Daily Mail

Holly Willoughby returning to Dancing On Ice after Schofield axe

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 23.06.2023 18:24:39 Sarah Packer, Chief Showbiz Reporter

Holly Willoughby is set to return to ITV's Dancing On Ice after her former co-star Phillip Schofield was axed from the programme.

Despite rumours she would be replaced, sources close to the presenter, 42, say that she plans to be back on the show when it airs early next year.

MailOnline has learned the This Morning host is keen to stay on and will begin contract talks in the autumn where she will also have a say in the identity of her new co-host.

Her decision will come as a relief to ITV who have feared for some time that she might leave all of her responsibilities outside of This Morning and do more work at the BBC who have been trying to poach her for many years.

Some of the channel's bosses privately feared Ms. Willoughby would look to end her association with the popular show following Schofield's high-profile departure from the broadcaster.

An ITV insider said: 'Holly wants to stay on at Dancing On Ice, she's made that clear to all concerned and everyone at the network is absolutely delighted.

'They haven't discussed contracts yet, as that will take place after the summer as always, but she's indicated it will be business as usual. There have been all kinds of rumours that she is to leave but she loves the programme and has a long history with it.

'She will have a say in her new co-host, not the final decision, but Holly will be consulted.'

There is a chance that Ms. Willoughby will present alone but the preferred option is that she is joined by a co-star.

Those who are being mooted include Catchphrase host Stephen Mulhern and Vernon Kay. However, Ms Willoughby is close to Bradley Walsh, while Jordan Banjo could be another option.

There is also a possibility that ITV bosses will use Schofield's departure to give Alison Hammond a prime-time slot alongside Ms. Willoughby. The broadcaster is keen to stave off other networks taking her to host their big programmes.

Ms. Willoughby and Schofield, 61, presented the series together for 12 series, before and after its four-year hiatus.

The pair hosted every series together except three, when Christine Lampard filled in for Ms. Willoughby when she left the show to host BBC One series The Voice in 2012, before returning for the reboot in 2018.

The ice-skating show helped launch Ms. Willoughby's presenting career following its first series in 2006, where she became synonymous with her headline grabbing plunging dresses.

Her job was initially focused on the scoring but over time, as her profile and presenting talents grew, she would eventually secure an equal role to Schofield.

Ms. Willoughby and Schofield's relationship turned sour after he lied to her about his affair with a much younger This Morning runner while married to wife Stephanie Lowe.

She has continued to host This Morning in Schofield's absence alongside a variety of co-hosts including Josie Gibson, Dermot O'Leary and Craig Doyle.

Ms. Willoughby is hoping Ms. Hammond, 48, who hosts the Friday show with O'Leary, will eventually become her regular co-host.

vendredi 23 juin 2023 21:24:39 Categories: Daily Mail

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