ITV Confirms Holly Willoughby's Co-Host For Her Return To This Morning

Holly is to return to This Morning for the first time since her former co-host Phillip Schofield confirmed his affair with a former colleague.
Holly Willoughby
Holly Willoughby
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

ITV has announced that Holly Willoughby will be presenting This Morning with Josie Gibson when she returns to the show next week.

Holly has been on an extended half-time holiday for the last two weeks, after her regular co-host Phillip Schofield announced his departure from the show.

Since then, Phillip has resigned from ITV, after admitting to an affair with a younger colleague on the daytime show.

At the end of Friday’s live show, presenters Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary confirmed that Holly would be back on Monday – as was previously announced – where she’ll be joined on the sofa by former Big Brother winner and This Morning regular Josie.

ITV previously said that Holly would be fronting the show with existing members of the This Morning family until a permanent replacement for Phillip was announced.

Josie Gibson in the This Morning studio
Josie Gibson in the This Morning studio
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Holly wrote on Instagram shortly after Phillip confirmed his previous affair: “When reports of this relationship first surfaced, I asked Phil directly if this was true and was told it was not. It’s been very hurtful to now find out that this was a lie.”

Since then, Phillip has given his first public interview, in which he maintained that Holly had not been aware of his actions.

“I’ve lost my best friend. I let her down,” Phillip said.

He continued: “Holly did not know. And she was one of the first texts that I sent, to say, ‘I am so, so sorry that I lied to you’.

“She didn’t reply and I understand why she didn’t reply, as well. So yeah. If anyone is in any way linking Holly to this; that is ­absolutely, wholly untrue.”

Holly and Phillip at the launch of Dancing On Ice earlier this year
Holly and Phillip at the launch of Dancing On Ice earlier this year
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Phillip also opened up about the rift that had grown between himself and Holly prior to his departure from This Morning, which he had previously denied before stepping down from the show last month.

He told The Sun that Holly had taken a “step back” from their friendship after his brother Timothy was jailed for child sex offences.

“I had no feud with Holly. She is my TV sister,” he insisted. “But quite rightly, when I am in the middle of a shitshow with bad press over something where I have done nothing wrong – in fact, I did everything right – it’s a witch hunt. And that strips that [friendship] away.

“Quite rightly, she is going to take a step back and think, ‘I have to step back from this’, and I understand that completely.”

HuffPost UK has contacted Holly Willoughby’s representatives for additional comment.

Phillip filming This Morning in 2019
Phillip filming This Morning in 2019
HGL via Getty Images

ITV previously said in a statement: “ITV can confirm that when rumours of a relationship between Phillip Schofield and an employee of ITV first began to circulate in early 2020 ITV investigated.

“Both parties were questioned and both categorically and repeatedly denied the rumours as did Phillip’s then agency YMU.

“In addition, ITV spoke to a number of people who worked on This Morning and were not provided with, and did not find, any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour.

“Phillip’s statement [...] reveals that he lied to people at ITV, from senior management to fellow presenters, to YMU, to the media and to others over this relationship.”

More recently, ITV has instructed a barrister to carry out an external review of the facts following Phillip’s This Morning exit and subsequent press statements, the broadcaster’s chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall said.

HuffPost UK has contacted ITV for additional comment following Phillip’s latest interviews.

This Morning continues at 10am on ITV1.


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