Eight weeks ago Phillip Schofield stepped down as presenter of This Morning, a role which he had occupied for over 21 years, after it was revealed that he had been sleeping with a former runner on the show who was significantly younger than him.
A lot has happened since then. Schofield has been dropped from effectively all of his brand and charity collaborations — The Prince’s Trust, We Buy Any Car, Craft Gin Club — and effectively gone into hiding. Co-host Holly Willoughby, on the other hand, took a two-week break from the show in the wake of the scandal and returned to a revolving door of temporary replacment co-hosts filling Phillip’s seat. Now she’s off again on a two-month summer holiday, while the permanent replacement for Schofield is still unconfirmed.
Here, we look at those hotly tipped to win in the race to the sofa, examining their fame, their form and their presenting finesse and giving our very own judgement as to who’s in pole position.
TV credentials: Part of T4’s original line up in 1998 before presenting Big Brother’s Little Brother, X Factor and This Morning on Fridays with Alison Hammond as well as having his own show on Radio 2, Dermot, 50, has had a stellar career in broadcasting. An established member of the This Morning family, he’s a safe bet.
Presenting style: Assured, calm and dry – there is the sense he brings a consistently steady hand (except that one time he called Alison Hammond “such a bitch” on live television) and his expertise when it comes to putting guests and colleagues at ease is evident.
Likelihood: Quite, but him and Hammond are a sacred duo and may be kept together.
TV credentials: Alison, 48, was a contestant on the third series of Big Brother in 2002 and despite being the second housemate went on to appear on shows such as Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes as Nina Simone, Celebrity Ready Steady Cook, I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here and Strictly Come Dancing to name just a few. She has also worked for This Morning as a reporter since 2002 and has presented the show on Fridays alongside Dermot O’Leary. In March it was announced that Hammond would replace Matt Lucas as a host on The Great British Bake Off.
Presenting style: Joyful, enthusiastic, energetic, warm. Hammond’s speciality is not taking herself too seriously – not only does she not mind taking the mick out of herself, she thrives on it. Her laugh alone is reason enough to watch her and the irreverent way she interviews some of the biggest cheeses in showbiz a total treat (drinking whisky with Harrison Ford; flirting with Michael Buble). Google her running away from Italian police live on air if you want a proper belly laugh.
Likelihood: As high as O’Leary, but with the same reasoning against her (sacred duo etc).
TV credentials: Thirty four-year-old Rylan’s first foray into TV was as a contestant on X Factor in 2012 where he made it to the Judge’s Houses round of the show. Despite being criticised by Gary Barlow throughout his time on the show, his dramatic persona made quite impression and went on to win Celebrity Big Brother 2013. From here his rise to broadcasting stardom has been rapid: he presented Big Brother’s Bit on the Side. He has worked with This Morning as a reporter and stand in presenter since 2014, and he and his former husband Dan Neal became the first gay couple to front the show.
By 2016 he was presenting his own chat show, Up Late With Rylan for Channel 5.
He has also presented on The One Show and Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two and appears on Celebrity Googlebox with his mum, Linda.
He also has his own show on Radio 2 Rylan on Saturday and it was during this show that he announced he would be taking a break “because I am off to do some other bits and bobs so I’m not going to be here for a fair few weeks” which has only fuelled suspicions that he will replace Schofield.
Presenting style: Witty, mischievous and genuine yet super glamorous – megawatt grin, deep tan, neat beard - he’s groomed to within an inch of his life. Rylan thrives on banter and light-hearted verbal sparring with his co-hosts and is endlessly emotional. Any fan of Rylan’s will know tears are par for the course (“I love bit of drama”).
Likelihood: High - he’s a favourite in the sofa race.
TV credentials: Viewers are most likely to recognise 52-year-old Doyle for his stints on BT sports, especially if they watch rugby, or if they’re from Ireland and have a habit of watching RTÉ, Ireland’s equivalent of the BBC, on which Craig has hosted Tonight with Craig Doyle and RTÉ2's Craig Doyle Live. Craig’s links to ITV come from his recent role presenting the Rugby World Cup coverage in 2022, and he’s been a regular on this morning since last year as well.
Presenting style: Disarming, charismatic and talkative. The mums love him and Holly seems to as well.
Likelihood: Very likely, viewers have recently remarked on his good chemistry with Holly and he’s a shoe-in for the job.
TV credentials: A broadcasting veteran Andi Peters, 52, shot to fame in the late 1980s when he presented from The Broom Cupboard for Children’s BBC with a puppet called Ed the Duck. From here he went on to head up a host of children’s shows including Take Two and Live & Kicking. He has countless producing credits which include both Top of the Pops and Shipwrecked. Most recently he has presented segments on Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and guest hosted on Lorraine.
Presenting style: Friendly, comfortable and endlessly professional. Viewers are always in safe hands with Andi but he’s not a hot favourite.
Likelihood: Unlikely, doesn’t have strong enough chemistry with Holly.
TV credentials: Aged just 29 Piers became editor of News of the World — the youngest person to hold such a role on a national newspaper in over 50 years which tells you everything you need to know about his nose for a story. His news savvy lent itself well to his later career in TV presenting: he has hosted Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, had his own show for CNN and co-hosted Good Morning Britain alongside Suzannah Reid. He left the latter in 2021 following comments he made about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (which resulted in an on-air spat with his colleague Alex Beresford).
Presenting style: Bullish. Morgan, 58, thrives on confrontation. He says the unsayable and as a result his career is peppered with controversies having had feuds with numerous high profile people including Hugh Grant who he called a “tedious little man”, Jeremy Clarkson and Madonna. He’s possibly a bit too divisive for a show already dealing with a bit of a PR crisis.
Likelihood: Very unlikely, unless some major ITV boss wakes up one morning and decides to choose chaos.
Marvin and Rochelle Humes
TV credentials: Marvin, 38, was part of JLS, runners up on the X Factor in 2008. The band had a string of hits before splitting in 2013, by which time Marvin had his own radio show on the Capital Network and had co-presented This Morning alongside Rochelle, something the couple coninued to do on a stand in basis until 2018. Marvin has also hosted The Voice UK and made history as the first ever male presenter on Loose Women.
Rochelle, 34, started her showbiz career aged just 12 in 2001 as a singer with S Club Juniors, before joining The Saturdays in 2008. However, she has has TV presenting experience since 2004 thanks to co-hosting children’s TV show Smile. She has also hosted The Xtra Factor and had various presenting slots on Heart FM.
Rochelle has guest hosted This Morning alongside a various co-presenters, including Schofield.
While it is thought that Holly will remain on the show – which would mean there was only space for only person to join her, if this changed the couple would surely be in the running as a duo. As it stands either of them could potentially fill Schofield’s boots.
Presenting style: As a duo the couple are warm, friendly and have the relaxed intimacy of two people who have been married for over a decade. As individuals this warmth carries over – they are both confident, polished and personable.
Likelihood: Medium, with Rochelle’s odds looking higher than Marvin’s, but still not enough to be out front runners Rylan and Craig.