Alison Hammond and Dermot OLeary pay tribute to Phil after This Morning exit

It’s business as usual at This Morning today, Monday 22 May, following Phillip Schofield’s shock exit from the programme after more than two decades.

Phillip has been hit with controversy of late in light of his brother Timothy being found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy over a three-year period, with the 54 year old being sentenced to 12 years behind bars last week.

The news of Timothy’s crimes reportedly caused friction between best pals Holly Willoughby and Phillip, with This Morning fans questioning their future on the show together.

As the allegations about their friendship continued to dominate the headlines, Phillip has now quit the programme. Meanwhile, Holly, 42, is taking a break from the show.

Replacing them today is Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary – who usually only host Friday’s edition of the popular ITV daytime show.

In light of Phillip’s departure, the duo issued a message to fans and sent their well wishes to their former colleague after 21 years on This Morning.

As Monday's show began, Alison and Dermot said they couldn't begin without paying tribute to Phillip and thanked him for his years of service on This Morning.

They said: "We all know he’s one of the best live television broadcasters this country has ever had.”

Phillip announced his exit on Saturday in a lengthy statement shared on social media.

“I have always been proud to cover fascinating stories on This Morning. But recently, This Morning itself has become the story,” he began.

“Throughout my career in TV – including the very difficult last few days – I have always done my best to be honourable and kind. I understand that ITV has decided the current situation can’t go on, and I want to do what I can to protect the show that I love.

“So I have agreed to step down from This Morning with immediate effect, in the hope that the show can move forward to a bright future. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me – especially This Morning’s amazing viewers – and I’ll see you all for the Soap Awards next month.”

Holly later addressed her friend’s exit as she said it “won’t feel the same without him”.

She said: “Hi Everyone… It’s been over 13 great years presenting This Morning with Phil and I want to take this opportunity to thank him for all of his knowledge, his experience and his humour. The sofa won’t feel the same without him."

Phillip began hosting This Morning in 2002, with Holly going on to join him as his co-host in 2009, replacing Fern Britton.


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