Ben Shephard will replace Phillip Schofield as Holly Willoughby’s partner on This Morning
- Sources say Ben Shephard, 48, is the frontrunner to join the show permanently
ITV bosses are lining up Good Morning Britain presenter Ben Shephard to sit on the This Morning sofa with Holly Willoughby.
Sources say he is a frontrunner to replace Phillip Schofield in the role after stepping down earlier this week as daytime show bosses tried to find Ms Willoughby a more permanent sidekick.
Shephard, 48 – who was previously a stand-in presenter on This Morning and reported for Schofield between 2005 and 2011 – impressed the network’s senior executives when he appeared on the show.
Initially This Morning was going to be built around Ms Willoughby, 42, with rotating co-hosts, as GMB is with Susanna Reid, but now bosses have changed their minds and want someone they can work with most days.
A source told the Mail: ‘Ben did really well and the bosses loved working with Holly and there was great feedback from many directions.
Shephard, 48 – who was previously a stand-in presenter on This Morning and reported for Schofield between 2005 and 2011 – impressed the network’s senior executives when he appeared on the show. Pictured: Ben Shephard and Holly Willoughby on This Morning on September 26
A source told the Mail: ‘Ben did really well and the bosses loved working with Holly and there was great feedback from many directions.’ Wednesday Shephard and Willoughby pictured on the sofa
Ben Shephard will present Good Morning Britain this week after a short stint as a stand-in on the This Morning sofa. Sources have suggested it could be a permanent move
‘Ben is known at ITV as being very popular with the audiences of the shows he presents. He is also trusted by the public and is much loved within ITV. He has hosted so many shows for the channel.
‘He and Holly go back years too – he presented on This Morning a few years ago and they have a good relationship.’
Shephard currently rotates with Richard Madeley, Ed Balls and Martin Lewis to host GMB, alongside Ms Reid or his good friend Kate Garraway.
He stepped in more frequently when Piers Morgan first quit in 2021 and was the main presenter of GMB when it launched in 2014.
He also hosts the ITV quiz show Tipping Point, which is pre-recorded, and the Saturday game show Ninja Warrior UK.
Although he has also anchored shows such as The Krypton Factor and the ITV2 spin-off program The Xtra Factor, Shephard has 23 years of experience presenting on breakfast television.
He joined the long-running program GMTV in 2000, where he co-hosted Entertainment Today with Jenni Falconer.
Shephard is tipped to replace Phillip Schofield as Ms Willoughby’s regular partner on the This Morning sofa. Pictured: Phillip Schofield and Ms Willoughby presenting the show in March this year
In 2005, following the departure of Eamonn Holmes, he became Fiona Phillips’ co-presenter on GMTV Today, before becoming the main star alongside Mrs Garraway.
Following Schofield’s departure, Ms Willoughby had initially hoped to present This Morning alongside Alison Hammond, but she has too many TV commitments to do as often as that would require.
Instead, she is regularly paired with Craig Doyle, Dermot O’Leary and Josie Gibson.
ITV said: ‘Ben is a much-loved and popular presenter on ITV but no such decisions have been made.’