans for their support, but failed to mention of Holly at all
Thursday’s ITV show, which Holly closed by saying ‘See you Monday!’, while Phil simply said ‘Bye’, prompted viewers to speculate that he knew it would be his last time on the This Morning sofa
The pair both commented on Phil’s departure from the show, with Holly Willoughby saying: ‘The sofa won’t be the same without him’
Gino D’Acampo is pictured honouring his promise that he would cook naked on This Morning if they won at the NTA Awards
The split between the pair, pictured in 2014, became final after Schofield failed to tell Holly about his brother’s child sex trial
Former close friends Schofield and Willoughby, pictured together on Dancing on Ice in 2006, had increasingly grown apart in recent months
As well as losing his job, he is said to be distraught over his former community police officer brother Timothy’s 11 convictions on child sex charges. His brother was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Friday.
Read more: The two weeks that sealed Phillip Schofield’s fate at This Morning
It can also be revealed there was much wrangling over what the exit strategy would be, whether he went immediately or hung on until the summer break and quietly did not return.
Holly, who has found it hard sitting next to him of late, hoped the situation would be dealt with sooner rather than later.
It comes after weeks of fallout between the one-time king and queen of daytime television. Holly, described as ‘quietly shrewd’ by those who know her, is believed to have told ITV she could no longer share a sofa with him, while making it clear she wants to stay.
One source said: ‘It was basically an ultimatum, Holly won the war. We say what Holly wants, Holly gets and never was a truer word spoken.’
Holly also has the full support of Martin Frizell, This Morning’s veteran editor.
Holly, described as ‘quietly shrewd’ by those who know her, is believed to have told ITV she could no longer share a sofa with Schofield (pictured on holiday in Dubai in 2016)
Holly said she’d ‘never been more proud’ of Schofield when he came out as gay in 2020
The presenters were accused of queue-jumping at the Queen’s lying-in-state last year, which they denied, saying they were working
The pair were the one-time king and queen of daytime television. Their reign on This Morning began in 2009
Phil, though, had the support of Frizell’s boss, ITV’s head of daytime Emma Gormley.
Insiders cite Phil and Ms Gormley as the ‘losers’ in this.
It comes after Holly was also left ‘sad and cross’ after Phil released a statement about the state of their friendship earlier this month, without consulting her.
Yesterday, she made a brief statement. She wrote: ‘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 signed off the statement with a pink heart emoji.
ITV managing director Kevin Lygo said: ‘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.’
ITV sources are now expecting a shake-up on Dancing On Ice, the other show Holly and Phil present together.
One said: ‘Someone is going to have to step back from that too, there is no way they can work together ever again.’
The Mail on Sunday first revealed the co-stars’ relationship was under strain since they were accused of jumping queues to pay their respects to the Queen as she lay in state last year.
But it was the fallout over Phil’s brother’s trial that finally ripped asunder the failing friendship.
The Mail on Sunday also revealed last week how a runner who worked with Phil ‘mysteriously’ left his role on This Morning after striking up a close friendship with the host.
The man, in his 20s, moved to ITV show Loose Women before leaving the network entirely.
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