On the first broadcast of This Morning after Phillip Schofield‘s departure, Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary paid homage to him.
The 61-year-old host revealed his departure from the ITV daytime programme in a statement over the weekend, while his co-star Holly Willoughby is having a two-week vacation for half term before returning next month.
‘Now, we can’t start today’s programme without paying respect to the man who spent the previous two decades sitting on the This Morning sofa, Phillip Schofield,’ Alison Hammond remarked at the top of Monday’s edition.
‘So, as a programme, everyone on and off screen at ITV, and This Morning, want to offer a massive thank you to Phil for all he’s done to make this show such a success over the last 21 years,’ added her co-host Dermot O’Leary.
‘Quite simply, we all know he’s one of the finest live television broadcasters this country has ever had,’ Alison said of him. And we, along with the rest of the team, wish him the best of luck in the future.’
‘Holly’s now having a break for half term,’ Dermot remarked of the coming weeks. ‘She’ll be back in the studio in two weeks, on Monday, June 5th.’
On Saturday, Phil announced his departure from the show ‘with immediate effect,’ with Holly expected to continue hosting with members of the This Morning family.
In a statement, following multiple reports regarding the alleged ‘fallout’ between the pair, he wrote: ‘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.’
He has recently been seen wandering along the seashore in Cornwall with his 85-year-old mother Pat, seeking peace.
Holly said in her own statement: ‘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.’
This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV1.