This Morning's Holly Willoughby replaced by Rochelle Humes for first 2021 show

Susannah Alexander
·2-min read
Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

From Digital Spy

This Morning returned to our screens today (January 4) for its first show of 2021 but it wasn't entirely back to business as usual, as regular presenter Holly Willoughby was absent from the studio.

Her co-star Phillip Schofield, who hosts alongside Holly between Monday and Thursday during school term times, was instead joined by guest presenter Rochelle Humes for the first show of the New Year.

After the show began, Phillip immediately addressed Holly's absence, explaining that his regular co-host is spending a couple of extra days with her family after her Christmas break.

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

Related: This Morning's Eamonn Holmes thanks fans for support

It is not yet clear whether Holly will return this week or if Rochelle will continue to cover in her absence.

This isn't the first time that Holly has been unexpectedly missing from This Morning, as she also took a few days off in November in order to self-isolate after two of her children experienced coronavirus symptoms, which thankfully turned out not to be COVID-19.

Holly recently revealed that she almost took an extended period of time away from This Morning in 2020 due to uncertainty over the pandemic, saying that she felt "a real pull" to stay at home when it all began.

"I was scared like everybody else," she said, adding: "I think that there was a lot of fear there and that didn't pass me by."

2021 marks a change in the regular presenting line-up for This Morning, with Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford no longer presenting Friday editions of the show. Instead, Dermot O'Leary and Alison Hammond will take over the regular Friday slot.

Eamonn and Ruth shared an emotional message with fans after presenting their final Friday show in December, asking viewers to be "nice and lovely" to Dermot and Alison and thanking viewers for "all the love that you've sent us".

However they aren't disappearing from the sofa completely, as the couple will still be taking charge of the show during school holidays and will next be seen during the February half-term.

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.

Watch: Rochelle Humes wanted to 'scrub her skin off' following racial abuse

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