Life after Holly Willoughby has begun on This Morning as the ITV show went to air for the first time since she quit on Tuesday (October 10).

Willoughby revealed on Tuesday she would be stepping down from her role as co-host on This Morning effective immediately. 

In a statement, released on Instagram, she said: "I have let ITV know today that after 14 years, I will not be returning to This Morning.”

“To everyone who has ever worked on the show over the years, thank you so so much.

“This is such a difficult goodbye, you are incredible and I forever will be proud of what we’ve done together.

“Thank you to everyone at ITV for being supportive. To every guest who has sat on our sofa, thank you.

“Most of all, thank you to the wonderful viewers. You’ve been so loyal, so supportive and the very best company every day.

“Richard and Judy said ‘we only look after this show, it will always belong to the viewers’. 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.

“I will miss you all so much. Holly.”

Willoughby has starred on the ITV daytime show for 14 years, many of which were spent presenting alongside former co-host Phillip Schofield.

The Northern Echo: Holly Willoughby spent most of her 14 years on This Morning co-hosting alongside Phillip Schofield.Holly Willoughby spent most of her 14 years on This Morning co-hosting alongside Phillip Schofield. (Image: ITV/PA)

ITV said despite Willoughby's departure from This Morning it looked forward to continuing to work with her “in the future".

Managing director for media and entertainment at ITV, Kevin Lygo, said: “We are sad that Holly is leaving This Morning, but respect her decision which we know will have been extremely difficult for her to make.

“Holly is one of the best-loved, respected and most accomplished broadcasters in the UK.

“She has been at the heart of This Morning for the past 14 years, and she is adored by our viewers.

“Holly has brought her unique brand of warmth, energy, humour and fun to one of the country’s most popular daytime shows, and everyone on the programme will miss her enormously.

“She remains a much-loved member of the ITV family and we look forward to continuing to work with her in the future.”

The news Willoughby would be leaving This Morning comes following a turbulent 2023 for the departing host.

Willoughby withdrew from her normal presenting duties on Thursday (October 5).

Earlier in the year it was alleged her close friendship with Schofield had broken down with the off-air rift resulting in him stepping down from This Morning.", "We'll miss you" and "Goodbye Holly". 

Presenters Craig Doyle and Rochelle Humes began the show by paying tribute to their "friend" and former colleague. 

Humes started by saying: "We want to start by sending our love, best wishes and respect to our friend Holly.

Doyle continued: "Last night Holly made, what we know, would have been a tough decision to leave This Morning after 14 years."

Before Humes added: "Holly loved her job and was really looking forward to the future of the show.

"But recent events, especially in the past week, have made it harder to deal with and she has quite rightly put her family first."

Doyle also said: "From everyone here in front and behind the camera we just loved working with Holly and we're really going to miss her."

Humes concluded by saying: "Holly said she's incredibly proud of what she's achieved on the show and so are we, she will forever be one of us."

Who will replace Holly Willoughby?

Alison Hammond and Josie Gibson are among the favourites to take over the role vacated by Willoughby.

Odds from BonusCodeBets have shown that other presenters already a part of This Morning are among the favourites to take over Willoughby's role.

The odds are as follows:

  • Alison Hammond - Evens
  • Josie Gibson - 2/1
  • Rochelle Humes - 10/1
  • Lisa Snowden - 16/1
  • Amanda Holden 25/1
  • Davina McCall 33/1
  • Mel Giedroyc 33/1
  • Ruth Langsford - 33/1
  • Sue Perkins - 50/1
  • Judy Finnigan - 50/1

A BonusCodeBets spokesperson said: “Alison Hammond is the current evens favourite according to the bookies, with Josie Gibson next in the betting at 2/1.

“Outsiders for the role include 33/1 shots Davina McCall and Mel Giedroyc, while a return for Ruth Langsford is also 33/1 and Judy Finnigan is 50/1 to make a comeback.”