Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary address Phillip Schofield’s exit & Holly Willoughby’s future on This Morning
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Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary have addressed Phillip Schofield’s exit from This Morning in the first episode without the host of 20 years. The presenting duo stepped in as the hosts of the ITV show today (May 22) after Schofield announced his departure on May 20 and ITV confirmed Holly Willoughby would be taking some time out from filming.
Schofield announced his departure in a statement which read: “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 – and I’ll see you all for the Soap Awards next month.”
On today’s show, Alison and Dermot addressed Schofield’s exit and Willougby’s absence in the first five minutes. The duo said: "Now we can’t start today’s show without paying tribute to the man who spent the last two decades on This Morning sofa, Phillip Schofield.
"The show, everyone on and off-screen at ITV and This Morning want to say a huge thank you to Phil for what he’s done to make the show such a success over the last 21 years. Quite simply, we all know that he is one of the best, live television broadcasters this country has ever had and we and all the team wish him all the best for the future.
“Holly’s now taking a break over half term, she’ll be back in the studio in two weeks on Monday, June 5."
Ahead of the broadcast, ITV confirmed Willoughby would be taking a break from the show shortly after Schofield confirmed his exit. They said: "Holly Willoughby will remain on This Morning and will co-present with members of the This Morning family."