This Morning viewing figures are already on the rise with Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary helming the show after Phillip Schofield’s axing.
The ITV breakfast show saw viewing numbers plunge to as low as 551,000 last week ahead of Phillip announcing his exit amid his reported feud with Holly Willoughby.
Now, Alison, 48, and Dermot, 49, are standing in as hosts this week following Phillip’s axing while Holly has gone on her half-term holiday break early.
And the audience figures are already improving as Monday’s instalment attracted nearly 60,000 more viewers than Phillip’s last episode on Thursday.
Alison and Dermot started Monday’s episode by paying tribute to Phillip but made no mention of the controversy as they kicked off Tuesday’s show.
Rising: This Morning viewing figures are already on the rise with Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary (pictured on Tuesday) helming the show after Phillip Schofield’s axing
Departure: The ITV breakfast show saw viewing numbers plunge to as low as 551,000 last week ahead of Phillip (pictured) announcing his exit amid his ‘feud’ with Holly Willoughby
Monday’s episode raked in 703,000 average viewers with a peak of 918,000 as figures have already started to creep up following last week’s drop in numbers.
Friday’s show, which was helmed by Alison and Dermot, attracted 663,000 people, a slight rise from 644,000 the day before, which was later confirmed to be Phillip’s last show.
Last Wednesday, a mere 551,000 viewers tuned in, down from 647,000 on the same day the week before. The peak viewership also reduced significantly, from 905,000 to 683,000.
Tuesday’s episode attracted 663,000 viewers, while last Monday’s episode had an average of 726,720 – compared to 894,000 people on the same day last week.
The figures showed a steady drop in viewers collectively across the week, but they appear to already be on the climb as Monday’s were up around 40,000 from Friday and nearly 60,000 from Thursday.
By contrast, Phillip and Holly previously managed to pull in 1.3m average viewers for their 2022 Christmas show and an average of 1.4m in the first four weeks of 2021.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Alison and Dermot made no mention of Phillip’s axing and cheerfully danced to Club Tropicana as they came on air.
With a smile, Alison said: ‘Hi all and welcome to your Tuesday’s This Morning! Little bit of Club Tropicana!’
Improving: The audience figures are already improving as Monday’s instalment (pictured) attracted nearly 60,000 more viewers than Phillip’s last episode on Thursday
All smiles: Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Alison and Dermot made no mention of Phillip’s axing and cheerfully danced to Club Tropicana (pictured) as they came on air
Cheerful: The pair then discussed the sunny weather before announcing that Wham!’s Andrew Ridgeley would be on the show
The pair then discussed the sunny weather before announcing that Wham!’s Andrew Ridgeley would be on the show.
They confirmed: ‘It’s been 40 years since Wham’s debut album and today we get to speak to Andrew Ridgeley!
‘Also we have Juliet Sear in the kitchen with her scone masterclass, Daisy Payne is live with us from Chelsea in Bloom and we have the latest trainer trends!’
Their cheerful introduction saw them make no mention of the recent This Morning drama, after they paid tribute to Phillip on Monday’s show.
He received a 30-second tribute at the start of the show after Alison and Dermot stepped in when he was axed after 21 years and Holly went on holiday early.
The new era also began by removing Phillip from the show’s credits – less than 48 hours after he left amid reports of a rift with his co-star Holly.
Alison and Dermot began the show by briefly addressing his exit, but there was no montage, just a single photo of Phil on screen and around half a minute of warm words.
Opening the broadcast, Alison said: ‘We can’t start today’s show without paying tribute to the man who spent the last two decades sitting on the This Morning sofa. Phillip Schofield.’
Dermot added: ‘So as a show, everyone on and off screen at ITV and This Morning on say a huge thank you to Phil for what he’s done to make the show such a success over the last 21 years.’
Alison continued: ‘Quite simply, we all know he’s one of the best live television broadcasters this country has ever had, and we and all the team wish him all the best for the future.’
Alison and Dermot, who co-host the show on Fridays, are hot contenders to take over Phil’s role permanently given their experience on the show.
Alison is currently the bookmaker Ladbrokes favourite to take on the role, giving her 2/1 odds.
However, ITV have not yet confirmed a permanent replacement nor who will host for the rest of the week.
Phillip announced over the weekend that he was stepping down from presenting the ITV talk show with ‘immediate effect’ after more than 20 years on the programme.
Axing: Phillip (pictured in March) received a 30-second tribute on Monday’s show after Alison and Dermot stepped in when he was axed after 21 years and Holly went on holiday early
His departure came amid reports of a rift between him and Holly, and after his brother, Timothy Schofield, was sentenced to 12 years in jail after being convicted of child sex offences.
Phillip said in his statement: ‘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.’
Holly 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 of 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 and Phillip have reportedly called a truce in a private chat, with Phillip agreeing to leave the show in a deal which will ensure he gets a new solo-presenting gig – and can keep discussions open about his future on other shows such as Dancing On Ice.
Phil reportedly has just ‘tatters’ of his friendship with Willoughby left after he allegedly failed to tell her about his brother’s child sexual abuse case.
An ITV source told the Mirror last night: ‘Phil’s fate was decided on Friday. It was a unanimous decision that he had to go.
‘He was upset, but firm that if he was going to walk away he wanted to keep his roles on The Cube, the British Soap Awards, and Dancing on Ice – crucially, with or without Holly.
‘It has all been worked out in the smoothest way possible, but behind the scenes he has told friends he has been hung out to dry. And his friendship with Holly is now in tatters.
Exit: Phillip announced over the weekend that he was stepping down from presenting the ITV talk show with ‘immediate effect’ amid reports of a rift between him and Holly
‘It is hard to see how it could recover. The fact he chose to pointedly thank people who supported him – and the viewers – without mentioning her says it all.’
The once inseparable pair had increasingly grown apart in recent months, but the split became final after Phil was said to have kept Holly, 42, in the dark about his brother’s child sex abuse trial.
He issued a pointed statement on social media thanking fans for their support, but failed to mention Holly at all.
It is understood that Phil, who was described as ‘a broken man’, was digging his heels in to stay until the end, and that it took ‘much persuasion’ for him to agree to terminate his contract immediately. It means last Thursday was his final appearance on This Morning.