Saturday 22 September 2018

Phillip Schofield reveals his hand in Holly Willoughby’s This Morning job

The TV twosome are one of the best-loved duos in the UK

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield

Lucy Mapstone

Phillip Schofield has revealed he specifically requested Holly Willoughby was hired as his co-presenter on This Morning after the pair first teamed up for Dancing On Ice.

The TV host is resuming his presenting role on the ice dancing show when it returns in January after a four-year break, along with Willoughby.

He has credited the reality programme for being the starting point of the TV twosome’s much-loved partnership.

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Schofield said: “Dancing On Ice (DOI) is what started it all off. It was the first time we worked together.

“We had such fun on DOI that when the position became vacant on This Morning, I said ‘Holly is the only person I want. If I can’t have her I am not playing’.”

Willoughby took over from Fern Britton on ITV’s flagship daytime programme in 2009, after having worked with Schofield on the ice skating programme since 2006.

She later left Dancing On Ice in 2011 and was replaced by Christine Bleakley, but Willoughby has said she is pleased to be returning to the series and has a new love of the show since becoming a mother.

Willoughby, who has three children aged between three and eight, said: “What is really nice is I have found a new appreciation for this kind of show (which I love) since having the kids.

“It is exactly the type of show we sit and watch as a family. We love Strictly, The X Factor and we love sitting there watching those big family event TV moments.

“It is nice my children are now old enough to come and watch and enjoy DOI.”

Schofield said he too is thrilled to be back after the show’s break, and believes Dancing On Ice bowed out in 2014 with “great dignity”.

He added that he thinks “it is the right time” for the ITV show’s comeback.

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Dancing on Ice

“It definitely needed a break. We had broken most of the people who would have done it! We had to hatch some more celebrities to break because it is so hard.

“But it is not a case of bringing it back – it is a reboot.

“The team we have got in place is brilliant and it is a whole new show. Yes, it has ice in the centre of it and there is a competition but it will look and feel different.”

The revamped show will see former Olympic and world champion ice dancers Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean appear as judges, after previously acting as mentors on the series, alongside returning judge Jason Gardiner and newcomer Ashley Banjo.

The celebrity line-up includes former Bake Off champion Candice Brown, Love Island winner Kem Cetinay, broadcasters Donna Air and Alex Beresford and soap stars Antony Cotton and Brooke Vincent.

Each star is teamed up with a professional skater and every week each pair must take to the ice to perform routines and wow both the judges and the audience at home.

Dancing On Ice returns to ITV on January 7 at 6pm.

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