The This Morning presenters have found themselves under close scrutiny this week, after reports emerged claiming that the pair have a strained relationship behind the scenes and “barely speak” when the cameras aren’t rolling.
While Schofield acknowledged that “the last few weeks haven’t been easy” in a rare statement, he insisted that he and Willoughby were still “the best of friends”.
On Saturday (20 May), ITV announced that Thursday’s show (18 May) had been Schofield’s last. He first presented the show in 2002.
Holly Willoughby will remain on This Morning and will co-host with the show’s other presenters.
On Friday (19 May) night, before the announcement was made, comedian Jack couldn’t resist making a dig at the presenters while appearing on BBC comedy series The Chris and Rosie Ramsey Show.
“You guys come across like you’ve got a lovely relationship,” podcaster Rosie said to Jack and his father Michael, with whom he presents a series of travel shows.
In response, Jack joked: “Behind closed doors it’s like Holly and Phil, we don’t speak to each other.”
With Chris, Rosie, and the audience gasping in response, Jack added: “What? Oh, come on!”
“Woo!” said Chris, as he exhaled heavily.
Announcing his departure from This Morning on Saturday afternoon, Schofield said that “ITV has decided the current situation can’t go on” and that he was stepping down “in the hope that the show can move forward to a bright future”.
“I have always been proud to cover fascinating stories on This Morning. But recently, This Morning itself has become the story,” he said.
“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.”
Holly Willoughby added: “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.”