Phillip left with one TV show as Holly set to go solo on This Morning | Celebrity News | Showbiz & TV
Phillip Schofield will be given just one prime time show to host on ITV – and it’s likely to be a series he has already fronted.
Insiders said the presenter, who was axed from This Morning over the weekend after more than 20 years on the sofa, will return with either Dancing on Ice, The Cube or 5 Gold Rings.
One source said: “They want to take it slowly, one project at a time.”
And, while a permanent replacement will be sought for him on This Morning to co-host alongside Holly Willoughby, there is no pressure – because bosses are prepared for her to “do a Susanna”.
The show’s chiefs are said to be “totally relaxed” about finding the right person to join Holly, because Susanna Reid has worked “brilliantly” as the main presenter on Good Morning Britain alongside a series of guest hosts.
READ MORE: Phillip Schofield flees London to be with mum after ‘devastating’ resignation
One source said: “When Piers Morgan left GMB it was panic stations as everyone set about finding someone to replace such a huge personality. In the event, they needn’t have worried.
“The guest hosts have worked a treat. So, while finding a regular is the ideal solution, it’s also perfectly plausible that Holly can do a Susanna and just work with a series of different co-hosts. It’s a nice idea to try out for a while anyway.”
Those in the frame for sofa shifts will include Friday show regulars Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary, plus Joel Dommett, Amanda Holden and Matthew Wright.
Monday’s show will be fronted by Alison and Dermot, ITV confirmed on Sunday. It is not clear who will present for the rest of the week.
On Saturday, Schofield announced he was leaving the ITV daytime show with “immediate effect” having joined This Morning in 2002.
Phillip appeared downcast and glum over the weekend as he sat in his car with his mother Pat after fleeing 300 miles from London to Cornwall.
Holly, who has hosted alongside Phillip since the departure of Fern Britton in 2009, will remain on the sofa but has been given an extended half-term holiday and will not return to the screen until June 5.
The departure of Phillip came as brother Timothy was handed a 12-year sentence for sex crimes against a child on Friday.
Some TV staff believe Holly – who reportedly issued an ultimatum that she would walk if Phillip wasn’t forced out – became convinced that he was going to damage her career.
One insider said: “It’s as if this situation with Phillip’s brother has made her feel that he’s toxic and it’s going to somehow rub off on her. Daytime TV might look all warm and fuzzy but on the inside it’s brutal.”
Phillip said: “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.”