Jane McDonald has been hailed as the ‘perfect choice’ to present this year’s British Soap Awards after she was confirmed as Phillip Schofield’s replacement.
Operatic singer and cruise ship favourite Jane, 60, will be stepping in to host the awards on Saturday which airs on Tuesday at 8pm on ITV1 and ITVX.
Jane is a household name for presenting Channel 5 series Cruising With Jane and she has also appeared on Loose Women several times.
Several soap fans took to Twitter to say they thought she was a good choice for the feel good awards show.
One user wrote: ‘Oh Jane you are the perfect choice; I seriously can’t wait.’
Host with the most: Jane McDonald has been hailed as the ‘perfect choice’ to present this year’s British Soap Awards after she was confirmed as Phillip Schofield’s replacement
Stepped down: Over the weekend, ITV confirmed the British Soap Awards will go ahead as planned after Phillip stepped down with just eight days’ notice amid his affair confession
Another said: ‘Oooh I’m so excited for you and you will be incredible. The viewing figures are going to go through the roof. Keep calm and remember to breath.’
A third wrote: ‘Superb news! You are the perfect choice as host. Lovely to see you in a different role. I hope they don’t cut your ad-libs. They’re the best bits.’
A fourth said: ‘Well done Jane – that’s so refreshing to hear – you will be wonderful!’
Another fan added: ‘Well done ITV and ITVX for picking the perfect presenter. Looking forward to watching this. Hopefully there’ll be a song or two from you as well.’
One user said it was ‘refreshing’ to hear Jane had been chosen as host while another said she should also replace Phillip on This Morning.
Ahead of hosting the awards, Jane said: ‘Oh my god…..everyone knows how much I LOVE my soaps, this year I’ve been honoured to be mentioned in Corrie, EastEnders and Emmerdale, so this is just a dream come true.
‘I can’t wait to see all our wonderful soap nominees and celebrate all their hard work with them – roll on the awards, I can’t wait!’
The five biggest soaps – Coronation Street, Doctors, EastEnders, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks – will be battling it out to win recognition for their work over the past year.
Star: Operatic singer and cruise ship favourite Jane, 60, will be stepping in to host the awards on Saturday which airs on Tuesday at 8pm on ITV1 and ITVX
Career: Jane is a household name for presenting Channel 5 series Cruising With Jane and she has also appeared on Loose Women several times
Reaction: Several soap fans took to Twitter to say they thought she was a good choice for the feel good awards show
Some of the biggest faces from all five soaps will be hitting the red carpet for the most star-studded and glamorous event in the soap calendar.
According to bookies odds, comedian Alan Carr had previously been the favourite to stand in as the host.
Alan, 46, has just 2/1 odds on being the host of the annual ceremony, with Joel Dommett following closely behind at 3/1.
Over the weekend, ITV confirmed the British Soap Awards will go ahead as planned after Phillip stepped down with just eight days’ notice amid his affair confession.
It comes after Phillip, 61, quit ITV and was dropped by his talent agency YMU after admitting to an affair with a young male This Morning colleague.
He confessed to having the ‘unwise but not illegal’ relationship with a man during his marriage to Stephanie Lowe, and previously denied the affair when asked about it by his agent.
Bombshell: It comes after Phillip, 61, quit ITV and was dropped by his talent agency YMU after admitting to an affair with a young male This Morning colleague
Admission: Phillip confessed to having the ‘unwise but not illegal’ romance with a man during his marriage to Stephanie Lowe, and previously denied the affair when asked by his agent
ITV launches external investigation into Schofield affair: Letter to staff in full
Tonight ITV bosses announced an external inquiry looking into Schofield’s affair with a much younger colleague would take place.
This is the full letter sent to ITV staff from its chief people officer David Osborne, which has been seen by the Daily Mail:
‘Whilst we are extremely mindful of our duty of care and confidentiality to all concerned, I know you have your own questions on this matter. So to clarify, the individual was concerned when he was first employed at ITV, having completed work experience the previous year. He subsequently secured a promotion through an open recruitment process before leaving in 2021.
