Holly Willoughby reveals she's leaving This Morning early and Phillip Schofield will present alone – as feud rumbles on | The Sun
HOLLY Willoughby is set to leave Phillip Schofield to present alone today – leaving fans gobsmacked.
The presenter will be leaving This Morning early to fulfil a prior commitment – in an extraordinary and unheard of move for the star.
Holly, who spent yesterday presenting an award for Princes’ Trust, revealed: “I have put my posh dress on today because later on this afternoon I am heading to Buckingham Palace and there the King will be and we will get to introduce the winners.”
Phil quipped: “So you are off mid dayish and I am holding the fort.”
Holly replied: “Yes you are, thank you very much.”
Fans couldn't believe she was heading off early and struggled to remember a time when she had done so previously.
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One person commented: “Given the, erm, *circumstances* I reckon Holly jumped at the chance to knock off half an hour early …”
A second added:“No wonder Holly looks happier she gets to bugger off early #ThisMorning."
While a third remarked: “#thismorning philip on his own later as lovely Holly has been invited out ! wonder how the ratings will be!”
And another tweeted: “So Holly is off to the Prince's Trust young people's awards. Phil is…. erm… not invited.”
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"No wonder Holly looks happier she gets to bugger off early #ThisMorning," quipped someone else.
The decision to leave in the middle of the show comes as their feud rumbles on, amid reports Phil is set to get the axe.
Insiders say many believe that time is finally up for 61-year-old Phil, who has hosted the ITV juggernaut since 2002.
This Morning’s boss Martin Frizell could also be in line for the chop, according to staff — as ITV top brass attempt a major overhaul of the embattled series.
However those working on the daytime show say they understand that popular co-presenter Holly Willoughby’s job will be safe.
A source said: “This Morning is preparing for some seismic changes this summer — and Phil is lined up as the first major name for the chop when his contract expires this summer.
“It’s highly unlikely he’ll be back in September.
“Plans are being drawn up for a new look This Morning and, at the moment, Phil is not featuring in them. He has worked on the show for over two decades. Many feel it is time for some fresh blood.”
It comes after The Sun revealed that Phil and Holly — who sparked controversy by jumping the queue to see the Queen lying in state last September — are barely speaking off camera.
Since Holly and Phil’s rift was revealed by The Sun last week, fans of the daytime show have flooded social media with calls for a change.
Their mood has not gone unnoticed by ITV, who were yesterday faced with a near-200,000 drop in This Morning viewers compared to the same day last week.
It comes as the show has been attempting to “keep calm and carry on” this week in the wake of Holly and Phil’s fallout.
The two presenters assured bosses they would remain professional on air and the pair have kept their word.
However viewers say the tension between them is painfully obvious despite their best on-screen efforts to conceal it.
After details of their rift was made public, The Sun revealed how Phil called in a lawyer to help him.
Insiders said at the time how tensions between him and Holly had been rumbling for a while and were worsened by Phil’s brother Timothy’s sex abuse trial.
The former police IT worker was found guilty last month of 11 sexual offences, including two against a child.
He is due to be sentenced on Friday at Bristol crown court.
Following the case, Phil said it had “not been easy”.
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Holly joined Phil on the sofa in 2009 after they were first paired together three years previously on Dancing On Ice.
Together they have won 12 National Television Awards and were so close their families went on holiday together nearly every year.
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