Cat Deeley and Ben Shephard named as Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby’s This Morning replacements

ITV’s new This Morning presenting duo has been announced following the departures of Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby last year.

Schofield dramatically quit the show in June 2023, after which he admitted to lying about an affair with a younger male colleague, and, four months later, ITV were thrown another blow when Willoughby revealed she was stepping away from the daytime series.

Ever since, there has been a rotating roster of presenters, including Craig Doyle, Rylan Clark, Lisa Snowdon and I’m a Celebrity contestant Josie Gibson. Hosts of the breakfast show’s Friday episodes, Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond, were also given an elevated role in the wake of the departures.

However, the new fixed faces of This Morning have been confirmed to be Cat Deeley, 47, and Good Morning Britain co-host Ben Shephard. 49 – and they will host episodes from Monday to Thursday. O’Leary and Hammond will present the Friday episode as usual.

Speaking about his appointment, Shephard said: “This really feels like a very special moment for Cat and I to be part of the next chapter of This Morning. It’s an honour to be trusted with the reigns, join Alison and Dermot and all the team that work on and off screen and do such a great job.

“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 viewers 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.”

Meanwhile, Deeley, who called the daytime show “a national institution”, added: “This Morning is and always will be the viewer’s show. 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.”

This Morning’s Editor, Martin Frizell, called Deeley and Shephard’s hiring as the show’s full-time hosts “the start of another exciting chapter in the show’s 35 year journey”.

Cat Deeley and Ben Shephard are the new faces of ‘This Morning’ (Shutterstock)
Cat Deeley and Ben Shephard are the new faces of ‘This Morning’ (Shutterstock)

The pair were revealed to be ITV’s top choice to become the fixed faces of the series, in what has been called “one of the most coveted gigs in UK television”, late last year.

At the time, a source told The Sun their casting “will be a real boost to morale” among the show’s production team after a rocky year, stating: “Lots of people were considered. Ultimately it’s about chemistry.”

They continued: “Cat really impressed when she came in, and Ben is a consummate professional and hugely popular with the housewife demographic. He’s an extremely safe pair of hands, has real gravitas, and doesn’t have a whiff of scandal around him.”

Cat Deeley won role of ‘This Morning’ presenter after ‘impressing’ producers (Getty Images)
Cat Deeley won role of ‘This Morning’ presenter after ‘impressing’ producers (Getty Images)

According to the outlet, they will have the same salary of approximately £550,000 each, which is £150,000 less than what Schofield and Willoughby were earning. An ITV spokesperson toldThe Independent: “We don’t comment on speculation.”

Deeley’s career was launched as co-host of children’s show SM:TV Live, winning a Bafta Children’s Award in the process alongside Ant and Dec. She also hosted its music spin-off show CD:UK, from 1998 to 2005, and later presented Fame Academy as well as a reboot of Stars in Their Eyes.

Since 2006, Deeley has been the host of So You Think You Can Dance in the United States.

Meanwhile, former GMTV host Shephard has been a member of the GMB team since 2014, and is also known for hosting the game show Tipping Point.

Ben Shephard is moving from ‘Good Morning Britain to ‘This Morning’ full time (Getty Images)
Ben Shephard is moving from ‘Good Morning Britain to ‘This Morning’ full time (Getty Images)

It’s been a controversial 12 months for This Morning due to Schofield’s resignation, which was initially believed to be the result of a growing feud with Willoughby. However, days after he quit the programme, the presenter sensationally admitted to lying about having an affair with a much younger male employee.

He was subsequently dropped by his agent, YMU, and resigned from ITV altogether.

Willoughby’s decision to quit the show in October – after 14 years – came after a fright in her personal life; the host was given “indefinite leave” after a man was charged with soliciting to commit murder and incitement to commit kidnap.

In her full statement, she “thanked everyone who has ever worked on the show over the years”, adding: “This is such a difficult goodbye. You are incredible and I forever will be proud of what we’ve done together. Thank you to everyone at ITV for being supportive.

Holly Willoughby stepped away from ‘This Morning’ in October (Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)
Holly Willoughby stepped away from ‘This Morning’ in October (Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

“To every guest who has sat on our sofa, thank you. Most of all, thank you to the wonderful viewers. You’ve been so loyal, so supportive and the very best company every day. “Richard and Judy said ‘we only look after this show, it will always belong to the viewers’. It’s been an honour to just be part of its story and I know this story has many chapters left to go.

“Sadly, however, I now feel I have to make this decision for me and my family.“I will miss you all so much. Holly.”