Phillip Schofield 'steps down' from This Morning 'with immediate effect'

The presenter said he was leaving the role with immediate effect after more than two decades in the job. ITV News Correspondent Neil Connery reports.

Phillip Schofield will step down from This Morning with “immediate effect” after more than 20 years on the ITV programme, the broadcaster has announced.

The 61-year-old TV presenter will not return to co-host the morning talk show with Holly Willoughby, with Thursday’s show being his last.

Willoughby will remain on This Morning and will continue co-presenting the programme with other This Morning staff.

The announcement follows reports of a breakdown in relations between Schofield and Willoughby.

The pair have presented the show together since 2009. Credit: PA

Posting on Instagram, Schofield 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.

“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.”

Schofield announced the news that he was stepping back on Instagram Credit: Instagram / @schofe

Willoughby released her own statement on her Instagram story shortly after, saying "the sofa won't feel the same without him".

She wrote: “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.”

Schofield and Willoughby have presented the show together since 2009 and also co-host ITV’s Dancing On Ice.

He will continue to present peak time shows for ITV including next month’s The British Soap Awards and a new prime time series.

Holly Willoughby posted a statement to Instagram shortly after Schofield announced he is stepping back. Credit: Instagram / @hollywilloughby

Last month, Schofield took pre-planned leave from This Morning around his brother’s sex abuse trial at Exeter Crown Court.

Former civilian police worker Timothy Schofield was jailed for 12 years on Friday after he was found guilty of 11 sexual offences involving a child between October 2016 and October 2019, including two of sexual activity with a child.

In April, Willoughby also took time off from the ITV morning programme due to having the painful rash shingles, which is caused by the same virus as chickenpox.

Last year, the duo faced a backlash over claims they skipped the queue for the Queen’s lying in state in September.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.”

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