Dermot O'Leary and Alison Hammond address Phillip Schofield quitting show during This Morning opening
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The first episode of This Morning since Phillip Schofield's departure from the show was announced opened with a tribute to his time on the show.
Presenters Dermot O'Leary and Alison Hammond hailed his years on the sofa as they played a slideshow of pictures of him working on This Morning.
Over the weekend on 18 May, ITV released a statement confirming that Schofield had presented his final show of This Morning.
"Having co-hosted the multi-award winning show for two decades, Phillip will continue to present peak time shows for ITV including next month’s The British Soap Awards and a new prime time series."
And on this morning's episode, Hammond and O'Leary paid tribute to the presenter.
"Now we can't start today's show without paying tribute to the man who spent the last two decades sitting on the This Morning sofa, Phillip Schofield," Hammond said at the beginning of today's show (22 May).
"So, as a show, everyone on and off screen at ITV and This Morning want to say a huge thank you to Phillip for what he's done to make this show such a success over the last 21 years," added O'Leary, as the show played a slideshow of pictures of the presenter.
"Quite simply we all know he's one of the best live television broadcasters this country has ever had, and we and all the team wish him all the best for the future." Hammond added.
"Yep, so Holly's now taking a break over half term, she'll be back in the studio in two weeks on Monday the fifth of June." O'Leary mentioned before normal service resumed and This Morning delved into their daily content.
Speaking of his departure from the show, Schofield said in a statement: "I have always been proud to cover fascinating stories on This Morning. But recently, This Morning itself has become the story.
"Throughout my career in TV – including the very difficult last few days – I have always done my best to be honourable and kind. I understand that ITV has decided the current situation can’t go on, and I want to do what I can to protect the show that I love."
"So I have agreed to step down from This Morning with immediate effect, in the hope that the show can move forward to a bright future. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me – especially This Morning’s amazing viewers – and I’ll see you all for the Soap Awards next month."