Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary will serve as interim This Morning hosts

Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary will fill in as hosts on Monday following the departure of Philip Scofield from the show, ITV has confirmed.

On Saturday, Schofield announced he was stepping down from presenting the ITV talk show with “immediate effect” after more than 20 years on the programme.

The broadcaster has said that Holly Willoughby, who has hosted alongside Schofield since 2009, will remain on the show but is taking half-term off next week and will return on 5 June.

Hammond and O’Leary, who co-host the show on Fridays, will be on the sofa on Monday mornings in his absence, but ITV has not yet confirmed who will be presenting for the rest of the week.

ITV Palooza 2021 – London

Phillip Schofield (Ian West/PA)

The pair are both strong contenders to play Schofield, given their experience on the show.

Hammond, 48, is currently the favorite with bookmakers Ladbrokes – giving him 2/1 odds.

The beloved presenter first rose to fame as a Big Brother contestant in 2002 before joining This Morning the same year.

During her time on the ITV show over the past two decades, she has become known for her ability to turn even the biggest A-listers into laughingstocks.

O’Leary, 49, who has appeared on the show as a presenter throughout the years, is currently given 4/1 odds by Ladbrokes.

The Saturdays singer Rochelle Humes and her husband, JLS star Marvin Humes, are among other presenters potentially in the running, as well as Rylan Clarke, Josie Gibson and Gino D’Campo.

ITV has stated that Willoughby will remain on This Morning and will “co-present with members of the This Morning family” in the interim.

Last Thursday marked Schofield’s last day on the show as the broadcaster said he would not be returning for the final episode.

Her departure comes after she faced months of controversy, including reports of a rift with her longtime co-host Willoughby, her brother’s sexual abuse trial and an uproar over the late Queen’s state visit.

Pride of Britain Awards 2022 – London

Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby have co-hosted the ITV morning talk show since 2009 (Eui Mok/PA)

Scofield, who shared the news in a post on her Instagram Story, said in a statement: “I’ve always been proud to cover compelling stories this morning. But lately this morning has become the story itself.

“Throughout my career in TV – including the tough days of the last few – I have always tried my best to be respectful and kind.

“I understand that ITV have decided that the current situation cannot go forward, and I want to do what I can to protect the show I love.

“Therefore I have agreed to step down with immediate effect from this morning in the hope that the show can move on to a brighter future.”

“I want to thank everyone who has supported me – especially the wonderful viewers of This Morning – and I’ll see you all at the Soap Awards next month.”

The broadcaster said it would continue to present “peak time shows” for ITV, including next month’s The British Soap Awards and a new prime time series.

holly and phil

Holly Willoughby pays tribute to Philip Schofield after 13 years of presenting This Morning together (Ian West/PA)

On Scofield’s departure, Willoughby said: “It’s been over 13 years presenting This Morning with Phil and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank him for all his knowledge, his experience and his humour. Without him on the sofa It will never be the same.

The pair have been open about their close friendship over the years, including sharing photos of them on social media on joint holidays with their families.

However, following reports of the pair’s relationship coming under strain, Scofield tried to unite, describing Willoughby as his “rock” in a statement to The Sun.

The presenter also took a pre-planned break from the show during his brother’s sexual abuse trial at Exeter Crown Court last month.

timothy schoffield court case

Timothy Schofield, pedophile brother of TV presenter Philip Schofield, to be sentenced for child sex offenses (Avon and Somerset Police / PA)

On Friday, former civilian police officer Timothy Schofield, 54, was convicted of 11 sex offenses involving a child between October 2016 and October 2019, including two sex acts with a child.

Willoughby also took time off from the ITV morning program in April after being diagnosed with painful shingles, which is caused by the same virus as chickenpox.

Last year, the two faced claims they had skipped the queue for the late Queen’s lay in state in September.

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