Holly Willoughby hails ‘generous’ Phillip Schofield as he marks 40 years on TV

Holly Willoughby Hails ‘Generous’ Phillip Schofield As He Marks 40 Years On Tv
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby co-present ITV's This Morning. Photo: PA Images
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Alex Green, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter

Holly Willoughby has praised her This Morning co-host Phillip Schofield as “so generous, so kind, so patient” as he marked 40 years on TV.

During a special episode of Lorraine celebrating the milestone, Willoughby described how Schofield had “without a doubt” played an important role in getting This Morning bosses to hire her in 2009, following Fern Britton’s departure from the show.


The special saw Schofield (59) surprised by Lorraine Kelly in his dressing room, who revealed they were dedicating the show to him.

Presenting duos Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan, and Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly also helped mark the milestone.

One segment saw Willoughby (41) recall how Schofield had specifically requested she join him as his This Morning co-presenter.


She said: “I don’t know why you were so convinced of that and I thank you every day because I know that really you were on your own with that school of thought, and it was really down to you standing by that, that I got that job.

“Without a doubt, without you there is no way I would be doing This Morning today.

“And I came onto that show and I was green and new. I knew how to do a bit of telly because I had done Saturday mornings, so I knew the nuts and bolts.



“But This Morning is a huge, grown-up, important telly show and I just sat there like a sponge and absorbed everything and learnt everything.”

Willoughby described her long-standing co-host as “so generous, so kind, so patient” and said he had been “willing to just guide me through it” before adding: “He still does it now.”

She also shared a tribute on Instagram featuring a photo of Schofield during his early days on TV.

Willoughby said: “Today the TV oracle marks his 40th year in the business… for a long time I watched you and then for the last 15 years I have been lucky enough to sit alongside you.

“You have taught me so much, you have always been patient and generous with me… It’s been an honour to play a part in your TV story… love you to bits.”

Britton, who presented This Morning for a decade until 2009, was also among those who featured on the show and wished Schofield “a very happy future”, before adding: “Congratulations and keep going.”

Willoughby was handed a presenting slot on the newly launched Dancing On Ice in 2006, a move which would see her team up with Schofield for the first time, before she stepped in to replace Britton.

Schofield’s first hosting job was in New Zealand, where his family had emigrated in the early 1980s.

He was the main presenter on TVNZ music show Shazam! for three years from February 1982, and also worked as a radio DJ before returning to the UK in 1985.

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