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Phillip Schofield: Holly Willoughby gave ITV ultimatum before co-host quit show

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield (Ian West/PA)© Ian West

Louis ChiltonUK Independent

Holly Willoughby gave ITV an ultimatum before the departure of her long-term presenting partner Phillip Schofield, a new report claims.

Schofield had hosted morning chat show This Morning alongside Willoughby for 14 years, until his sudden exit from the series last week. The presenter’s resignation came amid widespread reports of a “feud” that had developed between Willoughby and Schofield.

The Times quotes a broadcasting executive as saying: “Holly made it clear it was her or Phil but he refused to go until he was given something else concrete that he could announce.”

However, speaking to The Independent, an ITV source denied the claims of an ultimatum being issued, stating: “Phillip stepping down was a network decision agreed with Phil. Talent has no input into our editorial decisions.”

Phillip Schofield to step down from This Morning with ‘immediate effect’

Meanwhile, ITV has announced that Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary will step in to host This Morning on Monday (22 May) following the departure of Phillip Schofield.

Willoughby is set to stay on as a presenter, but will be taking her half-term break this week.

Hammond and O’Leary currently host This Morning on Fridays, with Willoughby (and, until now, Schofield) taking the reins from Monday to Thursday.

Willoughby will return from holiday leave on 5 June.

ITV are yet to confirm who will host the series for the remainder of the week.

After Schofield announced his departure, Willoughby thanked her former colleague in a statement for “all of his knowledge, his experience and his humour.”

She added: “The sofa won’t feel the same without him.”

Last week Eamonn Holmes slammed his former This Morning colleagues Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby in a blistering tirade on GB News.

Holmes, who switched from the ITV morning show to GB News in January 2022, addressed the rumoured feud, saying: “I think there should’ve been a special award for Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby for best actors.”

“The public surely have sussed that there’s no chemistry, that there’s a broken fit between the two of them,” he added.

The 63-year-old affirmed that “This Morning does not depend on who presents it.”

ITV has said that Schofield will continue to work for them as a presenter, hosting peak-time shows for the broadcaster, including a new primetime series.

In April, Schofield was absent from This Morning due to his brother, Timothy Schofield, being on trial for child sex offences.

Schofield issued a statement on social media disowning his sibling, thanking viewers for their support and stating that he “no longer has a brother”.

On 4 April, Timothy was convicted of 11 sexual offences concerning the abuse of a teenage boy over a period of three years.