After over two decades, Phillip Schofield has announced his decision to step down from ITV’s This Morning “with immediate effect.”
In a statement, he said: “I understand ITV has decided the current situation can’t go on.”
His departure comes after reports claimed relations between him and co-host Holly Willoughby had come under strain in recent weeks.
Willoughby said: “The sofa won’t feel the same without him.”
She will remain as a presenter on the programme, and will be joined by “members of the This Morning family”, ITV said, while confirming Schofield’s Thursday appearance was his last.
ITV’s statement confirmed that Schofield will remain engaged with the broadcaster, highlighting his involvement in upcoming projects such as The British Soap Awards in June and a forthcoming peak time series.
On Instagram, Schofield wrote: “Throughout my career in TV – including in 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.”
In a statement on Instagram, 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.”
ITV’s Managing Director of Media and Entertainment, Kevin Lygo, expressed high praise for Schofield, referring to him as “one of the best broadcasters of his generation.” Lygo extended gratitude for Schofield’s exceptional contribution to television over the course of two decades.
Schofield has been a regular presenter on This Morning since 2002, alongside Holly Willoughby, who joined in 2009. The duo also co-hosts ITV’s Dancing On Ice.
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Earlier this month, The Sun reported on a perceived cooling of the friendship between Schofield and Willoughby. Addressing the matter, Schofield acknowledged that the past few weeks have been challenging for both of them. However, he described Willoughby as his “rock” and emphasized her unwavering support on and off the screen.
ITV stated that Willoughby will take an early half-term holiday and is scheduled to return on June 5th.
Schofield recently returned to This Morning after a planned leave of absence to support his younger brother during a sex abuse trial at Exeter Crown Court. Timothy Schofield was sentenced to 12 years in prison for 11 sexual offenses involving a child between 2016 and 2019.
Phillip Schofield initially gained fame in the 1980s as a children’s TV presenter on the BBC’s Broom Cupboard and Saturday morning show Going Live! He has since had successful ventures in West End productions and hosted TV game shows like Talking Telephone Numbers and Schofield’s Quest before joining This Morning.
The programme has received numerous accolades, including the Best Daytime Programme award at the 2020 National Television Awards.
While their on-screen partnership has garnered praise and attracted viewers, Schofield and Willoughby faced criticism in September of the previous year over allegations, which they denied, that they bypassed the queue for the Queen’s lying-in-state to film a segment.
Additionally, Willoughby took a break from the show in April after contracting shingles.