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Cat Deeley and Ben Shephard replace Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield

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By Emma Saunders, Ian Young’s & Noor Nanji

Entertainment reporters

TV presenters Cat Deeley and Ben Shepherd have been announced as the new hosts of ITV daytime show This Morning.

The pair is the permanent replacements for Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, who left the troubled show in May and October respectively.

Schofield left after reports of a rift with Willoughby. A week later, he admitted lying about an affair with a younger colleague.

Willoughby quit “for me and my family” five months later.

Deeley and Shephard are among the guest hosts who have since filled in.

Shephard said it felt like “a very special moment” to be joining This Morning permanently, while Deeley described the show as a “national institution”

They have now been picked them as the new main presenters, and will begin hosting This Morning next month to front the Monday to Thursday programmes.

Shephard said: “For the last 10 years I’ve been waking up with our ITV daytime audience on GMB and I now look forward to spending time with Cat, welcoming the viewer’s home after the school run or from their early morning routines, with a cup of tea and a mix of everything that makes This Morning so loved.”

His new co-host Deeley said This Morning was “like having your friends over”, adding: “Ben and I both know how much people love it, and with the help of an amazing team of people, we’re going to do our best to take care of it.”

Deeley found fame hosting SMTV with Ant & Dec, and was nominated for an Emmy Award for fronting So You Think You Can Dance? In the US.

Shephard currently presents ITV’s Breakfast show Good Morning Britain on Thursdays and Fridays, along with other work such as game show Tipping Point.

Other presenters on This Morning in recent months have included Alison Hammond, Josie Gibson, Craig Doyle, Emma Willis, Christine Lampard, Rylan Clark and Dermot O’Leary.

Schofield had been a fixture on the programme for two decades, but the news of his affair became a major scandal and sparked a crisis for the show.

In August, the House of Commons media committee said a “large number” of employees past and present had been in touch to make claims of wider “toxic working cultures, bullying, discrimination and harassment”.

Dr Ranj Singh, a former regular contributor, has also spoken out, saying the “culture at This Morning had become toxic”.

ITV’s chief executive has said she does “not recognise” claims of a toxic culture on the programme.

In September 2023, This Morning failed to win at the audience-voted National Television Awards for the first time in 13 years.

The show currently attracts about 800,000 viewers per day.

Hammond and O’Leary will continue to present on Fridays.

SOURCE: BBC NEWS