Holly Willoughby has paid tribute to her former This Morning co-host Phillip Schofield following the announcement he would be stepping down from the show.

Schofield revealed this afternoon (Saturday, May 20) he would be stepping down from his role on ITV's This Morning effective immediately.

Despite an alleged off-air rift between the pair in recent weeks, Willoughby said "the sofa won't feel the same without him". 

Willoughby, on Instagram, 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.”

Oxford Mail: Phillip Schofield has announced he will be stepping down from This Morning.Phillip Schofield has announced he will be stepping down from This Morning. (Image: PA/ITV)

Phillip Schofield announces he is stepping down from This Morning

In a post on social media this afternoon Schofield said "This Morning itself has become the story" recently and his decision to step down was aimed at "protecting the show that I love". 

He said: "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.

"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.”