Holly Willoughby has announced that after 14 years of hosting the ITV show This Morning, she will be stepping down “for me and my family.”
She had not been on the midday program since the previous week, when a guy was charged with soliciting to commit murder over an alleged plot to kidnap the TV presenter. Since then, she had been absent from the show.
She announced on Tuesday that she had informed ITV of her decision to leave the show after 14 years. “I will not be returning to This Morning,” she said in the post.
Her statement didn’t make any clear references to the purported plot from the previous week.
She continued by saying, “It’s been an honor to just be a part of its story, and I know that this story has many more chapters to go.” To my regret, though, I now believe that I need to make this choice for both myself and my family.
“I will miss you all so much.”
After Holly’s departure, what does the future hold for This Morning?
The announcement comes five months after the show was rocked by controversy when her former co-host Phillip Schofield resigned after admitting to lying about having an affair with a younger coworker. The incident caused the show to be pulled from the air for five months.
Willoughby, who is 42 years old, expressed her gratitude to all of the people who had worked on the show in a letter, saying, “This is such a difficult goodbye, you are incredible, and I forever will be proud of what we’ve done together.”
She went on to say that she was grateful to everyone at ITV for their support. We are grateful to each and every visitor who has taken a seat on our sofa.
“Most of all, I’d like to extend my gratitude to the amazing viewers. You have been such a dependable friend, such a strong supporter, and the very finest company each and every day.
Kevin Lygo, the managing director of media and entertainment for ITV, was quoted as saying, “We are sad that Holly is leaving This Morning, but we respect her decision, which we know will have been extremely difficult for her to make.”
“Holly is one of the broadcasters in the UK who has achieved the most success, is the most well-liked, and is highly respected.
Over the course of the past 14 years, she has been an integral part of This Morning, and the audience really adores her.
Everyone on the show will miss Holly tremendously because she contributed her own special brand of warmth, energy, humor, and fun to one of the most popular daytime shows in the country.
“She remains a much loved member of the ITV family and we look forward to continuing to work with her in the future.”
Willoughby’s co-host on This Morning, Alison Hammond, responded to her post on Instagram by saying, “This is a very sad day! I adore you.”
The final comment came from Dermot O’Leary, who said, “Nothing but love and respect for you and yours. X”
Vanessa Feltz, a regular donor, penned the following in an email to the recipient: “We will miss you so very much my darling.”
Willoughby, who presented her farewell edition of the show on the previous Wednesday, is married to Daniel Baldwin and has three children with him.
On Thursday, it was reported that she was receiving protection from the police at her residence.
Gavin Plumb, a resident of Potters Field in Harlow, Essex, made an appearance in court on Friday. He is accused of “soliciting, encouraging, persuading, endeavoring to persuade, or proposing to a third party” to kill Willoughby the previous week. Plumb is also charged with “soliciting, encouraging, persuading, or proposing to a third party” to kill Willoughby.
He was ordered to remain in custody until the 3rd of November, when he will be brought before the Chelmsford Crown Court for a plea hearing.
Willoughby’s rough year in retrospect
Willoughby began her career in broadcasting by presenting children’s programs. In 2006, she and Schofield were teamed together to host Dancing on Ice, and in 2009, they began co-hosting the long-running show This Morning.
This Morning has been victorious in the National Television Awards in the daytime category, in the live magazine category, and in the topical magazine show category for the past 12 years in a row thanks to the success of the pair.
However, it was not successful this year, and both she and the program have been going through a rough patch.
The hosts came under fire after allegations surfaced that they cut in line to view the casket of the late Queen Elizabeth in September of last year. Then, in May, Schofield’s affair threw the show into disarray, leading to additional criticism.
Willoughby said the revelation that her co-host had lied to her about his relationship with a younger male ITV staffer as “very hurtful.”
The repercussions from the incident resulted in Schofield being fired from her position at ITV and broader claims of a poisonous workplace environment on the program.
As soon as Willoughby returned to This Morning after the uproar, she questioned the viewers head-on, inquiring, “Are you OK? I certainly do.”
This week, Josie Gibson and Craig Doyle have been co-hosting This Morning alongside Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond, respectively. The show also has a number of guest hosts.
ITV has not yet disclosed who will take over for Schofield or Willoughby on This Morning or who will host the upcoming season of Dancing on Ice. Also, ITV has not yet selected a new host for the show.
Where will we go from here on This Morning?
This Morning has arrived at a fork in the road. It is possible that the format may continue on with different hosts, but it is also possible that ITV could seize the opportunity to try something else in the mid-morning period they currently have.
There is a little probability that the midday show will be canceled, at least not right away. In the event that this occurred, there would be a three-hour hole in the schedule that would not be simple to fill.
The production of the show is not very expensive, and its central formula, which includes celebrity interviews, advice from “agony aunts,” and cooking segments, is not entirely dependent on the personalities of those who host the show.
It is important to note that after Piers Morgan stepped down as host of Good Morning Britain in March 2021, ITV did not find a suitable replacement for him. People have continued to watch the program despite having a revolving cast of guest presenters for the past two and a half years. This is due to the fact that the concept, which combines news with entertainment, is ultimately what draws viewers in.
Having said that, now might be an excellent time for ITV to try something new instead of continuing with now Morning if they have been considering such a change. After all, the first broadcast of the show was in the year 1988.
ITV may be tempted to change up the brand and introduce a new program with a similar concept now that both Schofield and Willoughby have left the company. The new program would have a new title, new studio, new branding, and new presenters. However, the format would remain the same.