Who will replace Holly Willoughby? The runners and riders to take over from This Morning hostess after she quit months after Phillip Schofield stepped down

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  • Holly Willoughby has quit her role as host of This Morning after 14 years 

Holly Willoughby has quit her role as host of This Morning after 14 years following the uncovering of an alleged kidnap and murder plot against her.

The longstanding presenter, 42, announced her decision to leave the daytime show on Tuesday evening on her Instagram page, as she confirmed she ‘will not be returning’ to the show and revealed she had made the decision for ‘herself and her family’. 

Ms Willoughby’s exit from the ITV show comes after former Pizza Hut Gavin Plumb, 36, worker was remanded in custody last week charged over an alleged plot to kidnap and murder her.

The TV presenter pulled out of hosting This Morning on Thursday and her London home was reportedly being guarded by police after Plumb was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of conspiracy to kidnap. 

Earlier this year, Ms Willoughby’s co-presenter for 14 years Phillip Schofield also left the show after admitting to having had an affair with a younger male member of staff, which he initially lied about.

Insiders have now told MailOnline that Ms Willoughby felt the show ‘wasn’t the same’ after her co-host  left but was finally ‘tipped over the edge’ by the alleged kidnap and murder plot.

There was speculation that the question of Ms Willoughby’s return to the show would be a matter of if rather than when after a source told The Mirror that she was now on indefinite leave.

With the show due to relaunch in January, according to sources, MailOnline goes through a list of potential runner and riders who could take her place…

Holly Willoughby has quit her role as host of This Morning after 14 years following the uncovering of an alleged kidnap and murder plot against her

Holly Willoughby has quit her role as host of This Morning after 14 years following the uncovering of an alleged kidnap and murder plot against her

Ms Willoughby makes her debut as a presenter with Phillip Schofield on This Morning in 2009

Ms Willoughby makes her debut as a presenter with Phillip Schofield on This Morning in 2009

Statement: The presenter took to Instagram today to confirm she 'will not be returning' to the show

The presenter took to Instagram today to confirm she ‘will not be returning’ to the show

Ben Shephard

MailOnline understands that Good Morning Britain's Ben Shephard had been the favourite to join Holly when the show was due to be relaunched in January

MailOnline understands that Good Morning Britain’s Ben Shephard had been the favourite to join Holly when the show was due to be relaunched in January

MailOnline understands that Good Morning Britain’s Ben Shephard had been the favourite to join Holly when the show was due to be relaunched in January.

The co-anchor of the ITV breakfast show recently addressed rumours that he is being shorlisted as a permanent replacement for axed Phillip Schofield.

Mr Shephard, 48, was quizzed by reporters while chaperoning Susanna Reid at the ITV Pride of Britain Awards on Sunday. 

He said: ‘What I can tell you is I’m doing some more – I’m gonna be doing some more but I’m just helping out really. So I’ve got some days coming up between now and Christmas.

‘So I’m not exactly sure but I’m still very, very much part of the furniture…’

Mr Shephard has acted as a stand-in presenter on This Morning, covering for Phillip between 2005 and 2011. 

He also recently joined Holly Willoughby to host the 10am to 12.30pm show last month. 

Mr Shephard, who made his debut on the ITV Daytime show last month, currently rotates with Richard Madeley, Ed Balls and Martin Lewis to host GMB alongside either Susanna or his good friend Kate Garraway.

He stepped in more frequently when Piers Morgan first quit in 2021 and was the main presenter of GMB when it launched in 2014.

He also hosts the ITV quiz Tipping Point, which is pre-recorded, and the Saturday game show Ninja Warrior UK.

While he has also anchored shows such as The Krypton Factor and ITV2 spin-off programme The Xtra Factor, Mr Shephard has 23 years experience of presenting on breakfast television.

He joined the long-running programme GMTV in 2000 where he presented Entertainment Today alongside Jenni Falconer.  

Alison Hammond – Evens

Alison Hammond has also emerged as a frontrunner with even odds for her to replace Holly in the aftermath of her shock exit

Alison Hammond has also emerged as a frontrunner with even odds for her to replace Holly in the aftermath of her shock exit

Alison Hammond has also emerged as a frontrunner with even odds for her to replace Holly in the aftermath of her shock exit. 

