Holly Willoughby made an emotional return to This Morning today on Monday June 5, addressing Phillip Schofield’s exit on camera for the first time.
The 42-year-old was joined on the ITV programme by Josie Gibson, taking a deep breath as she delivered her speech to the cameras following Schofield’s annnoucement of his departure and the fact that he lied about having an affair with a runner.
The presenters gripped hands as Willoughby’s eyes filled with tears, before the duo continued with the rest of the day’s schedule.
She began her statement by asking if viewers at home were doing ok, while also reassuring them that she hopes to recapture the ‘warmth and magic’ of This Morning in the near future.
The Dancing On Ice presenter also expressed concern for Schofield’s mental wellbeing, after the 61-year-old gave his side of the story in two bombshell interviews, one of which was with BBC News.
Willoughby acknowledged that Schofield acted in a way that he felt meant that he ‘had to resign from ITV and step down from a career’ that he ‘loved’.
Willoughby admitted that she felt ‘shaken, troubled and let down’, while also thanking viewers for all of the messages of support that they’ve been sending her.
What did Holly Willoughby say about Phillip Schofield?
Here’s her statement in full:
Holly Willoughby’s statement in full as she returns to This Morning after Phillip Schofield exit
‘Hi there, good morning. Josie, thank you for being here. Right, deep breath. Firstly, are you ok? I hope so. It feels very strange indeed sitting here without Phil.
‘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 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.
‘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, Dermot, Alison, Craig 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.’
While Willoughby gave her statement upon her return to This Morning, Gibson held her hand in support.
She then pulled in her co-star for a tight hug, before they continued with the rest of the programme.
Following Schofield’s departure from This Morning, he released a statement admitting that he had lied about a relationship he had with an employee on the programme.
‘I am making this statement via the Daily Mail to whom I have already apologised personally for misleading, through my lawyer who I also misled, about a story which they wanted to write about me a few days ago,’ he said.
‘The first thing I want to say is: I am deeply sorry for having lied to them, and to many others about a relationship that I had with someone working on This Morning. I did have a consensual on-off relationship with a younger male colleague at This Morning.
‘Contrary to speculation, whilst I met the man when he was a teenager and was asked to help him to get into television, it was only after he started to work on the show that it became more than just a friendship. That relationship was unwise, but not illegal. It is now over.’
The company has now asked a barrister to carry out an external review into the facts concerning his exit.
Who could replace Phillip Schofield on This Morning?
On Monday June 5, Willoughby was joined by Gibson for her return to This Morning.
Later in the week, she’ll present the programme alongside fellow familiar face Craig Doyle.
A permanent co-host is yet to be announced by ITV, but viewers are speculating if it could be Gibson, Doyle, or perhaps other members of the This Morning family such as Alison Hammond or Dermot O’Leary.
The latter pair already front the show on Fridays and during the school holidays.
This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV.
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