Willoughby will remain as a presenter, ITV announced, provisionally being joined by “members of the This Morning family”. In response to Schofield’s resignation, Willoughby said that “the sofa won’t feel the same without him”.
While ITV has said it will make an announcement on whether Schofield will return to Dancing on Ice in 2024 “in due course”, the broadcaster has confirmed that Schofield will still host the Soap Awards on 3 June, along with an unnamed “brand new peak-time series”.
The broadcaster’s managing director of media and entertainment, Kevin 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.
“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.”
But sources have told The Times that there are doubts over whether the unnamed show will materialise, and whether the presenter will front any further ITV programmes after the Soap Awards.
One source who works closely with ITV told the publication: “The heat is not going away and I’d be extremely surprised if we see him on the channel after the Soap Awards, which are a bit of a second tier show.”
As an example of how ITV’s relationship had soured with another of its key presenters, they noted that the broadcaster has not put out any new shows with Jeremy Kyle, despite a commitment to continue working with the star, after The Jeremy Kyle Show was cancelled following the suicide of a guest in 2019.
An ITV producer added: “They may make a pilot episode to honour their agreement but the expectation is that [Schofield] will be eased out. He will end up on a rival channel making documentaries about railways.”
When approached by The Independent for comment, a representative for This Morning reiterated Lygo’s remarks above.
The Independent has contacted Schofield’s representatives for comment.
There has been much speculation about who could replace Schofield as Willoughby’s co-host, from Dermot O’Leary to Jeremy Clarkson. Read about all the names in the rumour mill here.