‘He’s long been regarded as the right man’: Popular TV presenter is lined up to replace beleaguered Phillip Schofield as Holly Willoughby’s co-host on Dancing On Ice
A popular TV presenter has reportedly been lined up to replace Phillip Schofield on Dancing On Ice.
Phillip and Holly Willoughby’s future as Dancing On Ice hosts is said to be up in the air amid rumours of their off-screen feud.
Meanwhile, Stephen Mulhern, 46, has been tipped as a likely replacement for the 61-year-old.
Stephen has a long history of presenting with Holly, 42, and the pair are thought to be firm friends, having previously hosted Holly and Stephen’s Saturday Showdown from 2004 to 2006.
He has also presented numerous shows for ITV, including Britain’s Got More Talent, This Morning’s Hub and In For A Penny, meaning bosses believe he is a ‘perfect fit’ for the role.
The show: A popular TV presenter is reportedly being lined up as a potential replacement for Phillip Schofield on Dancing On Ice
New face: Catchphrase’s Stephen Mulhern, 46, has reportedly been lined-up to co-present the show (pictured on This Morning on May 10)
A source told The Sun: ‘Stephen is a perfect fit and gets on brilliantly with Holly.
‘He’s long been regarded as the right man to take over and was sounded out by executives at the end of last year. He told friends he’d jump at the chance.’
It means Stephen would have a busy upcoming schedule, as he is already in place to host a rebooted Deal Or No Deal.
He previously stood in for Phillip on Dancing On Ice in February 2022 after the latter contracted Covid 19.
MailOnline has contacted representatives for Stephen for comment.
Holly and Phillip are now said to be ‘not as close as they once were’ and now barely speak off camera as their friendship cooled amid a recent string of controversies including Queuegate and his brother, Timothy, convicted of child sex offences.
And while their deteriorating friendship has already sparked concerns about their whether their partnership on This Morning will continue, there has also been questions about their futures on Dancing On Ice.
A source told The Sun: ‘Holly and Phil are the shining stars of Dancing on Ice, but if they aren’t getting on there are fears it won’t work.
Tension: Holly and Phillip’s futures on Dancing On Ice have been cast into doubt over continued rumours of an ongoing feud
Trio: Stephen appeared on This Morning with the two current presenters on Wednesday
‘Dancing on Ice is a huge ITV show and it draws in around four million viewers per episode. Both Holly and Phil are complete professionals and neither of them would ever let on there was an issue on screen.
‘But now the rumoured issues in their working relationship are out in the open, it cannot be brushed under the carpet.’
The source went on to add that things are ‘far from an ideal situation’ and that everyone at ITV wants the situation to be ‘resolved quickly’ and for the presenters to ‘be happy’.
MailOnline have previously contacted representatives of Holly, Phil and Dancing On Ice for comment.
The duo became ‘great friends’ having first met on Dancing on Ice way back in 2006.
It comes as Holly was left blindsided on Thursday night after her This Morning co-star Phillip Schofield released an extraordinary statement about their rumoured feud.
Following claims that they are ‘not as close as they once were’ and now barely speak off camera, Phillip broke his silence to insist that there has been no fallout with his co-host of 14 years.
As Phillip admitted that ‘the last few weeks haven’t been easy for us,’ sources close to Ms Willoughby told MailOnline that she had no idea that Mr Schofield was going to make a statement. They added the first she saw of it was when it was published online.
Awkward: On Thursday, the pair put on brave faces as they appeared on screen following claims they are ‘not as close as they once were’ and viewers felt they could pick up on tensions
History: The presenting duo (pictured in November 2009) have worked together for more than a decade after Holly took over from Fern Britton as Phillip’s co-host back in 2009
Bosses are said to be in a major crisis, with reports Holly, 42, wants to pull the plug on their ITV partnership for good.
But Phillip – who’s had a string of feuds with other former co-stars -has now spoken out on the reports their relationship has become strained following a string of controversies.
‘The last few weeks haven’t been easy for either of us. As I have said before, Holly is my rock,’ Phil told The Sun.
‘We’re the best of friends — as always, she is an incredible support on screen, behind the scenes and on the phone. Holly has always been there for me, through thick and thin. And I’ve been there for her.’
The pair were reunited on This Morning sofa this month and did their best to make it look carefree, bopping along to Lulu’s Boom Bang A Bang as Thursday’s This Morning hit the screen.
The extra-bright smiles, the jovial playing around, were a planned pretence, the Mail understands, to publicly dance off claims that their once close friendship had broken down to ‘literally nothing’.
Seconds after the music stopped, Holly nervously played with her wedding ring, unable to look her co-star in the eye as she wished her son Harry a happy 14th birthday.
Phil joined in, but there was a definite chill in the air.
Controversy: Phillip said his family have been through ‘a real ordeal’ after his younger brother Timothy (pictured) was convicted of child sex offences
Viewers noticed – to the dismay of the This Morning production team, who have been witness to the demise in the pair’s relationship.
Off-screen, the pair are said to be ‘barely speaking’.
Fans have also claimed Holly has removed Phillip from her Twitter in the midst of their alleged fall-out.
As social media erupted with comments about the pair’s on-screen interactions, some noted the changes in Holly’s social media account.
Twitter users claimed Holly’s Twitter bio previously featured Phillip, with a tagline reading: I was introduced to this by a Twitter legend’ with Phillip’s name linked in her bio’, however the bio now lists her career accolades.
Holly’s Twitter bio currently reads: ‘Broadcaster, Founder of Wyldemoon, Brand ambassador for Marks & Spencer and Garnier, Author of Reflections.’ It is not clear when the change was made despite the fan speculation.
There has been talk as to why their 14-year reign as ‘besties’ is over, but the Mail has been told that at the heart of the fall-out is a dispute over whether Schofield confided in Ms Willoughby that his brother Timothy, a police IT worker, faced charges of child sex offences.
Friends say Ms Willoughby was in the dark until Schofield took a week’s leave from the ITV daytime show to avoid the limelight while the trial took place last month – something he is at pains to deny.
Timothy Schofield was convicted of 11 offences and will be sentenced on 19 May.
Sources close to Willoughby claim she is ‘deeply upset’ that she found out what was happening from a third party. Not so long ago, the pair were undeniably close.
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