This Morning presenters Holly Willoughby and Dermot O'Leary were left cringing after a joke from regular guest Gino D'Acampo aimed at Phillip Schofield. 

This was D'Acampo's first appearance on the show in a while, with the cook explaining he had been in Italy for the past month.

The past month has seen former host Schofield step down from his role on This Morning amid an alleged off-air rift between him and Willoughby, and then from ITV after he revealed he'd had an affair with a younger male colleague.

Gino D'Acampo makes joke aimed at Phillip Schofield on This Morning

Ahead of his cooking segment on This Morning, D'Acampo explained where he has been for the past month and how good it was to be back. 

He said: "I was in Italy for a month, I got back two days ago and I can't wait to cook for you all."

D'Acampo added: "A bit strange, I was going to cook Melazane Parmagiana."

To which Willoughby replied: "I love that, that's my favourite."

D'Acampo continued: "With the big aubergine, but apparently I can't do anything with aubergine at the moment."

When the camera panned back to O'Leary, the This Morning presenter could be seen putting a pen in his mouth as a sign of awkwardness.

D'Campo went on to add: "Everything is under control, I'm back. Any news from the last month I should know? Anything I should know?"

Dermot O'Leary says Gino D'Acampo is back for "one time only"

O'Leary had remained quiet throughout the exchange on This Morning until D'Campo asked why he wasn't saying anything. 

The Northern Echo: Dermot O'Leary was involved in an awkward exchange with Gino D'Acampo on This Morning.Dermot O'Leary was involved in an awkward exchange with Gino D'Acampo on This Morning. (Image: ITV)

To which O'Leary responded: "Just need to re-phrase, he's (D'Acampo) back for one time only."

This Morning fans took to social media following the exchange to share their thoughts.

One person, on Twitter, said: "Dermot turned into the awkward emoji but with a pen in his mouth."

While another person said: "@Ginofantastico We love you..... The way Dermot froze."

A third person added: "Let him present the show. I’d watch it."

D'Acampo is said to be among the favourites to replace Schofield long-term on This Morning along with O'Leary and Alison Hammond.