Why is Philip Schofield leaving This Morning and what happened between him and Holly Willoughby?

It has been announced that Philip Schofield is leaving This Morning after more than 20 years of hosting the ITV morning show

Philip Schofield is leaving This Morning
(Image credit: Getty Image)

On Saturday, May 20, 2023, it was announced that after more than two decades, Phillip Schofield would be stepping down from hosting This Morning, and leaving with immediate effect.

The presenter joined This Morning in 2002 and hosted with Fern Britton until 2009. For the last 14 years he has co-hosted with Holly Willoughby and the pair have grown incredibly close and created some fantastic on-screen moments for fans of the show. 

However, recent allegations and rumors of a fall-out have been plaguing the show for the last few weeks and has finally come to head as Phillip has stepped back from the show with immediate effect. So what exactly happend to the dynamic duo?

This Morning

(Image credit: Getty Images)

ITV announced on Saturday that Phillip would be leaving the show. "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."

This statement from the broadcaster did not explain why the presenter is stepping back or whether it was a mutual decision

Phillip Schofield

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In the same press release, Phillip Schofield also made a statement that read, "I have always been proud to cover fascinating stories on This Morning. But recently, This Morning itself has become the story. 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."

"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,” he concluded.

Holly Willoughby also commented, "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.”

Holly and Phil are reportedly in a feud which could see the end of their This Morning partnership

(Image credit: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

So what was Phillip referring to and what caused this drama? In April 2023, Phillip's brother Timothy was found guilty of sexually abusing a child. Reports suggested that Holly was upset that Phillip had not given her advance warning that his trial was coming up. Phillip publicly renounced his brother, denied any knowledge of his actions, and took some time off the show in March while his brother's trial continued.

However, the damage to Phillip's relationship with Holly seemed to be done as sources close to the production of ITV’s This Morning told The Sun, "They are separate entities. It has become an open secret that things aren't as rosy as they once were. To those around them on set, it has become clear recently that Holly and Phil are not as close as they once were."

"Professionally you would have no idea there was anything going on because on camera they are acting exactly the same. But behind the scenes, their relationship has cooled. Before there would be a lot of banter and camaraderie off-camera but that has dwindled." The source added, "Holly and Phil have gone through rough patches before like any professional pairing who have worked together for over a decade. Before they have always seemed to move on, but this time it seems different," concluded the source.

Although many celebrities have not made public comments on this ongoing situation, and both Holly and Phillip have not posted any tributes on social media. Phillip's former co-host has posted something rather cryptic. 

Amanda Holden stepped in on a number of occasions, particularly in 2014 and 2015 when she filled in for Holly Willoughby during her maternity leave.

In a social media post without a caption, Amanda posted an emoji of a flexed bicep with a black background. Amanda and Phillip publicly fell out a few years ago when he allegedly stopped Amanda from being Holly’s replacement on the sofa while she took on I’m A Celebrity hosting duties with Declan Donnelly back in 2018 as Anthony McPartlin's replacement. 

Amanda spoke about this falling out on Heart Radio at the time and said that she had offered Phillip an olive branch, to no avail. Amanda revealed, "Yes, I text him recently but didn't get a text back." 

Fans are certain that this was Amanda's subtle way of commenting on Phillip's departure from the show, but of course the cryptic nature of the post could really mean anything.

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.