Phillip Schofield has quit his role on This Morning after 21 years as host with immediate effect.
The TV presenter, 61, has bowed out of the programme following reports of a feud with his co-host Holly Willoughby, with Thursday May 18 his last ever show.
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.
End of an era: Phillip Schofield has quit his role on This Morning after 21 years as host
Tension: The TV presenter, 61, has bowed out of the show following reports of a feud with his co-host Holly Willoughby (pictured on his last show, May 18)
‘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 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.’
Kevin Lygo, ITV’s Managing Director, Media and Entertainment said: ‘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.’
Holly uploaded a separate statement to her Instagram account which said: ‘Hi everyone… it’s been over 13 great years presenting This Morning with Phil and I want to take this opportunity to thank fim for all his knowledge, his expereince and his hmour. The sofa won’t feel the same without him.’
Holly will return to This Morning on Monday 5th June having taken an early half term holiday starting Monday 22nd May.
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.
Feud: 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 pictued on 16 May, 2023)
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’
Holly shared her own statement which said: ‘I want to take this opportunity to thank fim for all his knowledge, his expereince and his hmour. The sofa won’t feel the same without him’
In a surprising move, Phillip broke his silence earlier this month to insist that there has been no fallout with his co-host of 14 years following a string of controversies including Queuegate and his brother, Timothy, being convicted of child sex offences.
As Phillip admitted that ‘the last few weeks haven’t been easy for us,’ sources close to Holly told MailOnline that she had no idea that Phillip was going to make a statement. They added the first she saw of it was when it was published online.
‘The last few weeks haven’t been easy for either of us. As I have said before, Holly is my rock,’ Phil told The Sun.
‘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.’
Bosses were said to be in crisis over the move, with reports that Holly wanted to pull the plug on their working relationship for good.
There had been talk as to why their 14-year reign as ‘besties’ is over, but the Mail’s Katie Hind has been told that at the heart of the fall-out is a dispute over whether Phillip confided in Holly that his brother Timothy, a police IT worker, faced charges of child sex offences.
Friends say holly was in the dark until Phillip took a week’s leave from the ITV daytime show to avoid the limelight while the trial took place last month – something he is at pains to deny.
Timothy Schofield was convicted of 11 offences and was sentenced to 12 years in prison on 19 May.
Speaking out: Phillip broke his silence earlier this month to insist that there has been no fallout with Holly following a string of controversies including Queuegate and his brother, Timothy, being convicted of child sex offences
Controversy: Phillip said his family have been through ‘a real ordeal’ after his younger brother Timothy (pictured) was convicted of child sex offences
Backlash: Last year Holly and Phil faced a criticism over claims they ‘skipped the queue’ to see the Queen lying in state, with Holly said to be distraught over the uproar
Sources close to Holly claimed she was ‘deeply upset’ that she found out what was happening from a third party.
Not so long ago, the pair were undeniably close.
The duo became ‘great friends’ having first met on Dancing on Ice and they have presented This Morning together since 2009.
Holly was also described as Phillip’s ‘rock’ when he came out as gay live on This Morning in 2020.
Phil has had a tumultuous few months, taking a break from work when his brother was convicted of child sex offences.
Timothy Schofield, 54, was found guilty of 11 counts of sexual offences against his underage victim – with whom he watched porn while performing a sex act.
Phil took to social media after his brother was found guilty saying: ‘As far as I am concerned, I no longer have a brother.’
In his statement, released on Thursday after they appeared back on This Morning, Phil said his family have been through ‘a real ordeal’.
History: The presenting duo (pictured in November 2009) have worked together for more than a decade after Holly took over from Fern Britton as Phillip’s co-host back in 2009
Support: Holly was also described as Phillip’s ‘rock’ when he came out as gay live on This Morning in 2020
Shutting down rumours of a feud, he said: ‘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.’
The pair were once an incredibly close TV double act.
After a National Television Awards win in 2016 they turned up for their slot seemingly hungover from celebrating the night before.
Her support when he came out as gay makes it all the more surprising that Schofield would keep the accusations against his brother a secret.
He said Holly was once again his ‘absolute rock’, but her friends told a different story.
One said: ‘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.’
Yesterday, a spokesman for the 42-year-old declined to comment when asked if she was kept in the dark over the court case. Schofield said it was ‘categorically untrue’.
In Phil’s absence from This Morning, Holly was paired with Alison Hammond and ITV bosses were said to be overjoyed by their chemistry and are now looking for more opportunities to pair them up, with Hammond set to be front and centre of the show’s 35th birthday celebrations in October.
Kevin Lygo, ITV’s director of television, has always been close to Phil, as have its head of daytime Emma Gormley and This Morning editor Martin Frizell.
But the star recently lost the support of Frizell – who was once so staunchly loyal to him that he ‘took the bullets fired at Schofield’.
Sources close to Frizell, the husband of former GMTV host Fiona Phillips, said that he was ‘fed up of clearing up Schofield’s mess’.
Recent controversies included his refusal to address jumping the queue to see the late Queen laying in state last September.
One source said: ‘Martin and Phil were once so close, a real team. Martin is an old-fashioned television man who believes in loyalty but things have changed.’
In recent weeks, Frizell was seen sitting in the canteen ‘with a face like thunder’ while the show was on air. Usually, sources say, he would be ‘jumping up and down in the gallery and in the studio’.
Meanwhile a source close to Holly revealed to MailOnline’s Dan Wootton: ‘The fallout with Phillip has been going on for quite some time.
‘For Holly there’s also a degree of her becoming concerned that some of the scandals connected to Phillip are damaging her reputation.
‘There’s an understandable element of, “I’ve got to think about my career, too”, She’s been seeking guidance from (her husband) Dan (Baldwin) and ITV on that front.
‘This hasn’t been about the last few weeks, but a number of months. She has always been loyal to Phillip and loved working with him.
‘But she’s also worked so hard to build her own reputation, so she can’t risk Phillip dragging her down.
Issues are said to have been going on for some time behind the scenes on the show and the pair are reportedly more distant than they once were.
Phillip joined This Morning in 2002 where he co-hosted alongside Fern Britton for seven years before Holly joined in 2009.