Holly Willoughby on Phillip Schofield's This Morning exit: 'The sofa won't feel the same'

Holly Willoughby has insisted ITV's This Morning "won't feel the same" after Phillip Schofield's departure.

On Saturday, producers at the network announced that the broadcaster was leaving the morning programme after more than 20 years. No reason was given for Schofield's sudden exit, though rumours of a "feud" between the pair have circulated in recent weeks.

Reflecting on her co-host's exit in a statement, Willoughby admitted the show will be different go forward.

"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," she said. "The sofa won't feel the same without him."

Willoughby will remain on This Morning and will co-present with members of the show's "family" starting from 5 June.

Meanwhile, Schofield will continue to host projects for ITV including The British Soap Awards and a new prime time series.

"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," the 61-year-old commented. "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. 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."

Schofield and Willoughby, 42, first presented the show together back in September 2009.