Alison Hammond And Dermot O’Leary Address Phillip Schofield’s Exit In Brief This Morning Tribute

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Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary on Monday's This Morning
Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary on Monday’s This Morning

Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary paid a brief on-air tribute to Phillip Schofield as This Morning aired for the first time since his exit on Monday.  

The pair were drafted in to host the ITV daytime show for the rest of this week after Phillip announced he was leaving the sofa after 21 years, amid rumours of a rift with co-host Holly Willoughby

With Holly taking what’s been billed as an early half-term holiday following the announcement, it was up to Alison and Dermot to steer the ship, as headlines about the former co-presenters continue to dominate the front pages.

After an alternative version of the This Morning titles that didn’t feature any of the presenters opened the show, Alison addressed viewers saying: “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 continued: “So, as a show, everyone on-screen and off-screen at ITV and at This Morning want to say a huge thank you to Phil for what he’s done to make this show such a success over the last 21 years.”

Alison added: “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.”

Dermot then confirmed Holly is set to return to This Morning on Monday 5 June, with ITV previously revealing she will continue to host with existing members of the show’s team. 

It has not been confirmed what the long-term plan for a permanent new presenter is, but reports have suggested either Alison or Dermot could become Holly’s new co-host.

Phillip – who had previously denied reports of a fall-out with Holly – confirmed on Saturday afternoon that he had agreed with ITV he would part ways with This Morning with immediate effect.

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield pictured on This Morning last weekHolly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield pictured on This Morning last week

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Holly said of her colleague’s exit: “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.”

Meanwhile, Phillip will return to ITV next month to host the annual British Soap Awards, while the channel has also confirmed he will host a peak time series later this year.

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.