ITV Stands by Ex-‘This Morning’ Host Phillip Schofield, Promises Him New Primetime Series

ITV is standing by one of its most popular anchors after he controversially stepped down from daytime show “This Morning” on Saturday.

ITV’s head of entertainment Kevin Lygo confirmed the network is working with Phillip Schofield on a new prime time series as well as the British Soap Awards, which Schofield is set to host next month and is broadcast by ITV.

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In a statement, Lygo said: “Phillip is hands down one of the best broadcasters of his generation and we thank him for his two decades’ worth of absolutely terrific television on the ‘This Morning’ sofa. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Phillip starting with the British Soap Awards in June and a brand new peak time series to come.”

Schofield, who has worked on “This Morning” since 2002, confirmed he would be quitting the show on Saturday after rumors intensified over the past few weeks that he had fallen out with his long-running co-anchor Holly Willoughby. His last episode was broadcast on Thursday.

Willoughby is believed to be staying on the magazine format show although there has been no confirmation as to who will join her on the famous “This Morning” sofa on Monday morning or who is set to replace Schofield in the long term. The frontrunner is believed to be “This Morning” special correspondent Alison Hammond.

It was Schofield who reportedly first persuaded ITV bosses to hire Willoughby as his co-anchor in 2009 after the duo began working together as the hosts of celebrity ice skating competition “Dancing on Ice” in 2006. Neither Schofield, Willoughby nor ITV have publicly commented as to whether the former friends will return to host this year’s competition if it goes ahead as it usually does in the winter months.

Despite ITV’s claims it was standing by Schofield, the television presenter implied it was not his choice to leave “This Morning.” In a statement confirming he was leaving he wrote: “I understand that ITV has decided the current situation can’t go on […] So I have agreed to step down from ‘This Morning’ with immediate effect.”

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