‘We have taken this matter extremely seriously and have reviewed how we have handled this issue, including how we investigated the rumours when they arose in late 2019/early 2020 when both parties were questioned and both categorically and repeatedly denied the rumours and subsequent follow ups.
‘The relationships we have with those we work with are based on trust. Phillip made assurances to us and others which he now acknowledges were untrue and we feel badly let down.
‘We believe the approach we have taken to be the right one taking into account all of the circumstances. Today we have set up an externally led review to establish the facts, review our records and talk to people involved. This work will also consider our relevant processes and policies and whether we need to change or strengthen any. This work will be carried out as quickly as possible and we will of course be happy to share the findings.’
Phillip was due to host the British Soap Awards next weekend after quitting This Morning last week, but confirmed in Friday’s statement that he has stepped down from all his ITV jobs, including the ceremony.
After his announcement, ITV said the British Soap Awards will still take place in Manchester on June 3, with a replacement host to be confirmed ‘in due course’.
An ITV spokesperson said: ‘The British Soap Awards will take place next Saturday as planned, and we will make further announcements in due course.’
After quitting This Morning, Phillip had still been set to host the Soap Awards for a 13th successive year, but he confirmed he was quitting ITV altogether on Friday.
Phillip admitted to an affair with a younger male colleague, which he claimed was ‘unwise but not illegal’, in a lengthy statement released, in which he also apologised to his wife and family.
The ‘unwise’ relationship took place during his nearly 30-year marriage to his wife Stephanie, 59, and Phillip said he was ‘so very sorry’ for being unfaithful.
Stephanie, who shares two kids Ruby, 27, and Molly, 29, with Phillip, issued a statement when her husband came out as gay in a moving This Morning segment in 2020.
Phillip stepped down from his This Morning hosting duties last weekend after more than 20 years on the airwaves before confirming the affair in a statement to the Daily Mail on Friday.
He has also resigned from ITV. He has also been dropped by his agents at YMU ‘with immediate effect’.
In a statement, the former ITV presenter said: ‘I am making this statement via the Daily Mail, to whom I have already apologised personally for misleading, through my lawyer who I also misled, about a story [sic] which they wanted to write about me a few days ago.
‘The first thing I want to say is: I am deeply sorry for having lied to them, and to many others about a relationship that I had with someone working on This Morning.
‘I did have a consensual on-off relationship with a younger male colleague at This Morning.
‘Contrary to speculation, whilst I met the man when he was a teenager and was asked to help him to get into television, it was only after he started to work on the show that it became more than a just a friendship.
‘That relationship was unwise, but not illegal. It is now over…
‘I am painfully conscious that I have lied to my employers at ITV, to my colleagues and friends, to my agents, to the media and therefore the public and most importantly of all to my family. I am so very, very sorry, as I am for having been unfaithful to my wife…
Scandal: Pixilated photo of Schofield alongside his younger lover and Holly Willoughby
‘I am resigning from ITV with immediate effect, expressing my immense gratitude to them for all the amazing opportunities that they have given me.
‘I will reflect on my very bad judgement in both participating in the relationship and then lying about it.’
After his statement, an ITV spokesman said: ‘We are deeply disappointed by the admissions of deceit made tonight by Phillip Schofield.
‘The relationships we have with those we work with are based on trust. Philip made assurances to us which he now acknowledges were untrue and we feel badly let down.
‘We accept his resignation from ITV and therefore can confirm that he will not be appearing on ITV as had previously been stated.’
Following his statement, Phillip has also parted company with his management team YMU after 35 years.
Mary Bekhait, the Group CEO of YMU Group, said: ‘Honesty and integrity are core values for YMU’s whole business, defining everything we do.
‘Talent management is a relationship based entirely on trust.
‘This week, we have learned important new information about our client Phillip Schofield.
‘These facts contradicted what Phillip had previously told YMU, as well as the external advisors we had brought in to support him.
‘As a result, on Thursday we agreed to part company with Phillip, with immediate effect.’
The short list categories for the public voted awards will close at 5pm on Friday. For full details on categories and voting please go to www.britishsoapawards.tv