Phillip Schofield has stepped down from This Morning with “immediate effect” and Monday morning’s show paid tribute to his time on the programme.

Regular presenters Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary were seen on the This Morning sofa on Monday (May 22) as Holly Willoughby was also absent for a half-term break.

Willoughby will be back on June 5 but she will be without Schofield. Instead, she will “co-present with members of the This Morning family”, ITV said.

ITV announced Schofield would be leaving the show after 20 years.

Oxford Mail: This Morning paid tribute to Phillip Schofield on MondayThis Morning paid tribute to Phillip Schofield on Monday (Image: ITV)

The 61-year-old’s departure comes amid reports of a rift between Schofield and Willoughby and after his brother, Timothy Schofield, was sentenced to 12 years in jail on Friday after being convicted of child sex offences.

This Morning pays tribute to Phillip Schofield’s time on the show

Hammond and O’Leary started the show on Monday morning by sharing a message for Schofield which reflected on his time on the show.

Photos of the presenter appeared during the message.

The pair said “a huge thank you” and said the This Morning team “wish him all the best for the future”.

Alison Hammond said: “Now we can’t start today’s show without paying tribute to the man who spent the last two decades sitting on This Morning’s sofa, Phillip Schofield.”

Dermot O’Leary added: “So as a show, everyone on and off screen at ITV and This Morning want to say a huge thank you to Phil for what he’s done to make the show such a success over the last 21 years.”

Alison Hammond added: “Quite simply, we all know he’s one of the best live television broadcasters this country’s ever had and we and all the team wish him all the best for the future.”

O’Leary then explained that Holly Willoughby will be absent for half term but will be returning to the show on June 5.