Phillip Schofield has announced his departure from ITV’s This Morning.
On 20 May, the 61-year-old presenter took to his Instagram story to reveal the sudden news.
“I have always been proud to cover fascinating stories on This Morning. But recently, This Morning itself has become the story,” he wrote.
“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.”
Schofield went on to say that his leave would take an “immediate effect” before expressing his hopes for the show to “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,” he added.
Schofield’s shocking departure comes amid reports of on-set tension with his This Morning co-host Holly Willoughby.
Back in May, a source told The Sun that the two longtime friends were “barely speaking.”
“To those around them on set, it has become clear recently that Holly and Phil are not as close as they once were,” the insider added.
“Professionally, you would have no idea there was anything going on because on camera, they are acting exactly the same.”
In response to the rumours, Schofield refuted claims of a feud in a statement to the aforementioned publication 11 May.
“The last few weeks haven’t been easy for either of us. As I have said before, Holly is my rock,” he said. “We’re the best of friends – as always, she’s is an incredible support on screen, behind the scenes and on the phone.”
In addition to on-set tensions with Willoughby, Schofield’s departure comes after his brother Timothy Schofield was convicted and sentenced for sexually abusing a child.
Timothy is scheduled to serve 12 years in prison for 11 counts of sexual offences between October 2016 and October 2019.
Back in April, the Dancing on Ice host publicly condemned and disowned his brother for his crimes.
“As far as I am concerned, I no longer have a brother. My overwhelming concern is and has always been for the wellbeing of the victim and his family,” he said in an Instagram story (per Sky News).
In the wake of Schofield’s departure, Willoughby released a supportive statement thanking the 61-year-old for his work.
“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,” she wrote on her Instagram story. “The sofa won’t feel the same without him.”
ITV’s managing director for media and entertainment Kevin Lygo echoed similar sentiments in his own statement.
“We thank him for his two decades worth of absolutely terrific television on the This Morning sofa,” he said.
“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.”