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Ben Shephard thanks fans for ‘lovely messages’ after first week on This Morning

Ben Shephard has thanked well-wishers for sending him “lovely messages” during his first week of hosting This Morning alongside Cat Deeley.

The duo helmed their first show together on Monday as they officially took over the reins from Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, who both left the ITV morning programme last year.

To mark the new chapter, Shephard shared a selection of photos to social media of him chatting and laughing with Deeley while presenting the show.

Sir Rod Stewart and Jools Holland featured in one of the pictures as the veteran musicians were among the first celebrity guests to join them on the sofa.

Alongside the post, he said he had been looking at images and noticed he and Deeley had done “a lot of laughing and of course had some delicious food”.

“I’m now fasting over the weekend to make room for more next week!!”, he added.

“Thank you for all your lovely messages. See you Monday I hope!”

Deeley commented on the post saying it had been “so fun” and that while he fasted she was trying out a steak recipe inspired by chef Donal Skehan who had been on the show during the week.

Shephard’s former Good Morning Britain co-star Susanna Reid was among those to offer their congratulations as she wrote: “Fabulous week – well done you & @catdeeley.”

The previous day, Deeley had thanked the team at This Morning for an “incredible first week” and praised Shephard for being the “perfect co-pilot on this already joyous new journey”.

She shared the comments alongside a grid of photos of her and Shephard presenting together.

Shephard is known for fronting the ITV quiz show Tipping Point and previously co-hosting ITV1’s breakfast show Good Morning Britain (GMB).

He left GMB in February in order to front This Morning, which he has previously presented as a replacement for Schofield.

Deeley rose to fame as a presenter of Saturday morning ITV children’s programme SM:TV Live alongside Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, and its spin-off music programme CD:UK, with Willoughby.

She is also known for hosting ITV’s Stars In Their Eyes, the BBC’s Fame Academy and American competition show So You Think You Can Dance, which she presented for more than a decade.

Last year, This Morning saw a rotation of presenters on the famous sofa, including Deeley who hosted alongside Rylan Clark in November.

Schofield left ITV in May 2023 and was dropped by his talent agency after admitting to an “unwise but not illegal” relationship with a younger male colleague.

In October, Willoughby left the show, saying she had made the “decision for me and my family”.