EXCLUSIVE: ITV bosses hold auditions to find Holly Willoughby’s perfect replacement as This Morning host – with Davina McCall and Kate Garraway top contenders
It is one of the most coveted roles in British television.
And now ITV bosses have decided to hold live auditions to find the perfect star to replace Holly Willoughby on the This Morning sofa in the coming weeks.
With presenter Josie Gibson, 38, who hosts two or three times a week, going to Australia to appear on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!, executives are using the opportunity to audition for a presenter to take over when the programme is relaunched in the new year.
Sources at the network say that they will ‘test the chemistry and likeability’ of a number of potential anchors.
They also say that they are primarily looking for a woman as they hope to still sign Ben Shephard, 48, to take over Phillip Schofield’s role in January as they had originally planned to pair him with Ms Willoughby.
Try outs: ITV bosses have decided to hold live auditions to find the perfect star to replace Holly Willoughby on the This Morning sofa in the coming weeks
Frontrunner: Davina McCall is one of ITV bosses top choices to replace Holly Willoughby
Contender: Kate Garraway is also being considered by bosses to fill the seat
Bosses were thrilled with their partnership when they tried Mr Shephard out alongside her last month.
One insider told the Mail: ‘There will be a mix of different hosts over the coming weeks as bosses screen test various contenders, some who will have been on the show before and some won’t.
‘There is a great existing pool of presenters both male and female who have featured before but bosses will also be looking outside of the show to try potential new faces out.
‘It’s an obvious way to test chemistry, likeability, and the sheer skill of presenters to see if they can make hosting a live two and a half hour show look easy.
‘The show requires a solid pairing that look and feel comfortable and have the ability to swiftly navigate from the light-hearted moments through to the tougher ones.
‘Bosses have been inundated with suggestions for the next This Morning duo but they will take their time to get it right but there has been huge interest from agents calling in on behalf of their clients.’
Frontrunners to replace Ms Willoughby, 42, who quit two weeks ago after 14 years hosting This Morning, include Kate Garraway and Davina McCall.
While chiefs do want Mr Shephard to host, they have also mulled over married couples such as Cat Deeley and Patrick Kielty and Emma and Matt Willis but at the moment that looks unlikely to happen.
Hosts: ITV executives feel that Ms Gibson and Alison Hammond are too lightweight to become the main anchors
Claims: It is also deemed ‘very unlikely’ that Rochelle Humes will be given the job
Claims that Abbey Clancy and Storm Huntley are in line to be given the role are untrue, while senior ITV executives feel that Ms Gibson and Alison Hammond are too lightweight to become the main anchors. It is also deemed ‘very unlikely’ that Rochelle Humes will be given the job.
Ms Willoughby quit the show a fortnight ago after she learned that there was plot to kidnap her. Her exit came five months after Schofield was ousted following a fall out with her.
It is not yet known if she will return to ITV to host their Sunday night show Dancing On Ice.
Source: Read Full Article