Phillip Schofield will be involved in a ‘brand new peak time series to come’, ITV has revealed today after the This Morning star sensationally quit the show.
Schofield, 61, is also being tipped to present a rival morning show on Channel 5 as well as a return to the West End following his exit from This Morning after 21 years as host.
ITV chief Kevin Lygo revealed Schofield’s new ‘peak time’ gig today as he offered his thanks to the presenter who he called ‘hands down one of the best broadcasters of his generation’.
But after his speculated feud with co-presenter Holly Willoughby, question marks continue to loom over Schofield’s involvement in another of their presenter roles on ITV’s Dancing On Ice.
Amid the continuing speculation, experts have told MailOnline that the star could be offered a multi-million pound deal by Channel 5 as well as big money offers to ‘tread the boards’ again in the West End or panto following his stage success in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield during a photo call for Dancing On Ice 2023. Question marks continue to loom over Schofield’s involvement in the show
Phillip Schofield is being tipped to present a rival morning TV show on Channel 5 or return to the West End after he quit This Morning with immediate effect
Brand and culture expert Nick Ede told MailOnline he predicts that Channel 5, who wooed Dan Walker from the BBC for £1.5million-a-year, will be waiting in the wings to offer Schofield a deal of the same size for a morning TV show.
Mr Ede said: ‘He’s a bankable star and still a big name to many’, adding that due to his past as a BBC Radio 1 DJ, he could also make a return to the Beeb and perhaps lure listeners back to Radio 2.
‘He was a very big musical star selling out West End shows like Joseph and Dr Doolittle, he may consider treading the boards again or touring in a pantomime’, he added.
Kevin Lygo, ITV’s Managing Director, Media and Entertainment has also expressed his interest in keeping Phillip on at the broadcaster with a ‘brand new peak time series’.
He said following Schofield’s exit: ‘Phillip is hands down one of the best broadcasters of his generation and we thank him for his two decades worth of absolutely terrific television on the This Morning sofa.
‘This Morning is made by one of the best and most diligent teams in television, who produce over 12 hours of live television each week.’
‘We look forward to continuing our relationship with Phillip starting with The British Soap Awards in June and a brand new peak time series to come.’
PR master Mark Borkowski told MailOnline: ‘He’s an ageing talent. These are rocky times for him. He’s been dogged by so many negative stories.’
He said that ITV had been trying people on screen to replace him even before he announced he was leaving the show.
Philip in his technicolour dreamcoat in 2021 on Dancing on Ice. He could return to the West End or star in a panto run for big money
Phillip said: ‘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’
Brand and culture expert Nick Ede told MailOnline that Schofield may end up leaving ITV, perhaps to set up a rival to This Morning on Channel 5, who are throwing money around to sign stars such as Dan Walker.
He said: ‘I think that Phillip is a very popular tv presenter who has had many many successful years on screen. He still has a lot fans and I think that although his relationship on screen may be wavering he will have lots of other opportunities coming to him. He’s a bankable star. His popularity will see him overcome the current hurdles he’s facing’.
He added: ‘Another broadcaster may take him on or he will do radio for a while, as that’s lucrative and popular too, and he has a great knowledge of music’.
In a statement released on Saturday, Phillip 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.
Phillip’s dramatic departure from This Morning comes after reports that he and Holly were no longer as close as they once were and hardly speak off-camera (Phillip pictured on 16 May, 2023)
‘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.’
Holly Willoughby broke her silence following Schofield’s exit statement, which made no mention of his co-star and friend.
She 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.’
So what next for the show launched in 1988 and fronted by Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan? Alison Hammond, of course.
ITV bosses can’t get enough of the presenter, who they, for years, relegated to the showbiz beat.
She is to be front and centre of their 35th birthday celebrations in October and is tipped to join Ms Willoughby as a full-time host of the programme.
As for Ms Willoughby, she has grown increasingly close to Ms Hammond.
The two recently enjoyed a night out together, with Ms Willoughby introducing the former Big Brother star, 48, to her famous friends including Emma Bunton and Nicole Appleton.
Holly Willoughby broke her silence following Schofield’s exit statement which said: ‘The sofa won’t feel the same without him.’
Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond on This Morning today with Penny Mordaunt and Gyles Brandreth. Ms Hammond is favourite to replace Schofield following his departure
Controversy: Phillip said his family have been through ‘a real ordeal’ after his younger brother Timothy (pictured) was convicted of child sex offences
Phillip took a period of pre-planned leave around his brother’s sex abuse trial at Exeter Crown Court last month.
Timothy Schofield, 54, was convicted of 11 sexual offences involving a child between October 2016 and October 2019, including two of sexual activity with a child.
Following this controversial period Schofield stunned Ms Willoughby and his ITV colleagues when he issued a statement to The Sun which read: ‘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. And Holly’s support throughout meant the world to me, as did the support of my bosses at ITV, my editor Martin Frizell and the whole This Morning family, including our amazing viewers.
‘And of course Holly has herself been ill with shingles.
Off-screen, the pair are said to be ‘barely speaking’.
There has been talk as to why their 14-year reign as ‘besties’ is over, but the Mail has been told that at the heart of the fall-out is a dispute over whether Schofield confided in Ms Willoughby that his brother, a police IT worker, faced charges of child sex offences.
Friends say Ms Willoughby was in the dark until Schofield took a week’s leave from the ITV daytime show to avoid the limelight while the trial took place – something he is at pains to deny.
Sources close to Ms Willoughby claim she was ‘deeply upset’ that she found out what was happening from a third party.
One told MailOnline: ‘The statement came out of nowhere for Holly and it was upsetting. What a betrayal. It feels like he Phil is looking after himself here, with no regard for her.
Not so long ago, the pair were undeniably close.
Not so long ago, the pair were undeniably close. After a National Television Awards win in 2016 they turned up for their slot seemingly hungover from celebrating the night before
After a National Television Awards win in 2016 they turned up for their slot seemingly hungover from celebrating the night before.
And in 2020, when Schofield left his family and told viewers he was gay, live on This Morning, Ms Willoughby was at his side. He described her as his ‘rock’.
Her support at such a crucial time in his life makes it all the more surprising that Schofield would keep the accusations against his brother a secret.
He says Ms Willoughby was once again his ‘absolute rock’, but her friends tell a different story.
One says: ‘Holly had to find out from someone else which must have been awful for her. She has been so loyal to him.
‘It has been upsetting for her, they have been pretty inseparable for 14 years. They have been through so much together, some happy and some really tough. But now their once super close friendship is no longer.’
It was, of course, Schofield, 61, who chose Ms Willoughby to be his new sidekick back in 2009 after Fern Britton quit the show.
But now, ironically, it seems she will outstay him on the programme he has hosted for 21 years.
Ms Willoughby has ‘no plans to leave’ according to sources close to her.