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Wednesday 15th July 2020

ITV hits back at claims bosses 'considered replacing Phillip Schofield with Ben Shephard on This Morning'

Ben reportedly had chemistry with Phil's co-star Holly Willoughby

ITV has denied claims bosses considered replacing Phillip Schofield with Ben Shephard on This Morning.

According to The Sun, daytime boss Emma Gormley reportedly said Ben was her top choice for a possible replacement if Phil ever leaves the show.

The publication claimed that Good Morning Britain presenter Ben - who has previously guest co-hosted the programme - showed "great chemistry" with Phil's co-star Holly Willoughby in the past.

Ben reportedly had chemistry with Holly (Credit: ITV)

Read more: Holly Willoughby tears up discussing relationship with Phillip Schofield amid 'feud' claims

However, a spokesperson for ITV told us that the claims are "untrue".

It comes amid reports Phil has fallen out with his This Morning co-stars and his relationship with Holly has "become strained in recent months".

It was also alleged that Ruth Langsford - who hosts the Friday episode of the programme with husband Eamonn Holmes - made a formal complaint about Phil.

According to The Sun, eight ITV presenters described the environment at This Morning as "toxic".

However, in a statement, an ITV spokesperson said: "It’s deeply disappointing and unfair for Phillip to be the target of this sort of malicious gossip.

ITV denied bosses considered replacing Phil with Ben on This Morning (Credit: ITV)

"Phillip is a much respected broadcaster and colleague and this is absolutely not a description of This Morning that we recognise.

"Holly and Phil are great friends both on and off screen and are popular among viewers and colleagues alike."

It’s deeply disappointing and unfair for Phillip to be the target of this sort of malicious gossip.

Meanwhile, editor of This Morning, Martin Frizell, told Entertainment Daily: "I spend hundreds of days a year in their company and what you see is what you get, a genuine friendship from a couple who are both spontaneously funny and professional.

"We have the smartest viewers watching telly and believe me they would be the first to notice any issues - they haven’t because there are none."

Ruth allegedly made a complaint about Phil (Credit: ITV)

Read more: ITV slams claims Phillip Schofield is 'feuding with This Morning co-stars’

Holly and Phil addressed the reports at Monday evening's Dancing On Ice launch.

Speaking to BBC's Newsbeat, Holly said: "You couldn’t do the amount of hours of TV that we do with each other without getting on."

Phil described Holly as "perfect" and insisted they're "best mates", adding: "We have such a laugh. She’s like the sister I never had. I just adore working with her."

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