Holly Willoughby was notably absent from This Morning on Tuesday, for the second consecutive day. Instead, Rochelle Humes stepped in to replace the star, joining Phillip Schofield for the ITV magazine show. And it didn't take long for Phillip to make light of Holly's absence.
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"Holly's not here today," he remarked. "She's just about to wrap up her singing commitments with The Masked Singer. The Badger… who would have thought?!"
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After being told by Rochelle he was being "naughty", the TV presenter continued: "I'm leaving it at that. Of course, I am. I don't want to give the game away. I don't want to spoil the surprise."
Phillip, 58, then confirmed that Holly would be back on the show on Wednesday.
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Holly's absence meant she missed the first episode of 2021 on Monday, with Phillip simply telling viewers, "Holly is spending a couple of extra days with the family."
Phillip and Holly have a famously close friendship
It is not known why she has taken the additional time off, but some have speculated it is a result of primary schools shutting in London. Holly is a mum of three children: Harry, 11, Belle, nine, and six-year-old Chester.
Holly and Phillip usually present This Morning together each day from Monday to Thursday, while Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford would front the show on a Friday. However, as of this week, the married couple have been replaced by Dermot O'Leary and Alison Hammond.
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The new hosting duo will take over on Fridays from 8 January, but fans can still expect to see Eamonn and Ruth on their screens from time to time as they will continue to step in for Holly and Phillip during school holidays.
Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford will no longer host on Fridays
Following her and Eamonn's final Friday morning slot on the show, Ruth penned a touching farewell message.
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Sharing a GIF of the pair waving from the iconic This Morning sofa, Ruth wrote: "That's Showbiz baby!!! Thank you all for your wonderful messages yesterday @EamonnHolmes and I were overwhelmed by your kindness.
“As we said though, we'll be back in February...until then we wish you all the best Christmas you can possibly have and here's to healthier, happier times in 2021."
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