Special ways Cat Deeley and Ben Shephard are preparing for This Morning

Cat Deeley and Ben Shephard are on the countdown to starting at This Morning

Cat Deeley has embarked on a three day holiday. (Cat Deeley Instagram)
Cat Deeley has embarked on a three day holiday. (Cat Deeley Instagram)

Cat Deeley and Ben Shephard are the new hosts of This Morning but how are they preparing for their new gig?

It is a huge gig in the UK showbiz world and one everyone has been talking about ever since Holly Willoughby quit her envy-inducing job after 14 years in October. In an emotional goodbye, she said: "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."

Now ITV finally decided on who the This Morning replacements for Willoughby and Phillip Schofield after months of trialling different stars on the sofa. Deeley and Shephard will take our screens by storm Monday to Thursday every week day while Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary will continue to host Fridays.

While ITV bosses were making their decision, Deeley showed no signs of slowing down as she jetted out to Los Angeles in California to get to work on the latest series of So You Think You Can Dance which returns to the small screen in the US on March 4.

But now it's crunch time. The This Morning start date is fast approaching as the new hosts join the TV sofa on 11 March. So how are the two TV hosts preparing for their first day on This Morning? And what an exciting time in the showbiz world as they are starting their new job the day after the Oscars...

Cat Deeley on holiday

Cat Deeley on holiday before This Morning. (Cat Deeley Instagram)
Cat Deeley on holiday before This Morning. (Cat Deeley Instagram)

Deeley has escaped for a three-day sun-soaked break in Cabo San Lucas, in Mexico where she is catching the sizzling rays. As well as sunbathing, the presenter has taken some time out of her busy schedule to read Normal People too.

Entertainment and TV expert for PR firm Press Box, Lynn Caratt, told Yahoo: "Who can blame Cat Deeley for taking a holiday before she starts her new job on This Morning? Cat has been over in America filming the 18th season of So You Think You Can Dance, so she’s been busy working.

"On top of her presenting work, she's also mum to two fairly young children; her eldest son Milo is eight and her youngest son, James, is five. She shares them with her husband, comic Patrick Kielty. The couple relocated back to the UK at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.

"Once Cat starts her role presenting This Morning, she and husband Patrick will be juggling like all parents as he has to travel to Ireland every week to front the Late Late show. So Cat will want to feel as recharged as possible."

Ben Shephard's break

Ben Shephard reveals why he is moving to This Morning. (ITV screengrab)
Ben Shephard has quit Good Morning Britain. (ITV screengrab)

Shephard quit Good Morning Britain after 10 years and now he has been taking time off ahead of his start date on This Morning. As he is very family focussed, it is likely the devoted dad will be spending time at home.

PR expert Carratt also shared: "Ben Shephard also finished his job at GMB on Friday 23rd February and has taken a couple weeks off before starting his new job on this morning. A break before a new job helps you reset and shift your mindset to the new job, evidence also shows taking a break before a job makes you more productive and you start your new job feeling happier and refreshed."

Although Shephard has had a very successful TV career, he has never been shy about putting his family first. Previously, the presenter has turned down returning to Goals on Sunday after nine years of hosting the Sky Sports show in order to spend more time with his family. With his wife Annie Perks whom he has been married to since 2004, he raises sons Jack and Sam.

He explained his decision at the time to The Mirror: "Now they’re teenagers, Sam is taller than me and Jack is not far behind, which I’m trying to come to terms with. They’re consumed by schoolwork all week, the weekend is the only time I can spend with them."

Saying goodbye to GMB

In recent weeks, Shephard has also been saying goodbye to his Good Morning Britain colleagues. Many of them paid tribute to him too. Signing off the show on Friday 23, Shephard said: "What I have known is soon as I'm going to be surrounded by you, gorgeous, challenging, chaotic, annoying people who make me better at what I do. It is not lost on me I wouldn't be able to do it without you... Thank you... I'll see you in a couple of weeks."

Kate Garraway – who joked about knowing him forever – paid a sweet tribute to Shephard in an emotional moment. She said on GMB: "We know that you will be fantastic. We will also be in your lives as friends. Everyone in GMB will stay in your lives, you have a special bond with everybody."

She also wrote on social media: "Massive congrats to Ben Shephard on the This Morning gig. You’ll be SOOOOO missed by EVERYONE Good Morning Britain viewers and the team alike & of course especially me. BUT after 24 years hard labour by my side no one will begrudge you time off for good behaviour!!! Good luck swapping early starts for (a bit) of a lie in and a Kate for a Cat! Cat Deeley can’t wait to see you - you’ll have a ball."

Fellow GMB star Susanna Reid shared some lovely words on social media for Shephard to mark his major milestone. She wrote: "BEN! Going to miss you but I know you’ll bring your best Benergy to This Morning. Thanks for 10 fantastic years from launch to send-off."

Shephard wrote an equally moving post: "Only seems like yesterday when Susanna Reid and I first sat next to each other at the GMB desk. 10 years have flown by. Back on the Southbank we’d often head outside in the sunshine which was always a treat - (as long as the signal worked) tech issues aside the constant has been the laughter.

"So many memories, so many moments but so many laughs. Thanks for putting up with me, helping me, guiding me and mostly laughing with me. I’ll miss you and those moments on air, but know we’ll have plenty more off air!"

Read more: This Morning

This Morning hosts Cat Deeley and Ben Shephard. (ITV)
This Morning hosts Cat Deeley and Ben Shephard. (ITV)