ITV have announced that Phillip Schofield is set to host a ‘new prime time show’ after the star quit This Morning with immediate effect over the weekend.
It comes after months of speculation about Schofield’s relationship with his former This Morning co-star, Holly Willoughby.
Now, Schofield is a well-known British television presenter, known for his charismatic personality and versatility in front of the camera.
He first rose to fame in the late 1980s as the co-host of the children’s programme, Going Live!, before going on to host various other shows including Dancing on Ice.
Aside from his work on television, Schofield has also dabbled in other areas of the entertainment industry. He has even appeared in a number of stage productions, including Doctor Dolittle and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He even released a single of his rendition of ‘Close Every Door’, which peaked at number twenty-seven on the UK charts.
However, what Schofield is undoubtedly best known for is his work on This Morning. The star has been co-host of the show since 2002, and has been parners in crime with Holly Willoughby since she joined in 2009.
Recently, though, fans were noticing that something has been up between the pair. It comes after the pair faced heavy criticism for not joining the queue for the Queen’s lying in state back in September.
Insiders told The Sun that Schofield and Willoughby were barely speaking off camera, describing their fourteen year relationship as having ‘cooled’.
A source said of the pair: “Holly adores This Morning and for the first time in fourteen years she has made it clear that should Phil ever leave she would want to stay. They are separate entities.
“To those around them on set, it has become clear recently that Holly and Phil are not as close as they once were.
“Professionally you would have no idea there was anything going on because on camera they are acting exactly the same.
“But behind the scenes their relationship has cooled.
“Before there would be a lot of banter and camaraderie off camera but that has dwindled.”
Schofield has responded to the rumours by releasing a statement of his own, addressing the tensions.
He wrote: “As I have said before, Holly is my rock.
“We’re the best of friends — as always, she is an incredible support on screen, behind the scenes and on the phone.
“Holly has always been there for me, through thick and thin. And I’ve been there for her.
“The last few weeks haven’t been easy for either of us.”
However, on Saturday, it was announced that Schofield was stepping back from the show.
“After more than twenty years on the This Morning sofa, Phillip Schofield has stepped back from ITV’s flagship morning show having presented his last episode on Thursday 18 May,” ITV’s statement began.
“Having co-hosted the multi-award winning show for two decades, Phillip will continue to present peak time shows for ITV including next month’s The British Soap Awards and a new prime time series.
“Holly Willoughby will remain on This Morning and will co-present with members of the This Morning family.”
What ‘new prime time series’ Schofield is set to be hosting next remains to be seen, but the broadcaster’s statement appears to confirm that there is still a place for the star among their roster of shows.
In Schofield’s own statement, he wrote: “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.”
Willoughby also responded to her co-star’s exit, issuing this short statement: “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.”