On the latest episode of This Morning, hosts Craig Doyle and Rochelle Humes took a moment to bid a heartfelt farewell to their beloved colleague, Holly Willoughby, who recently announced her departure from the show after 14 years. Holly, who had been sharing the screen with co-hosts like Alison Hammond and Josie Gibson following Phillip Schofield’s exit earlier this year, revealed her decision to leave via an Instagram post on Tuesday. In her statement, she expressed the difficulty of saying goodbye but explained that she was making this choice for her own well-being and that of her family, particularly in light of a reported kidnapping plot.
As the show kicked off, the opening credits featured a touching tribute to Holly, accompanied by the words, ‘Goodbye Holly.’ Rochelle began by extending their love, best wishes, and respect to their departing colleague. Craig then acknowledged the challenging decision Holly had to make, emphasizing how heartbreaking it must have been for her to leave a show she had been a part of for so long. Rochelle chimed in, highlighting Holly’s genuine love for her job and her excitement for the future of the show. However, recent events, especially the alleged kidnapping plot, had understandably taken a toll on her, prompting her to prioritize her family’s well-being.
Craig, on behalf of everyone working on the show, expressed their deep affection for Holly and their sadness at her departure. He acknowledged the truth that Holly herself knew all too well: the show must go on, even in her absence.
Following Holly’s announcement, Kevin Lygo, the managing director of media and entertainment at ITV, expressed the network’s sadness about her departure but also their deep respect for her difficult decision. Reports emerged that Holly’s choice had been made prior to the alleged kidnapping incident, indicating that her decision was rooted in careful consideration for her family’s welfare. A source close to Holly revealed the emotional conversations she had with her children, husband Dan, and her parents before reaching this difficult decision. Both Martin Frizell, the boss of This Morning, and Emma Gormley, managing director of ITV Daytime, offered their full support to Holly during these conversations, understanding the gravity of her decision.
In bidding farewell to Holly, the This Morning team acknowledged her immense dedication to the show and recognized the courage it took for her to put her family first. As they faced the future without her, the show’s message was clear: though they would miss Holly dearly, they understood and respected her decision to prioritize her loved ones, echoing the sentiment that life, much like the show, must go on.