Fan favourite Alison read out a pre-prepared statement that said Phillip Schofield was “one of the best live television broadcasters” Britain has ever produced when she took the reigns of the hit daytime show Monday, but fans on social media claimed the pair looked “uncomfortable” reading out the statement.
In a Twitter video, comedy legend Dapper Laughs whose real name is Daniel O’Reilly said: “Paying tribute to Phillip Schofield, the cringe is real!”
“Dermot defo knows somthing [sic], he does not want to be there.”
Phillip, 61 announced that he was stepping down from ‘This Morning’ “with immediate effect” after more than 20 years on the show following his brothers conviction and twelve year sentence for child sex offences and his own alleged grooming allegations, but on Monday new co-hosts Alison and Dermot O’Leary both acknowledged that he’s played a huge part in the programme’s success.
Alison said: “Now, we can’t start today’s show without paying tribute to the man who spent the last two decades sitting on the ‘This Morning’ sofa, Phillip Schofield.”
Dermot continued: “So, as a show, everyone on and off screen at ITV and ‘This Morning’ wants to say a huge thank you to Phil for what he’s done to make the show such a success over the last 21 years.”
Alison also wished the veteran TV presenter well for the future.
She said: “Quite simply, we all know he is one of the best live television broadcasters this country has ever had. And we and all the team wish him all the best for the future.”
Dermot subsequently confirmed that Holly Willoughby – Phillip’s former co-host – will return to the show in June.
He said: “Holly has now taken a break over half-term. She’ll be back in the studio two weeks on Monday, on the fifth of June.”
Phillip announced his departure from ‘This Morning’ over the weekend.
He said in a statement: “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.”
This Morning with Alison and Dermot airs Weekdays at 10am on ITV1 and ITVX.