Holly Willoughby ‘determined to push This Morning forward’ as she returns to show today

Holly Willoughby will make her much anticipated return to This Morning today, Monday 5 June, following former co-presenter and friend Phillip Schofield's controversial exit.

Holly, 42, will be joined by Josie Gibson and resumes her position on the famed blue sofa after an extended half-term break amid the shock departure of Phil, 61, who left the show after being at the helm for over two decades. The disgraced presenter revealed he'd had an affair with a younger male ITV employee.

The bubbly mum-of-three's return to presenting duties was confirmed at the end of Friday's episode of This Morning, which was hosted by Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary, with Josie confirmed to fill in as co-host.

The Sun newspaper has since reported Holly is planning to address the Schofield controversy on the show, telling viewers how difficult it has been behind the scenes.

Insiders told the Daily Mail she is "apprehensive" about getting back in front of the camera, but is "determined to steer the show through these unprecedented times" that have swarmed the popular daytime show.

It comes after Phil said he "didn't tell anybody" about his affair with his former This Morning colleague, confirming one-time close friend Holly "did not know", in a tell-all interview with the BBC's Amol Rajan.

Similarly, in his interview with The Sun, the 61 year old presenter apologised to her for lying about his relationship, and said: "I've lost my best friend".

He added: "I let her (Holly) down. I let that entire show down. I let the viewers down. Holly did not know (about the affair) and she was one of the first texts that I sent, to say: 'I am so, so sorry that I lied to you'.

"She didn't reply and I understand why she didn't reply as well. So yeah, if anyone is in any way linking Holly to this, that is ­absolutely, wholly untrue."

The duo, who had presented the show together since 2009 and also co-hosted Dancing On Ice before Schofield resigned from ITV, had been open about their close friendship over the years.

Holly's return comes as the ITV show has been plagued by allegations of "toxicity", including from former This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes, who has alleged there was a "total cover-up" over Phillip's affair.

The show's former resident doctor, Dr Ranj Singh, also hit out at a "toxic" culture, saying he raised concerns about "bullying and discrimination" two years ago when he worked there and afterwards felt like he was "managed out" for whistleblowing.

In a letter from ITV boss Dame Carolyn McCall to Parliament on Wednesday, she said an external review conducted following a complaint made by Dr Ranj found "no evidence of bullying or discrimination".

Meanwhile, former This Morning head of news Emily Maddick, who worked on the show from September to December 2019, claimed she quit the programme due to "bullying, sexism and a toxic culture of fear and intimidation".

On Saturday, This Morning editor Martin Frizell told a Sky News reporter to "read between the lines" amid claims of toxicity, adding: "I think there's some scores being settled."

Dame Carolyn has been called to a parliamentary committee on 14 June, to answer questions about the broadcaster's approach to safeguarding and complaint handling following Schofield's exit.

On Wednesday, she confirmed the broadcaster had instructed barrister Jane Mulcahy KC of Blackstone Chambers to carry out an external review of the facts.


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