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19th Feb 2023

ITV bosses fear Holly Willoughby will quit This Morning

Charlie Herbert

Her contract runs out in December

ITV bosses are reportedly worried that Holly Willoughby may decide to quit This Morning, following the Queuegate controversy last year.

The channel is said to be putting together a bumper new deal for the host in an attempt to keep her on the daytime show.

It comes after Willoughby and her co-host Phillip Schofield came under fire last year for their involvement in the Queuegate debacle at Queen Elizabeth II’s lying-in-state.

The pair were accused of jumping the 12-hour queue, prompting thousands to sign a petition calling for them to be removed from This Morning.

They both defended themselves, saying they were accredited media, complied by all the rules and did not take anyone’s place in the queue.

But the saga is said to have left Willoughby – who joined This Morning 14 years ago – “devastated,” with the matter not helped by how long it took ITV to deliver a statement, something which apparently ‘frustrated’ her.

The 42-year-old’s contract expires in December but renewal negotiations have not yet started, and ITV bosses are apparently not approaching negotiations with the presenter “with the same confidence as they previously.”

A source told the Mirror: “The Queuegate backlash was absolutely devastating for Holly, but what made matters worse was the feeling it was mishandled.

“ITV’s decision to remain silent before finally issuing a statement was frustrating, as it felt like they were shutting the door after the horse had bolted.

“Then, to add insult to injury, Holly was left to explain the pair’s decision by herself, while Phil remained silent.

“The feeling was she bore the brunt of criticism over the scandal and that, unsurprisingly, left Holly feeling quite bruised.

“Bosses know last year was incredibly hard for her and as such, they are not approaching her contract negotiations with the same confidence as they have previously.”

The Mirror also reports a source close to Willoughby said she had “no plans” to leave This Morning.

Along with her role on This Morning, Willoughby also presents Dancing On Ice with Schofield.