Here's How This Morning Addressed Holly Willoughby's Exit On Wednesday's Show

"We just loved working with Holly. She made coming to work so much fun. We’re all really sad."

This Morning has given an emotional on-air tribute to host Holly Willoughby, following the news she is leaving the show after 14 years “for me and my family”.

On Tuesday evening, the presenter announced she would not be returning to the ITV daytime show in a statement posted on her social media accounts. This followed the news last week that a man has been charged over an alleged plot to kidnap her.

Stand-in hosts Rochelle Humes and Craig Doyle addressed Holly’s exit at the start of Wednesday’s show

“Of course, we want to start by sending our love, best wishes and respect to our Holly,” Rochelle said.

“Last night, Holly made what we know will have been a heartbreaking decision to leave This Morning after 14 years,” Craig said.

Craig Doyle and Rochelle Humes pay tribute to Holly Willoughby on This Morning
Craig Doyle and Rochelle Humes pay tribute to Holly Willoughby on This Morning

Rochelle 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 week, have been hard to deal with, and she’s quite rightly putting her family first.”

Craig went on: “On behalf of everyone here, in front and behind the camera, we just loved working with Holly. She made coming to work so much fun. We’re all really sad, and we’re really going to miss her.”

Rochelle continued: “Holly says she’s incredibly proud of what she’s achieved on this show, and so are we.”

Craig added: “She will forever be one of us. But as Holly Willoughby knows only too well, the show must go on.”

Holly Willoughby on This Morning last month
Holly Willoughby on This Morning last month
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

As the show then moved into its news review segment, regular contributor Vanessa Feltz said: “People love her because she’s loveable, but I know people wonder what she’s really like – can anyone be that pretty, that lovely, like a Disney princess to look at? Can anyone be that sweet really?

“I’ve worked with her now – and am very proud to call her a friend – for 14 years, and she is, through and through, golden-hearted, sweet, funny and extremely bright. Don’t be fooled by that pretty face to think there’s nothing behind the eyes. She’s a bright, clever, intuitive, incisive, fabulous person.”

Vanessa continued: “She’s a wonderful person and you can see family is her absolute everything. And when somebody is rocked to the core by a threat of pure evil upon their actual life, my goodness, it’s like something in a horrible movie – completely unthinkable.

“It’s really happened and you can see why she’s made the decision she’s made. It must have been so incredibly hard for her, and it’s going to be very hard for all of us because we’ll miss her as she’s such a ray of sunshine and a wonderful person.”

She added: “I wish her all the best, and most particularly safety and love with her family.”

In her statement, Holly wrote: “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.”

Quoting the original hosts of This Morning, Holly continued: “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.”

Holly had not been seen on the show since last Wednesday, with The Sun later reporting she was “under police guard at her home” after “sinister” messages were found on a man’s phone reportedly threatening to “seriously harm” the daytime TV presenter.

Holly seen with Josie Gibson on her last episode of This Morning last Wednesday
Holly seen with Josie Gibson on her last episode of This Morning last Wednesday
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

He appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on Friday, charged with soliciting to commit murder and incitement to commit kidnap.

Holly’s exit from This Morning comes just months after that of her former co-host Phillip Schofield, who left the show after 21 years in May, amid reports of a falling out between the pair behind the scenes.

A week later, he then resigned from ITV altogether after admitting to having lied to producers about an affair with a younger colleague on the show.

Holly with former This Morning co-host Phillip Schofield
Holly with former This Morning co-host Phillip Schofield
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

In the months since, Holly had continued to front This Morning with a rotating roster of the show’s existing presenters, including Alison Hammond, Dermot O’Leary, Craig Doyle and Josie Gibson, who all rallied round Holly on social media after she announced her exit.

Holly joined This Morning in 2009 alongside Phillip as a replacement for former co-host Fern Britton.

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV1.

The charges in this story have been updated.


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