This Morning presenters say Holly Willoughby will 'forever be one of us' after star quits ITV show

Credit: PA

By Rachel Dixon, Multimedia Producer

This Morning presenters Rochelle Humes and Craig Doyle have said Holly Willoughby will “forever be one of us” as they hosted the first show since the TV star announced her departure.

Ms Willoughby quit ITV's This Morning after 14 years presenting the long-running daytime show.

Announcing the news on Instagram on Tuesday, the TV presenter said she felt she "had to make this decision" for herself and her family.

Willoughby, 42, thanked "everyone who has ever worked on the show" in the social media post.

Opening Wednesday’s episode of This Morning, Ms Humes said: “Of course, we want to start by sending our love best wishes and respect to our Holly.”

She continued: “Holly loved her job here and was really looking forward to the future of the show. But recent events, especially in the past week, have been hard to deal with and she’s quite rightly putting her family first.”

Mr Doyle added: “On behalf of everyone here, in front and behind the camera, we just loved working with Holly and she made coming into work so much fun, we are all really, really sad and we’re really going to miss her.”

This Morning cast on the NTA's red carpet in 2021. Credit: PA

Former This Morning presenter Richard Madeley said Ms Willoughby has done “a very brave, wise and courageous thing” by stepping down from the show” and has done “exactly the right thing”.

Mr Madeley, who launched This Morning with wife Judy Finnigan in 1988 and presented it for 13 years, told Good Morning Britain: “I think, and Judy agrees with me… Holly has done a very brave and wise and courageous thing.

“We know that Holly genuinely puts family first, she puts her family first and her career second. And that really is the order.

“People watching don’t know that, they just see Holly the professional, but she does put it first.

“I think given the year that she’s had, all the things that she’s had to put up with, and then this terrible thing that happened last week, given that she’s done the show for 14 years, which is a year longer than Judy and I did it when we left, I think it’s given her a chance to kind of step back and take stock and she’s put her family first."

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield presenting This Morning in 2018. Credit: PA

Holly Willoughby’s statement in full:

Willoughby said: “I have let ITV know today that after 14 years, I will not be returning to This Morning.

“To everyone who has ever worked on the show over the years, thank you so so much.

“This is such a difficult goodbye, you are incredible and I forever will be proud of what we’ve done together.

“Thank you to everyone at ITV for being supportive. To every guest who has sat on our sofa, thank you.

“Most of all, thank you to the wonderful viewers. You’ve been so loyal, so supportive and the very best company every day.

“Richard and Judy said ‘we only look after this show, it will always belong to the viewers’. It’s been an honour to just be part of its story and I know this story has many chapters left to go.

“Sadly, however, I now feel I have to make this decision for me and my family.

“I will miss you all so much.


This Morning also shared Willoughby's statement on its social media and said it was "sad" at the news of her resignation.

ITV's Managing Director, Media and Entertainment, Kevin Lygo, said: "We are sad that Holly is leaving This Morning, but respect her decision which we know will have been extremely difficult for her to make. 

"Holly is one of the best loved, respected and most accomplished broadcasters in the UK.  She has been at the heart of This Morning for the past 14 years, and she is adored by our viewers. 

Holly Willoughby leaves the This Morning studio after her first day presenting. Credit: PA

"Holly has brought her unique brand of warmth, energy, humour and fun to one of the country’s most popular daytime shows, and everyone on the programme will miss her enormously. 

"She remains a much loved member of the ITV family and we look forward to continuing to work with her in the future."

'We're obviously all shocked to hear the news': This Morning's Dermot O'Leary and Alison Hammond send 'love and biggest hugs' to colleague Holly Willoughby

For the majority of her 14 years on This Morning, Willoughby presented alongside Phillip Schofield.

He left the show earlier this year after he admitted to having a relationship with a younger male former colleague.

An external review of the facts after Schofield’s departure is currently under way and ITV bosses have said both Schofield and his former lover “repeatedly denied” allegations of a relationship until the star quit ITV and formally apologised.

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