Watch Holly Willoughby's opening monologue in her first appearance on This Morning since Schofield's departure
The 42-year-old spoke directly to viewers after Schofield, 61, has been at the centre of a scandal since admitting to an affair with a younger male colleague at ITV that has seen him dropped by his talent agency, lose his role as a charity ambassador, and claim his career is over.
Here is Willoughby's opening speech in full:
“Hi there. Good morning. Josie (Gibson), thank you for being here. Right, deep breath.
“Firstly, are you OK? It feels very strange indeed sitting here without Phil.
“And I imagine that you might have been feeling a lot like I have – shaken, troubled, let down, worried for the wellbeing of people on all sides of what’s been going on, and full of questions.
“You, me and all of us at This Morning gave our love and support to someone who was not telling the truth, who acted in a way that they themselves felt that they had to resign from ITV, and step down from a career that they loved. That is a lot to process.
“And it’s equally hard to see the toll that it’s taken on their own mental health. I think what unites us all now is a desire to heal for the health and wellbeing of everyone.
“I hope that, as we start this new chapter and get back to a place of warmth and magic that this show holds for all of us, we can find strength in each other.
“And, from my heart, can I just say thank you for all of your kind messages. And thank you for being here this morning.
“Myself, Josie (Gibson), Dermot (O’Leary), Alison (Hammond), Craig (Doyle), and every single person that works on this show will continue to work hard every single day to bring you this show that we love.”
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