Downcast Schofield flees London to be with mum after ‘devastating’ resignation

Carol McGiffin says Phillip Schofield is ‘so rude’

Phillip Schofield, 61, made the decision to walk away from the programme on Saturday afternoon after days of speculation.

The announcement came after a week of intense scrutiny since reports emerged on a rift with co-host Holly Willoughby.

The presenter said in a statement that members of staff at ITV have been aware that the situation surrounding himself and Holly can no longer go on.

Phil had hosted the show for 21 years and Holly has been a part of the show for 14 years.

To escape the whispers over his replacement the veteran broadcaster has escaped to Cornwall to be with his mother.

He made the 300-mile trip to the seaside to spend Friday chatting to his beloved mum on a coastal path walk, appearing to pour his heart out to her as she ambled alongside him with her walking frame.

The episode that aired on Thursday was to become his final one, denying him the chance of a farewell to fans.

Two days after his last appearance on the show, Phillip said: “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.

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“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.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me – especially This Morning’s amazing viewers – and I’ll see you all for the Soap Awards next month.”

Meanwhile, his former co-star and best friend Holly added: “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.”

The bets are now on who will take Phillip’s place on This Morning.

Birmingham-born Alison Hammond has rapidly become a fan-favourite over recent years with her quick wit and entertaining interviews.

Now, the star who found fame on Big Brother has quickly become the bookie’s favourite to take over from Phillip.

Jessica O’Reilly of Ladbrokes commented: “Alison’s in pole position and This Morning viewers would absolutely love to see her get upgraded from her hosting duties on a Friday.

“It would also be a huge statement if ITV had two females presenting their flagship mid-morning show.”

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