This Morning’s new presenters finally ‘confirmed’ to replace Holly Willoughby in huge deals

Two presenters are reportedly heading for substantial deals as the new hosts for ITV This Morning.

Ben Shephard and Cat Deeley seem to have emerged victorious in securing big-money contracts and becoming the fresh faces of the flagship TV show, replacing Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, reports The Daily Mirror.

The decision by ITV bosses comes after intense searching for the ideal pair since Holly decided to part ways with the show following a stunning 15-year run. Her departure came on the heels of Phillip, who made quite an exit after confessing to having an "unwise, but not illegal" relationship with a young male colleague from the daytime show while still married.

In the wake of the controversy around his departure, several stand-ins like Alison Hammond, Josie Gibson, Emma Willis, Christine Lampard, Rylan Clark and Dermot O'Leary were reportedly tried out.

Both Ben, aged 49, and Cat, 47, also had their stint at hosting, and it appears that they have been chosen by the bosses, a decision that's likely to be a significant blow for Good Morning Britain as they potentially start looking for Ben's successor. The move could be attributed to Ben's squeaky-clean image viewed as a crucial factor in his shift between shows.

The new pair are rumoured to be earning a whopping £550,000 each per year. A source told The Sun: "This is one of the most coveted gigs in UK television. ITV execs are determined to get it right. Cat really impressed when she came in, and Ben is a consummate professional and hugely popular with the housewife demographic.

"He's an extremely safe pair of hands, has real gravitas, and doesn't have a whiff of scandal around him – Cat is the number one target to replace Holly, but negotiations are ongoing." They're expected to bring a real boost to team morale, with an announcement reportedly just weeks away. OK! has asked ITV for comment.

Last week, This Morning staff spoke out against the "unfair witch hunt" that has shaken the show after it was cleared of having a toxic culture. Sources said there was relief but not surprise at the findings in the external review by Jane Mulcahy KC.

The programme had been criticised by MPs and stars like Dr Ranj, who used to work on it. But Ms Mulcahy found no evidence of a toxic culture during the period under review.

She discovered that ITV made significant efforts to investigate an alleged relationship between Phillip and a runner on the show in 2019 but couldn't find any relevant evidence.

ITV chiefs have said before that Phillip and his rumoured old flame always denied any romance until he left ITV and said sorry. A person from This Morning shared: "The claims of toxicity were grossly unfair and super-charged by MPs who were in it to make a name for themselves. Everyone is glad this review has found nothing untoward. People just want to move on but there is a sense of anger about what has unfolded."

Another insider mentioned: "There is relief that we can get on making telly now that this misinformation has been called out." Dame Caroline Dinenage, the head of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, told MPs before that lots of people had come to them with stories of bad behaviour like bullying and being mean at ITV.

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