Holly Willoughby was conspicuously absent from the pictures of her former co-host Phillip Schofield during a tribute to tonight’s episode (Monday May 22). This morning.
Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary led the tribute to Schofield on the first episode of the ITV show since his surprise retirement.
The 61-year-old announced his departure from the popular ITV morning show “effective immediately” on Saturday (May 20) after weeks of rumors of a falling out with his main co-host Holly Willoughby.
You can follow updates here as they come out.
Speaking on Monday’s (May 22) show, Hammond and O’Leary first welcomed their former colleague’s departure.
“We cannot begin without paying tribute to the man who has sat there for the past two decades This morning Sofa, Phillip Schofield,” Hammond explained.
“The show, everyone on and off screen at ITV and This morning I want to say a big thank you to Phil for what he has done over the past 21 years to make the show such a success.
“Quite simply, we all know he’s one of the best live television channels this country has ever had. And we and the entire team wish him all the best for the future.”
O’Leary then clarified that Willoughby, who co-hosted most of the time with Schofield, is currently on pre-term break and would be returning to the show on Monday, June 5th.
During the brief tribute, the program featured photos of Schofield working alone over the years.
Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trial
Willoughby is said to have given ITV an ultimatum before announcing the departure of their former presenter.
“Holly made it clear it was her or Phil, but he refused to go until he was given something else specific to announce,” said an executive The times.
In a statement after the news broke on Saturday (May 20), Willoughby thanked Schofield for “all of his knowledge, experience and humor.”
She added, “The sofa won’t feel the same without him.”