As Phillip Schofield Leaves This Morning, Here Are Our Top Picks To Replace Him

Holly Willoughby is in need of a new co-host. We have some thoughts.
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby
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After weeks (if not years!) of speculation, Phillip Schofield has announced he is stepping down as host of This Morning, effective immediately.

Over the weekend, the departing daytime star said he and ITV had “agreed” that he should leave the show after more than 20 years at the helm, and speculation has already begun about who could potentially replace him.

With Holly Willoughby confirmed to be staying on as host when she returns from what’s been billed as her “early May half-term holiday”, here are 12 picks we think could be potentially join her on the sofa in the not-too-distant future…

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Former X Factor host Dermot has already emerged as the bookies’ early favourite to take over Phillip’s spot on the This Morning sofa.

Dermot has been part of the This Morning family since 2020, when he and Alison Hammond took over from Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford as the show’s Friday hosts.

In that time, he’s emerged as a safe pair of hands at the helm of the daytime show, so would definitely be a reliable co-host for Holly after a somewhat turbulent period.

Of course, this would leave Alison without a co-host, and we’d personally be more than happy to see Josie Gibson stepping up to the plate, as the two have already successfully shared the screen on numerous occasions.

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On the other hand, viewers are largely rooting for Alison to co-host with Holly – and we’re inclined to agree with them.

Alison has become a real fan-favourite in the last few years thanks to her unique and candid approach to presenting, sense of humour and always-bright demeanour.

Plus, like Dermot, she’s proved herself to be a truly reliable host since the pair began their stint as main This Morning hosts, and it’d be exciting to see two women fronting the show together on a permanent basis.

Pairing Holly with someone as cheerful as Alison would be a great way for This Morning to see in a new era – and we reckon Dermot and Josie would make a great pairing on Fridays and school holidays, too.

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After a somewhat lengthy absence, Rylan returned to the This Morning sofa in 2022, when he guest presented several shows with Ruth Langsford.

While he hasn’t been a regular on the daytime show for some years now, he’s still often associated with it, and he’s been at the centre of speculation that he could be in line to replace Phillip.

Interestingly, Rylan did also announce recently that he was stepping down as host of the nightly Strictly Come Dancing spin-off It Takes Two, so at least we know he’s got some spare time on his hands during the week...

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Another of the bookies’ top picks is Irish presenter Craig Doyle, who has been part of the This Morning family since last year, in which time he’s co-hosted the show with fellow relief presenters Mollie King, Rochelle Humes and Josie Gibson.

His additional on-screen credits include Lorraine and Tomorrow’s World, while Irish viewers will recognise him from his talk show Tonight With Craig Doyle.

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Like Craig, Ore Oduba has also been a This Morning guest host on numerous occasions in recent history, fronting the show with Lisa Snowdon, Rochelle Humes and Davina McCall.

Originally known for his work in the world of sports presenting, Ore found himself a whole new audience in 2016 when he won Strictly Come Dancing, and has more recently appeared in musical theatre.

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Alternatively, if This Morning is looking for fresh blood to push the show into its next era, we could imagine Joel Dommett making a real success of it.

The stand-up comedian has become a go-to for ITV in recent history, fronting the hugely successful Masked Singer and its various spin-offs, as well as the channel’s flagship awards show, the NTAs.

Earlier this year, he also made his This Morning debut, co-presenting with none other than Holly herself.

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Holly actually began her career in children’s TV presenting, and fronted both Ministry Of Mayhem and Saturday Showdown with Stephen Mulhern in the mid-2000s.

Teaming up with him almost 20 years later on This Morning would be a real full-circle moment for the former colleagues, and given Stephen’s prominence at ITV, we’d imagine he’s certainly been part of early conversations.

The In For A Penny host has actually filled in for Phillip once before, too, presenting an episode of Dancing On Ice with Holly back in 2022 when her usual co-presenter had Covid (oh yeah, we wonder what’s going to happen with Dancing On Ice? Watch this space, we suppose).

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Meanwhile, if bosses really were interested in having a female pairing front This Morning on a permanent basis, we think Davina McCall would be a great shout.

Not only are she and Holly friends away from the screen, Davina already has plenty of experience guest presenting This Morning, which she’s been doing with Phillip and numerous other co-hosts since around 2017.

Bradley Walsh
Bradley Walsh
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The Chase host Bradley Walsh has already been named as a “serious contender” to replace Phillip in the tabloid press.

Not only is he an ITV staple at this point, he’s also shared the screen with Holly before, when the two fronted the short-lived BBC gameshow Take Off With Bradley & Holly.

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Surely the time has come for Andi Peters to get a more prominent place in the daytime pantheon.

After being a staple on shows like Good Morning Britain, Andi (who previously succeeded Phillip Schofield as host of The Broom Cupboard) has since stepped further into the spotlight thanks to guest presenting stints on both Lorraine and This Morning.

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Vernon Kay is another star whose name has repeatedly been mentioned in the days since Phillip announced his departure.

Since the ex-T4 host began his stint as a relief presenter on This Morning with Josie Gibson last year, he’s been well-received by viewers, but there’s a bit of a roadblock in his way at the moment.

You see, Vernon recently took over the mid-morning show on BBC Radio 2, which airs slap-bang in the middle of This Morning, so he’s obviously a little bit busy during that particular timeslot right now…

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Alright, hear us out on this one.

In the last few years, Richard Madeley has made himself pretty comfortable as part of the rotating team of guest hosts over on Good Morning Britain, but has repeatedly said he wouldn’t want to join the show permanently.

However, if ITV were really in the mood for shaking things up and getting people talking with some good old stunt casting, having Richard return to his old stomping ground on This Morning – this time with Holly, rather than his wife Judy Finnigan – would certainly be one way of going about it.

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV1.


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