This is how Richard Madeley reacted to Holly Willoughby's shocking departure from This Morning

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Richard Madeley, who was This Morning's original co-host alongside his wife, has given his candid opinion on Holly Wiloughby's departure from the show after 14 years.

This Morning has faced uncertainty since Phillip Schofield's departure following revelations of an affair, with no official announcement regarding his replacement. And now, his former co-host Holly Willoughby has made the emotional decision to leave the long-running ITV show This Morning after a 14-year stint. Her departure comes after her recent absence from the program due to a disturbing incident involving a reported kidnap and murder plot against her.

With her resignation, This Morning is expected to undergo a very difficult transitioning phase to retrieve their image, given that the program just suffered a humiliating loss at the NTA.

Holly Willoughby's reason for quitting This Morning

In an Instagram post shared on Tuesday, the 42-year-old presenter expressed her gratitude for her time on the show, thanking everyone who had contributed to its success. Admitting it is a 'difficult goodbye', the TV personality said she was making the decision 'for me and my family'.

Willoughby, however, refrained from directly addressing the alleged plot against her. Instead, she stated:

'I will not be returning to This Morning after 14 years. It’s been an honor 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. This is such a difficult goodbye, you are incredible and I forever will be proud of what we’ve done together. I will miss you all so much.'
Richard Madeley Holly Willoughby This Morning departure reaction Karwai Tang

Kevin Lygo, ITV's Managing Director of Media and Entertainment, expressed his respect for her decision and the difficulty it entailed. He wrote:

'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.'

Richard Madeley's reaction to her departure

Richard Madeley reacted to Holly Willoughby's departure from This Morning by saying, 'I'm not surprised.' He praised Willoughby for prioritizing her family life and expressed support for her decision, telling Good Morning Britain that Willoughby has done 'exactly the right thing' by leaving the programme.

Madeley, who co-hosted the show with his wife Judy Finnigan for 13 years, believes that Willoughby's choice to put her family first is entirely valid and necessary. He said:

'I think and Judy agrees with me … that Holly has done a very brave and wise and courageous thing. We know that Holly genuinely puts family first, she puts her family first and her career second. And that really is the order. And I think given the year that she’s had, all the things that she’s she’s she’s had to put up with, and then this terrible thing that happened last week, given that she’s done the show for 14 years, which is a year longer than Judy and I did it when we left, I think it’s given her a chance to kind of step back and take stock and she’s put her family first.'

Speaking on GMB, Madeley said: 'When we left, and it was a bit of a shock, it was a bit undercover and subterfuge, we appeared on Channel 4, a lot of people said: ‘Well, that’s the end of This Morning, because This Morning is Richard and Judy’, which is obviously very flattering, but we knew it wasn’t true.'

Potential replacements: Alison Hammond tops the list

Willoughby's departure has left many wondering about her replacement. Among the leading contenders is Alison Hammond, who has gained immense popularity through her roles on The Great British Bake Off and as a stand-in host on This Morning. In 2020, she secured the permanent role of hosting the Friday afternoon slot, replacing Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford. She has already filled in for Willoughby during school holidays and has won the hearts of viewers.

Rylan Clark, known for his appearance on The X Factor in 2012 and other hit shows such as Big Brother's Bit On the Side and It Takes Two, is another potential candidate. Presently, he has extended his presence to BBC Radio 2 and has become a frequent face on various TV programs.

Another familiar face who might step into Holly Willoughby's shoes on This Morning is Rochelle Humes. The singer-turned-presenter is well-known to viewers, having hosted the ITV daytime show both alongside her husband, JLS musician Marvin, and as a solo presenter.

Davina McCall, who hosted the dating show My Mum, Your Dad and has a connection to Big Brother, is also being considered.

Read more:

Holly Willoughby's new career move has This Morning viewers unhappy

Holly Willoughby may not return to This Morning, here's why

This is how This Morning fans reacted to Holly Willoughby's return to the show

This is when Holly Willoughby will return to This Morning

© David M. Benett

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