This Morning viewing figures surge by nearly 100K in a week as Britons watch Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary address ‘toxic’ ITV claims amid Phillip Schofield scandal
- Phillip Schofield, 61, resigned from ITV on Friday after admitting to the affair
- But viewing figures were up as Hammond and O’Leary hosted yesterday
This Morning’s viewing figures rose by nearly 100,000 in a week as Britons tuned in to watch Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary address claims of a ‘toxic’ culture within the show amid Phillip Schofield’s affair scandal.
Schofield, 61, resigned from ITV on Friday after admitting to the affair with a significantly younger male colleague, before the show’s former resident doctor Dr Ranj Singh said he had raised concerns over ‘bullying and discrimination’ two years earlier.
Despite the chaos engulfing the show, viewing figures surged as the stand-in hosts tried to put a lid on the backlash.
A total of 797,000 people tuned in to watch Monday’s episode, peaking at 996,000.
That was a significant jump on the 703,000 viewers who tuned in on May 22 – with a peak of 918,000.
Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary address claims of a ‘toxic’ culture within the show yesterday
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby pictured presenting This Morning together earlier this month
Alison and Dermot are understood to have felt let down after the revelations about their beleaguered former colleague Schofield emerged last week – just days after the pair had made a gushing on-air tribute to the presenter.
READ MORE: Dr. Ranj Singh issues formal statement after photo of himself with beleaguered former This Morning host Phillip Schofield’s young lover resurfaces
Speaking out: Dr. Ranj Singh has issued a formal statement after a photo featuring himself alongside disgraced former This Morning host Phillip Schofield ‘s young lover resurfaced this week
Body language expert Judi James said the co-presenters ‘leaned on each other for support’ during an ‘excruciating’ opening to the show as they addressed the Schofield scandal yesterday.
The pair appeared to reference the claims of ‘toxicity’ as he presented Monday’s episode of the show, with O’Leary saying: ‘We all know we happen to be in the news at the moment and of course we appreciate that but just from both of us, the whole team here, the crew, the guys downstairs, we love making this show for all of you.’
Co-host Hammond added: ‘We really do and that’s exactly what we are going to do, we are going to continue to do that.’
Gyles Brandreth, who was in the studio to review the news stories of the day, said: ‘We are very happy to be here, can I say that as well?
‘This is a happy place to work, I enjoy coming in here and have done since I began coming in. We are happy people in a happy place.’
Ms James told MailOnline: ‘Alison and Dermot performed a very telling gesture of unity and mutual support as they engaged in eye contact while doing the kind of tough-guy hand clasp that gladiators might have used before going into the arena.
‘It looked touching and showed how badly they needed each other for support on this challenging morning.’
She added: ‘As Dermot began with an emphatic ”Now…” his head dipped and his brows raised. ”We are in the news at the moment…” saw Alison nod and bare her lower teeth in what looked like a micro-gesture of anger.
”’We love making this show for you” was Dermot’s rebound line as he clapped his hands together and Alison made a cutting, lidding gesture with her right hand to suggest a desire to keep control.
End: On Friday, Phillip, 61, quit ITV and was dropped by his talent agency YMU after admitting to an affair with a younger This Morning colleague
Alison and Dermot are understood to have felt let down after the revelations about their beleaguered former colleague Schofield emerged last week
‘The lowest point came as Gyles Brandreth tried to chip in to help them once they were on the sofa. Trying to sound like some kind of jolly dad he threw in that it was ”A happy place to work”, at which point Dermot hid his face behind his mug in a complete cut-off gesture that left only his tired-looking eyes showing and Alison looked down at the table as though unwilling to share her feelings at all.
‘Dermot performed an embarrassed act of self-diminishing, pulling his upper arms into his torso and stuffing his hands between his legs as though trying to make himself look as small as possible. As he self-hugged, Alison’s eye expression projected sadness.’
It comes as Eamonn Holmes branded Schofield ‘delusional’ after the under-fire host issued a statement insisting there had been ‘no toxicity’ at This Morning.
Holmes has been critic of Schofield for a number of years, believing he would get his ‘comeuppance’ for the way he’s treated others – including wife Ruth Langsford.
He told Dan Wootton on GB News that he does not think Holly Willoughby will return to the This Morning sofa and called on her to follow Schofield ‘close out the door’.
The former stand-in presenter on This Morning also weighed in on claims of ‘toxicity’ at This Morning, saying that Schofield was ‘so rude’ and ‘Holly doesn’t know people’s names either’.
Speaking out for the first time about the show since leaving, Schofield hit out at those ‘with a grudge against me’
Predicting that Willoughby won’t return to the show after the school half-term break, Holmes told Dan Wootton on GB News, the channel he now works for: ‘I don’t think you will ever see Holly Willoughby back on the couch.’
He went on to claim that Willoughby would be battling to protect her brand, saying: ‘There are people who are financial experts who will say this is about brand protection for her company and her advertising deals.’
Holmes also claimed that Holly Willoughby is ‘using’ Alison Hammond as he insisted their unexpected friendship would ‘never have happened two years ago.’
Schofield, meanwhile, addressed the claims of a ‘toxic’ culture at This Morning in a statement on his Instagram yesterday.
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