Alison Hammond is “feeling the pressure” and showing signs of "awkwardness" on This Morning following Phillip Schofield’s shock departure, a body language expert said.
The popular presenter hosted the ITV daytime show on Wednesday morning as she continues to stand in for Holly Willoughby and Phillip – with the former taking a break and the latter having sensationally quit.
Alison, 48, was joined on the sofa by Craig Doyle for the latest episode as usual co-host Dermot O'Leary was off celebrating his 50th birthday.
Body language expert Darren Stanton revealed that although Alison was a “very confident woman” and the stronger person in the dynamic – she was also displaying signs of feeling awkward with “a lot of pressure on her shoulders”.
Speaking on behalf of Betfair, he said: “Alison is a very confident woman. She’s been with This Morning for a very long time.
“However, as Phillip and Holly have been the main presenters for so long, I think there is a lot of pressure on Alison’s shoulders.
"Whether she is presenting with Craig or Dermot, she appears to be the stronger person in the dynamic – but I can tell she feels the pressure as the most prevalent person in the running."
Analysing her gestures, Darren added: “When you look at Alison’s presenting, she tends to clasp and lock her hands a lot when she’s reading from the autocue. Then, she will release them, and bring them together again or place them in front.
“These are all pacifying gestures, which is what we do when we feel awkward. Overall, Alison is very confident, but it’s clear she is feeling the pressure now.”
Darren went on to say that Alison was the ‘leader’ between her and her ‘nervous’ co-host Craig, 52.
He said: “During the opening moments of the show, Alison touched Craig’s arm as she said, ‘It’s really good to have you back.’ It’s noticeable that Craig was quite nervous, so it was a nice gesture for Alison to do on screen.
"He was quite jittery when he was speaking, so it’s clear Alison made sure to reassure him and put him at ease as much as she can – showing him that they were in it together.
"Craig was often putting his hands in his pockets, which is seen as a signal of reassurance. It’s clear that Craig relies on Alison’s confidence as a leader of the two of them. She is definitely the stronger presenter."
In a statement released at the weekend, Phillip, 62, announced he was quitting This Morning with immediate effect after a rumoured feud with co-host Holly created a media storm.
According to sources, Phillip has received a hefty six-months' wage packet as part of his leaving deal. He is still expected to host the British Soap Awards in June, and ITV bosses said he would be back presenting a prime-time show later in the year.
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