Phillip Schofield quits This Morning with immediate effect

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Troubled ITV presenter Phillip Schofield has finally quit This Morning, the show he has hosted for 21 years, after weeks of turmoil over whether he should or go.

The presenter has been surrounded by controversy over the past couple of years, the most recent of which was his brother’s conviction for sexually assaulting a minor, for which he was this week sentenced to 12 years in jail.

Schofield quits

In a statement posted on his Instagram feed, Schofield said: Throughout my career in TV – including in 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.”

The ITV programme reportedly started haemorrhaging viewers over the past few weeks, as news spread of of a disastrous feud between Schofield and co-presenter Holly Willoughby.

ITV issued a statement saying: “After more than 20 years on the This Morning sofa, Phillip Schofield has stepped back from ITV’s flagship morning show having presented his last episode on Thursday 18 May.

“Having co-hosted the multi-award winning show for two decades, Phillip will continue to present peak time shows for ITV including next month’s The British Soap Awards and a new prime time series.

“Holly Willoughby will remain on This Morning and will co-present with members of the This Morning family.”

Schofield’s co-host on the popular morning show, Holly Willoughby, said: “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.”

Kevin Lygo, ITV’s Managing Director, Media and Entertainment 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.

“This Morning is made by one of the best and most diligent teams in television, who produce over 12 hours of live television each week.”

“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 came out as gay on This Morning, just over two years ago. At the time, he told Willoughby that it was entirely his own decision and that he was not having ‘his hand forced’ to come out as gay.

Both Schofield and Willoughby were also roundly criticised for their attendance at the lying in state of Queen Elizabeth II, following her death last autumn.

The pair were accused of ‘jumping the queue’ while hundreds of thousands of other mourners, including A-list stars such as footballer David Beckham, endured through the night queues along with the British public.

ITV’s staple of presenters looks to be in crisis this week, as Saturday Night Takeaway presenters Ant & Dec announced on Friday that they were stepping back from the hit weekend show in 2024.

Meanwhile, over on Channel 4, it was revealed this week the broadcaster was no longer willing to work with Escape to the Chateau husband and wife team, Angel and Dick Strawbridge.

Two Rivers Media, the production company behind the show, confirmed to Mediashotz that it was “no longer willing to work” with the couple. Although it said it couldn’t comment on the details, there were widespread reports of alleged abusive behaviour towards production members of the show.