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Ben Shephard holds back tears as he bids farewell to Good Morning Britain amid This Morning start date reveal

Ben will host This Morning alongside Cat Deeley in March

Ben Shephard on 
'Good Morning Britain' TV show, London, UK - 23 Feb 2024
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
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Ben Shephard bid farewell to Good Morning Britain on Friday after hosting his final show alongside co-star and friend Kate Garraway

The presenter is leaving the breakfast show after landing a role as a permanent host of This Morning alongside Cat Deeley. The pair will front their first programme on Monday, March 11. 

WATCH: Ben Shephard delivers emotional final send-off on GMB

Just minutes into the programme, Ben, 49, was visibly emotional after watching a montage of farewell messages from his colleagues, friends and even two of his favourite West Ham footballers Carlton Cole and Mark Noble.

Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway on Good Morning Britain© ITV
It was an emotional morning for Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway as the presenter hosted his last show

"Ben, your last day mate. You were there on my last day as a West Ham player, so it's only right to send you a message," said Mark Noble. "Have a great day mate, probably you'll be crying instead of me this time. Love ya."

Holding back tears, Ben said: "That's Mark Noble. I was with Mark, this day, we played Manchester City, it was his last game and he was incredibly emotional in that stadium."

He added: "Wow, thank you… That's amazing."

Ben Shephard on Good Morning Britain© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
Ben has been a mainstay of ITV Breakfast for years

Dr Hilary also shared a tribute, telling Ben: "It's been a fabulous privilege working with you. Over the years, we've had so much fun, we've played football in the old Arsenal studio, we've talked about all sorts of medical subjects, we went to Haiti six months after the earthquake, it's been a privilege working with you, it really has."

He added: "I know that going onto This Morning, you're going to absolutely smash it. Break a leg mate, keep in touch!"

Ben Shephard in navy-blue jumper© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
Ben will host This Morning from March

Ben was visibly moved by the messages. "I'm desperately trying to hold this together, we've got three hours," he told viewers. "It's lovely to be here for the last time. And we've got a busy show to get through as well."

Later on in the show, the likes of Susanna Reid, Alex Beresford and Charlotte Hawkins came onto the set to bid farewell and watch a segment of his best bits from over the years. 

At the end of the show, Ben teared up as he delivered his final sign-off. 

"The alarm going off has never been anything I've enjoyed but what I have known is as soon as I get in here, I'll be surrounded by you brilliant, incredible, challenging, chaotic, fabulous people that make me better at what I do.

"It's not lost on me that I wouldn't be able to do it if you lot weren't amazing and been fabulous friends and brilliant colleagues."

Ben Shephard and Kate Garraway on GMB© ITV
Ben has hosted Good Morning Britain since 2014

He then paid tribute to the show's production team and the viewers before going on to say: "I can only cope with this because I'm not going far, these guys will carry on doing an incredible job, I'll get a lie-in and in a couple of weeks I'll be able to welcome you back from the school run with a cup of tea with Cat next door. I know that this lot will still be doing the best show they can for you. 

"Thank you for making this so special," he added.

Ben has been a mainstay of ITV Breakfast for decades, having joined the now-defunct GMTV back in 2000 as an entertainment presenter before eventually becoming one of the show's main hosts alongside Fiona Phillips, and later Kate Garraway. 

In 2014, he was announced as part of the new line-up for Good Morning Britain, joining Susanna Reid, Charlotte Hawkins and Sean Fletcher, and reuniting with Kate. 

Cat Deeley© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
Cat Deeley is Ben's This Morning co-host

Opening up about his decision to move to This Morning on Thursday's show, Ben said: "Obviously, it's something I considered very, very carefully because these guys have been my family – for the last ten years for some of them and way, way longer for us Kate). 

"So, it's not something that I've taken lightly but it feels like quite an exciting opportunity."

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