phillip schofield and holly willoughby on this morning

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield sadly mourn death of This Morning friend

The TV presenters made the sad announcement on Wednesday's show

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It was a sad start to the This Morning show on Wednesday as Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield paid tribute to one of their crew members, Charlie Hart, who died after a long-term illness. Phillip introduced the episode by saying: "We're starting with some very sad news about a member of our team here." Holly announced: "One of our long-standing crew members, Charlie Hart, passed away yesterday after battling a long-term illness."

"Charlie spent more than ten years with us here at ITV and it wasn't just behind the cameras he played an important role," continued Phillip. "Occasionally we even managed to tease him out in front of the camera, even appearing in our fashion items."

Video: Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield announce Charlie Hart's death

The programme then flashed back to when Charlie took part in a fashion segment, where Trinny Woodall, Rochelle Humes and Phillip dissected his new look. "And now we've got Charlie, who's everyone's favourite here," said Trinny, showing just how popular the ITV team member was. "Yeah, we love Charlie!" said Rochelle, clapping her hands.

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As the screen came back to present day, Phillip said: "Such a lovely guy and we really miss him. Our thoughts are with all of Charlie's family, his children, his grandchildren and his wife Tina." Holly added: "We just want you to know that he will be sorely missed."

"We just want you to know that he will be sorely missed," said Holly

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This Morning's official Twitter account also paid tribute to Charlie, tweeting: "Today we're remembering our lovely Charlie, who has sadly passed away after battling a long-term illness." Viewers at home were quick to send their love to Charlie's family, with one writing: "Sad news R.I.P Charlie my wishes go out to the family and friends. Good night Charlie X." Another tweeted, "Oh that's sad news this morning! Thoughts are with his family at this sad time," while a third replied: "Our thoughts are with you all."

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