This Morning workers were said to be ‘in tears’ as Holly Willoughby abruptly announced her departure from the show.
Phillip Schofield, 61, resigned from ITV’s breakfast show in May after confessing to lying about a ‘unwise but not criminal’ romance with a considerably younger colleague.
Then, last weekend, Holly, 42, announced her departure, calling it a “difficult goodbye.”
However, production personnel were reported to be so taken aback by the news, which was shared on social media, that they were ‘lost for words’ and ended up in tears as a result of ‘even more drama and anguish’ that had occurred behind the scenes of the long-running programme.
The decision was claimed to have come out of nowhere after she accepted a new deal that allegedly increased her yearly salary from £700,000 to about £1 million.
‘It has been one thing after another,’ one staff member has said.
‘It’s like a soap opera and that’s OK if you’re one of the highly paid stars getting chauffeured to work and back, but if you’re grafting behind the scenes to keep things afloat, it’s incredibly frustrating.
‘Holly decides to leave, she puts it on Instagram. Imagine how that makes you feel. There were tears. The team has been through so much in the last year. Many feel they are at the end of their tethers. It has been heartbreaking, and hard, to watch it all happen,’ they added when speaking to the Daily Mail.
Aside from the departure of the show’s two stars, staff were caught up in the public outcry that followed allegations that Holly, 42, and Phillip, 61, skipped the queue to visit the late Queen lying in state at Westminster Hall last year, prior to their disagreement and his ultimate infidelity admission.
They have also been questioned as part of the show’s ongoing external assessment, which was undertaken following Phillip’s admission of lying to his supervisors.
When announcing she was quitting, Holly addressed her colleagues who had ‘ever worked on the show over the years’ and wrote: ‘This is such a difficult goodbye, you are incredible and I forever will be proud of what we’ve done together. Thank you to everyone at ITV for being supportive.’
She then thanked ‘every guest’ who had sat on the sofa and the ‘wonderful viewers’, who had been ‘so loyal, so supportive and the very best company every day’.
‘It’s been an honour to just be part of its story and I know this story has many chapters left to go. Sadly, however, I now feel I have to make this decision for me and my family. I will miss you all so much.’
Holly made her debut as a This Morning presenter alongside Phillip in 2009.
ITV head Kevin Lygo stated in a statement shortly after she left that the channel was ‘sad’ about Holly’s departure but’respect’ her decision.
He added she was a ‘much-loved member of the ITV family and we look forward to continuing to work with her in the future’.
This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV1.
Source My Celebrity Life.