Phillip Schofield quits This Morning with immediate effect: ‘ITV have decided the situation can’t go on’
Phillip Schofield will no longer be a presenter on This Morning, ITV has announced.
Earlier this month reports emerged claiming that Schofield and his co-host, Holly Willoughby, have a strained relationship behind the scenes on the ITV daytime show and “barely speak” when the cameras aren’t rolling.
On Saturday, ITV announced that last Thursday’s show had been Schofield’s last. He first presented the show in 2002.
Willoughby will remain on This Morning and will present with the show’s other hosts.
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Discussing his departure, Schofield said: “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.”
While the pair had continued to host This Morning this week, viewers had been quick to notice tension and a number of awkward moments between Schofield and Willoughby.
ITV said that Schofield will continue to present peak-time shows for ITV, including a new primetime series.
Willoughby 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.”
Reports of tension between Schofield and Willoughby emerged after Schofield took a break from the show in April when his brother Timothy was convicted of 11 sexual offences involving a child. Schofield disowned his sibling, saying that he “no longer has a brother”, and thanked viewers for their “kind messages and support” on his return.
When reports emerged claiming there was tension between him and Willoughby, Schofield put out a rare statement acknowledging that “the last few weeks haven’t been easy”. However, he insisted that he and Willoughby were still “the best of friends”.
On Friday, Timothy was sentenced to 12 years in jail for his crimes.