Holly Willoughby to return as Dancing On Ice host as Phillip Schofield’s replacement named

Willoughby quit ITV’s ‘This Morning’ in October after 14 years as presenter alongside Schofield

Maanya Sachdeva
Thursday 28 December 2023 13:06 GMT
Holly Willoughby features in This Morning throwback clip

Holly Willoughby is set to return as the host of ITV’s Dancing On Ice following her two-month hiatus from the channel after quitting This Morning.

The presenter of ITV’s rebooted Deal or No Deal, Stephen Mulhern will replace Phillip Schofield as Willoughby’s co-host, the broadcaster added.

The casting means Willoughby, 42, is set for an on-screen reunion with 46-year-old Mulhern 20 years after the duo first presented Ministry Of Mayhem together.

A senior ITV executive said reuniting the hosts]20 years after they first appeared on-screen together marks the beginning of an “exciting year” for Dancing On Ice.

The announcement ends months of speculation over whether Willoughby would return as the show’s presenter, following her departure from This Morning after 14 years on the sofa in October.

In a statement at the time, the beloved TV presenter said she had made the decision “for me and my family”, adding she will “forever will be proud” of her time on the show.

Willoughby’s exit came months after her long-term co-host Schofield sensationally resigned from ITV after he admitted lying about an “unwise but not illegal” affair with a younger male colleague in May.

Schofield and Willoughby have presented the ice skating competition together since 2006.

The statement from Katie Rawcliffe, head of entertainment commissioning at ITV, read: “Holly and Stephen are two of our best-loved presenters, so reuniting them 20 years after they first appeared on screen together to host Dancing On Ice marks the start of an exciting year for the show.”

The new line-up marks a reunion for Willoughby and Mulhern two decades after they first worked together on Saturday morning children’s show Ministry Of Mayhem. The show was later renamed Holly & Stephen’s Saturday Showdown.

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Mulhern briefly hosted the ITV skating competition alongside Willoughby in 2022 after Schofield tested positive for Covid-19.

(Getty Images)

On Thursday, ITV also confirmed Dancing On Ice judges Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, Ashley Banjo and Oti Mabuse’s participation when the show returns in January.

The broadcaster also unveiled the line-up for the newest season of Dancing On Ice.

This year’s contestants include former world champion boxer Ricky Hatton, Coronation Street star Claire Sweeney, singer Hannah Spearritt, West End star Amber Davies and Olympian Greg Rutherford.

TV personality Miles Nazaire, comedian and writer Lou Sanders, actor Ricky Norwood, radio presenter Adele Roberts, actor Ryan Thomas and Emmerdale’s Roxy Shahidi will also compete.

FormerGogglebox star Stephen Lustig-Webb was due to feature but was forced to pull out after breaking his left ankle during ice skating training, with Olympian Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards taking his place.

Earlier this year, ITV announced that it was rebooting the beloved British game show Deal or No Deal with Mulhern taking over from former host Noel Edmonds.

Mulhern was announced as the new host of ITV’s rebooted ‘Deal or No Deal’ earlier this year (Stephen Mulhern/Instagram)

At the time, the former host of Britain’s Got More Talent, Mulhern said that he was “beyond excited” by this opportunity.

“I’ve always been such a huge fan of the show – so much so, I’ve been practising at home with small cereal boxes!” he said. “It looks so simple but it’s an incredibly compelling game for both those playing and the viewers watching at home.

“It’s one of the greatest shows of all time and to be the new host is an honour! I can’t wait to get started.”

Dancing On Ice returns to ITV in January.

Additional reporting by agencies.

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