Phillip Schofield’s departure from This Morning has triggered mass speculation as to who will take the hot seat – and a new frontrunner has emerged. Schofield resigned from presenting ITV’s flagship daytime TV show after months of instability, which began with a reported feud between him and co-host Holly Willoughby, and concluded on Friday (May 26) when Phil, 61, confessed he had an extra-marital affair with a much younger man.
With his departure his career in the TV world is in tatters, and there has been a flood of speculation over who will join Holly, 42, as her permanent co-host.
While Alison Hammond has been the frontrunner, having already co-hosted with Holly successfully earlier this year, the bookies fancy a new name as the favourite.
Good Morning Britain host Ben Shephard is the new leader, while Dermot O’Leary has snuck into second place.
Alison now has joint odds with Rylan Clark, which Rochelle Humes, Richard Madely, Judy Finnigan and even Piers Morgan are believed to have a shot, The Mirror reports.
Bookmaker Coral give Ben 4-5 odds to replace Schofield on the sofa permanently.
Coral’s John Hill said in a statement: “Ben Shephard is no stranger to morning television, as he has been one of the faces of Good Morning Britain for the last nine years.
“If our odds are correct, he may be set to get a few more hours in bed in the morning, as we make him the new frontrunner to replace Philip Schofield on the 10am show on ITV.”
Their other odds are 2-1 Dermot O’Leary, 3-1 Alison Hammond, 3-1 Rylan Clark, 5-1 Rochelle Humes, 12-1 Richard Madeley, 16-1 Judy Finnigan, 20-1 Piers Morgan.
Phil shocked fans last weekend when he announced he was walking away from his lucrative job on This Morning – although there has been speculation he was fired, rather than given the chance to quit on his own terms.
But then on Friday, he made a shock confession that he had cheated on his wife with a much younger man and then lied about it to cover his tracks.
Explaining his affair was with a teenager, the star admitted that what he did was “unwise, but not illegal” – words that have sparked widespread mockery from members of the public on social media.
Phil has since been dumped by his talent agents at YMU who claim they had no idea Phil had lied about having an affair with a young man while still married to a woman.