November 24, 2020

Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford dropped from This Morning slot and replaced by Alison and Dermot – Mirror Online

https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/eamonn-holmes-and-ruth-langsford-23010533

Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford are being dropped from their weekly slot on This Morning after 14 years, to be replaced by Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary.

The husband and wife duo, who have presented the Friday show together since 2006, are said to be “furious and upset” over the move. 

But in a shake-up of presenters, the couple will instead be given the job of hosting the main programme for six weeks in the summer holidays, when main hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby take a break.

Mum-of-one Hammond, 45, has been part of the This Morning “family” for years as a roving reporter and is a firm favourite with fans.

Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford are being dropped from their weekly slot on This Morning after 14 years
(Image: ITV/REX)

She and former X Factor host O’Leary, 47, have previously been paired as stand-in presenters – most recently last month – and bosses have been hugely impressed by their chemistry.

“They have real warmth,” an insider said. “It’s time for a change and they are perfect.

“Eamonn is pretty furious and everyone feels for him and Ruth, they are well liked on the team, but sometimes tough decisions have to be made.”

Eamonn, 60, has confided in recent weeks that he feared being too “pale, stale and male” for the award-winning ITV show, which has drawn criticism for not having enough diversity among the presenters.

Ruth and Eamonn are being replaced by Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary
(Image: ITV)

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby host the main This Morning show
(Image: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Earlier this summer ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall announced a Diversity Acceleration Plan after the channel was criticised for having an entire day with only one non-white face.

Holmes also left bosses fuming earlier this year when he was rapped by Ofcom for “ill-judged” comments regarding the conspiracy theories surrounding 5G masts spreading coronavirus.

The watchdog said his remarks, in which he said that mainstream media should not automatically slap down such claims, “risked undermining viewers’ trust in advice from public authorities and scientific evidence”.

Ruth, also 60, is expected to remain on Loose Women, where internal research has shown she remains hugely popular with viewers.

Eamonn and Ruth have hosted Friday’s on This Morning since 2006
(Image: S Meddle/ITV/REX)

The changes, brought about by show boss Martin Frizell following feedback from the regular audience, are expected to start in the New Year.

Hammond, who found fame on Big Brother and is known for her fun approach, was given the job of guest editing the entire show for one day last month.

Prior to her takeover – which she co-hosted with O’Leary – she told fans there would be only jolly items during her day in charge.

“It will just be a joy!” she said. “There will be nothing about lockdown or coronavirus.

“There’ll be a lot of recipes and food… and maybe a little bit of fashion and fun. It’s going to be great and I’m excited to be the boss.”

Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford are said to be ‘furious and upset’ by the decision
(Image: PA)

Dermot has been at a loose end after his main job on X Factor ended last year when the show was rested indefinitely by ITV, following disastrous ratings in 2019 despite several attempts to refresh the format.

There are no current plans for its return. 

Since the decision was made, Simon Cowell has walked away from his record label Syco Music, which traditionally signed the winning act.

Dermot and Alison are expected to finalise their new contracts in the coming weeks.