Fans have applauded This Morning chef Clodagh McKenna for’supporting’ Phillip Schofield following his departure from the show.
The 61-year-old presenter announced on Saturday [May 20] that he was leaving the ITV afternoon programme with ‘immediate effect’ after more than 20 years of service.
Phil’s resignation came after claims of a ‘feud’ between himself and his co-star Holly Willoughby, 41, with sources alleging they seldom communicated behind the scenes.
During Monday’s episode, hosts Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary paid homage to the Dancing on Ice host, but many viewers were unimpressed by the tone, believing the presenter had died rather than departed the programme.
‘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,’ Alison said.
Dermot added: ‘So, as a show, everyone on and off screen at ITV, and This Morning, want to say a huge thank you to Phil for what he’s done to make this show such a success over the last 21 years.’
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Earlier today, This Morning chef Clodagh shared a snap of her and Phil smiling in the studio kitchen on social media.
‘21 years of brightening up our mornings,’ she penned.
‘And I’ve been so lucky to be part of 3 of them. I’ll miss the morning hug, the twinkle in your eye that makes me giggle and your empathy.”
‘You will be missed @schofe.’
Clodagh’s compassionate remarks drew acclaim, with many praising her for being the first to express him ‘love and support.’
One person wrote: ‘Fair play to you @clodagh_mckenna you are the first celebrity I’ve seen speaking out and supporting your friend, the lack of support has been deafening.’
Another added: ‘Thank you, Clodagh, for a heartfelt, kind and sweet tribute to our lovely Phil. It is very reassuring for the viewers (or ex-viewers) to read this and know he has at least one of the team on side.’
‘Lovely to see a heartfelt message to Phil. He deserved so much more than this. It’s despicable how he’s been forced out with such an abrupt end,’ a third commented.
Phillip has recently been sighted in Cornwall, wandering along the coast with his 85-year-old mother Pat.
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 ITV.