After finding fame on Big Brother in 2002, the Birmingham-born TV personality, 48, joined This Morning as a showbiz reporter a year later, interviewing numerous celebrities.

She began regularly appearing on the show alongside Holly after the departure of Phillip Schofield earlier this year and immediately became a hit with fans for her bubbly personality. 

ITV sources say that she and Holly were regarded as a ‘total joy’ at the channel, with social media feedback also revealing that she was a popular with audiences. 

She hosted the BAFTAs alongside Richard E Grant in January and made her debut as co-host of the latest series of The Great British Bake Off last month.

Alison took over the role from Matt Lucas starring on the Channel 4 show alongside fellow host Noel Fielding. 

Josie Gibson – 2/1

Former Big Brother contestant Josie Gibson, 38, has been tipped by bookmakers by odds of 2/1 to replace Holly

Former Big Brother contestant Josie Gibson, 38, has been tipped by bookmakers by odds of 2/1 to replace Holly

Former Big Brother contestant Josie Gibson, 38, has been tipped by bookmakers by odds of 2/1 to replace Holly.

First rising to fame in 2010 after entering the Big Brother house, she has since enjoyed a career as a TV presenter including as a showbiz reporter for Channel 5 show OK! TV.

In 2019, she joined This Morning as a competition announcer but became a presenter on the show when filling in for Holly when she went on holiday.

Josie has since appeared as the main host of This Morning alongside an ever-changing roster of co-stars

She helmed the today’s show with Craig Doyle, as the pair were joined on the sofa by Derrick Evans, better known as Mr Motivator.

However, she recently revealed her own preference for her favourite co-host, which she unsuprisingly revealed to be Alison Hammond. 

She told The Mirror: ‘Obviously my favourite is Alison Hammond. I love Al – she’s got such a special energy.

‘She is the kindest person on Earth. You could ring Al and after the phone call, you feel a million dollars.

‘You’d never know if she was in a bad mood because she’s too busy trying to make you feel good.’

The mother-of-one has reportedly signed up to appear on I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here later this year after being offered a six figure ‘mega deal’ to venture down under.

Rochelle Humes – 10/1

Rochelle Humes has also been tipped as a potential replacement, with bookies' odds at 10/1

Rochelle Humes has also been tipped as a potential replacement, with bookies’ odds at 10/1

Rochelle Humes has also been tipped as a potential replacement, with bookies’ odds at 10/1.

The singer, who was catapulted to fame in girl band The Saturdays, regularly presents on This Morning, often appearing over the summer with co-host Andi Peters. 

Rochelle is married to husband Marvin Humes, former member of JLS, and have had three children together – Alaia-Mai, 10, Valentina, six, and Blake, three. 

The couple are co-hosts of the popular BBC Saturday night gameshow The Hit List, while Rochelle has also regularly co-presented family favourite Ninja Warrior UK which returns for season 5 next year. 

Despite emerging with lower odds than her This Morning colleague Alison Hammond, fans of the show recently revealed their preference of Rochelle. 

Fans said that they admire the 34-year-old for her natural presenting skills and on screen presence, with some calling for her to take on full time presenting duties.

Lisa Snowdon  – 16/1

Fashion modal Lisa Snowdon has also emerged as a potential candidate to take over from Holly in the wake of her departure, with odds of 16/1

Fashion modal Lisa Snowdon has also emerged as a potential candidate to take over from Holly in the wake of her departure, with odds of 16/1

Fashion modal Lisa Snowdon has also emerged as a potential candidate to take over from Holly in the wake of her departure, with odds of 16/1. 

The 51-year-old began her career at the age of 19 and quickly became one of the UK’s most popular fashion models, which landed her commercials with high profile magazines including Vogue, Marie Claire and Elle. 

She retained a successful career throughout the 1990s and 2000s, eventually being made the face of Britain’s Next Top Model in 2006 as the UK’s counterpart to supermodel Tyra Banks. 

After securing a regular spot on the airwaves as the co-presenter of Capital Breakfast on Capital Radio in 2008, Lisa appeared on the sixteenth series of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!

She has also guest presented episodes of Lorraine while the host took time off and most recently was crowned winner of Celebrity Masterchef in 2022. 

Lisa typically acts as a fashion presenter these days, but still models too.

She’s also a regular fixture on the This Morning presenting team, hosting segments about fashion.  







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