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Holly Willoughby’s statement in full as she returns to This Morning for first time since Phillip Schofield’s exit | Ents & Arts News

Holly Willoughby has returned to This Morning for the first time since Phillip Schofield’s departure.

She began the show with the emotional statement delivered straight to camera, while holding hands with co-presenter Josie Gibson.

It comes after Schofield, 61, resigned from ITV last month over an affair with a younger colleague. He insists he “did not” groom the man.

Here is Willoughby’s statement from This Morning in full:

Hi there. Good morning. Josie, thank you for being here. Right, deep breath.

Firstly, are you OK? It feels very strange indeed sitting here without Phil.

And I imagine that you might have been feeling a lot like I have – shaken, troubled, let down, worried for the wellbeing of people on all sides of what’s been going on, and full of questions.

You, me and all of us at This Morning gave our love and support to someone who was not telling the truth, who acted in a way that they themselves felt that they had to resign from ITV, and step down from a career that they loved. That is a lot to process.

And it’s equally hard to see the toll that it’s taken on their own mental health. I think what unites us all now is a desire to heal for the health and wellbeing of everyone.

I hope that, as we start this new chapter and get back to a place of warmth and magic that this show holds for all of us, we can find strength in each other.

And, from my heart, can I just say thank you for all of your kind messages. And thank you for being here this morning.

Myself, Josie (Gibson), Dermot (O’Leary), Alison (Hammond), Craig (Doyle), and every single person that works on this show will continue to work hard every single day to bring you this show that we love.

Gareth Southgate to stay on as England manager after World Cup exit | UK News

Gareth Southgate will stay on as England manager and lead the Three Lions at the 2024 Euros, the FA has confirmed.

The 52-year-old had been mulling his future following England’s 2-1 quarter-final defeat to France at the World Cup.

Southgate had a contract until the 2024 European Championships, but admitted to feeling “conflicted” about staying on given what has often been a difficult 18 months.

But the former England defender will now remain in charge for a fourth major tournament.

In a statement on Sunday, the FA said: “We are delighted to confirm that Gareth Southgate is continuing as England manager, and will lead our Euro 2024 campaign.

“Gareth and [assistant manager] Steve Holland have always had our full support, and our planning for the Euros starts now.”

Southgate led England to the World Cup semi-finals in Russia in 2018 and the final of last summer’s European Championships, before reaching the last eight in Qatar.

In the build-up to this year’s tournament there had been criticism of Southgate following a run of poor results.

Two defeats against Hungary, two draws against Germany and a draw and a defeat to Italy led to serious questions being asked about his future.

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Heartbreak for fans as England lose

But even after a positive response to the team’s World Cup run, Southgate stressed he needed a period of reflection to decide on the best course of action.

“I think, whenever I finish these tournaments, I’ve needed time to make correct decisions,” he said immediately after their exit.

“Emotionally you go through so many different feelings.

“The energy it takes through these tournaments is enormous.

“I want to make the right decision, whatever that is, for the team, for England, for the FA.

“I’ve got to be sure whatever decision I make is the right one.”

FA relief with no obvious successor to Southgate

Rob Harris

Rob Harris

Sports correspondent


Gareth Southgate finds himself in a position of strength within the FA, despite falling far short of the target of winning the World Cup.

After England’s quarter-final defeat to France, Southgate made clear publicly he could step away.

Effectively, the FA was given the option of saying it was time for change in the dugout after six years.

During the week of uncertainty, it became clear there was no obvious candidate to succeed him – someone who could take England deep into a tournament like the semi-finals at the 2018 World Cup and the last Euros final.

Southgate committing to seeing out his contract until 2024 is a relief for the FA, rather than the focus being on missed opportunities in Qatar.

The FA insisted Southgate has “always had our full support” and the hope will be he can end the trophy drought at Euro 2024.

First, they have to qualify.

Former England defender Gary Neville welcomed the news that Southgate was staying on.

“I think it’s the right decision,” he told Sky Sports News.

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“When I saw early last week it was going to be discussed in the new year I didn’t think that would work, letting it hang for so long.

“The fact it has come out is welcome, it puts it to bed and allows everyone to focus on the next 18 months.

“It means a succession plan can be put in place.”

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The story of the Qatar World Cup

Southgate has won 49 of his 81 games as England manager, with 18 draws and 14 defeats, while England have scored 174 goals and conceded 57.

Only two previous managers have reached a half-century in the win column – World Cup winner Sir Alf Ramsey with 69 and England’s longest-serving manager Sir Walter Winterbottom, on 78.