Phillip Schofield was ‘axed from This Morning minutes after coming off air’

Phillip Schofield was told that his contract at This Morning would not be renewed just minutes after coming off air on Thursday, it has been claimed.

The 61-year-old announced on Saturday that would not be returning to the hit ITV1 daytime show after hosting it for over two decades.

His announcement came after weeks of speculation that his friendship with co-presenter Holly Willoughby, 42, had ended after they hosted the show together for nearly 14 years.

And according to The Sun, Phillip was called into a meeting with the show's editor Martin Frizell minutes after Thursday's show ended, where he was told that his contract – which was due to end this summer – was not being renewed.

A source told the publication that despite their friendship hitting the rocks of late, following his departure from the show, Phillip and Holly have held a conversation in private.

They said: "It’s been a very difficult time for them but they talked about the end of an era and called something of a truce."

OK! has contacted representatives for ITV and Phillip for comment on this story.

Phillip announced his departure from the show in a statement on Saturday, saying: "I have always been proud to cover fascinating stories on This Morning. But recently, This Morning itself has become the story.

"Throughout my career in TV – including the very difficult last few days – I have always done my best to be honourable and kind.

"I understand that ITV has decided the current situation can’t go on, and I want to do what I can to protect the show that I love.

"So I have agreed to step down from This Morning with immediate effect, in the hope that the show can move forward to a bright future."

He continued: "I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me – especially This Morning’s amazing viewers – and I’ll see you all for the Soap Awards next month."

Holly, who will remain on This Morning and co-present with members of the show's family, added her own statement.

She said: "It’s been over 13 great years presenting This Morning with Phil and I want to take this opportunity to thank him for all of his knowledge, his experience and his humour. The sofa won’t feel the same without him."

Phillip will continue to be a member of the ITV family, hosting the Soap Awards – which he has presented since 2006 – and "a new prime time series."

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