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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Cat Deeley to kick off her stint hosting This Morning

Cat Deeley is hosting This Morning for three days this week after the departure of Holly Willoughby.

The 47-year-old Emmy-nominated presenter, who has previous experience hosting programmes that have seen the departure of their main presenter, is sharing the ITV show’s sofa with Rylan Clark on Monday and Tuesday.

Deeley will then be co-presenting with Craig Doyle on Wednesday.

Willoughby departed as the main host of the daytime programme in October after 14 years in the role.

Willoughby (42) and Deeley, both former models, rose to fame on children’s TV including presenting music programme CD:UK on ITV.

Deeley presented ITV’s Stars In Their Eyes and the BBC’s Fame Academy before hosting American competition show So You Think You Can Dance for more than a decade, while Willoughby began hosting Dancing On Ice in 2006.

It is unclear whether Deeley will appear as a This Morning host in the future. Her temporary stint comes as presenter Josie Gibson is rumoured to be entering I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!

At the weekend, Deeley told Clark’s BBC Radio 2 show: “Can you believe it? They’ve let us loose.

“I mean, who in their right mind… I don’t know who’s in charge, clearly no one.”

Clark, who has previously presented This Morning, joked that he and Deeley could be “the two that put that final nail in the coffin” of the long-running morning programme, which has had a turbulent year.

Deeley said: “I like to think it’s care in the community or something like, they’re just looking after us… like they’re teetering on the brink of like going downhill from here (so they thought) ‘let’s just get them on’.”

Clark also joked that they will be playing Wonkey Donkey, a competition from ITV children’s programme SMTV Live, which was presented by Deeley with Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly.

Deeley – who is married to Patrick Kielty, the new host of RTÉ’s The Late Late Show – has sat in for Clark on Radio 2.

She has also presented other shows at the station, including a stint before Claudia Winkleman took over from Graham Norton.

This Morning hit the headlines in May when Willoughby’s former co-host Phillip Schofield left the show after admitting to an “unwise but not illegal” relationship with a younger male colleague.

ITV said it was “not provided with, and did not find, any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour” when it looked into the matter in 2020, and chief executive Carolyn McCall said there will be an external review.

The daytime programme has faced increased scrutiny as employees past and present raised “claims of toxic working cultures, bullying, discrimination and harassment” with MPs.

McCall told the UK’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee in August: “We are absolutely committed to enabling people to raise any issues or complaints they may have about working at ITV.”

The broadcaster updated its policy on work relationships in October.

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