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Ben Shephard hosts his last Good Morning Britain before move to This Morning

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By Steven McIntosh

Entertainment reporter

Ben Shephard has hosted his final edition of Good Morning Britain, before he leaves for his new role co-hosting This Morning with Cat Deeley.

He hosted his final programme alongside Kate Garraway, with whom he has presented ITV shows for decades.

Shephard said he had some “amazing memories” working on the programme.

He added it was “a real privilege” to have covered major news events on the show such as the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and the King’s Coronation.

“But mostly,” he told his colleagues, “the things that stand out are the people, working with you guys, and the guests that we have come in.”

Fellow GMB presenters Susanna Reid, Charlotte Hawkins, Richard Arnold, Andy Peters, Sean Fletcher and others joined Shephard on the sofa to say goodbye.

His final programme also featured tributes from Lorraine Kelly, Martin Lewis, Chris Kamara as well as messages from viewers.

Folk music group Fisherman’s Friends also performed a song in tribute to Shephard.

Referring to the later start he will have hosting This Morning, the host joked: “I’m going to get a lie-in… the alarm going off has never been something I enjoyed.

“But what I have known,” he continued, “is as soon as I get in I’m going to be surrounded by you brilliant, incredible, gorgeous, talented, challenging, chaotic, annoying, fabulous people who make me better at what I do.”

“It’s not lost on me that I wouldn’t be able to do it if you lot weren’t amazing and hadn’t been such brilliant friends and colleagues.”

He added: “It’s not just us; we just get to do the glorious bit, when it goes right but the team behind the cameras and everybody, thank you to them and thank you to the viewers as well for trusting me to wake you up in the morning.

Shephard and Deeley will join This Morning next month, replacing Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, who left the show last year.

The pair will host the show from Monday to Thursday, with Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary continuing to present on Fridays.

Reflecting on his move, Shephard said hosting This Morning was an “exciting opportunity”, but added: “It’s literally the other side of the wall so I’m really, really not going far.”

He also thanked viewers for their “amazing messages” of support after the news was announced last week.

Former footballer Kamara, who Shepherd worked with on ITV game show Ninja Warrior UK, said his Thursdays and Fridays watching GMB would “never be the same again” and called him “one of the nicest fellas”.

“Without your help and patience I couldn’t have gotten through the podcast that we did together last year,” he said.

The programme also featured messages from Shepherd’s former GMTV colleagues John Stapleton and Fiona Phillips along with former football manager Harry Redknapp.

“Ben, just wishing you all the very best for your new job,” Phillips, who is married to This Morning editor Martin Frizell said. “So excited for you.”

Stapleton said: “its 24 years since you walked into that GMTV newsroom and I remember several people saying to me, ‘watch that lad, he’ll go far’.”

Shepherd, 49, occasionally stepped in as a replacement for Schofield on This Morning before joining GMB at its launch in 2014.

Since then, he has been one of the regular hosts alongside Garraway, Susanna Reid and Hawkins. He began hosting more editions of the show in the aftermath of Piers Morgan’s exit in 2021.

SOURCE: BBC NEWS