Alison Hammond and Holly Willoughby presenting This Morning

New term, same old cringe: It’s time to park This Morning, ITV – Holly without Phil just doesn’t work

The 'Queen of Daytime' is back…

Holly Willoughby made her return to This Morning today (September 4) after a long summer break from the ITV daytime show.

Posting on her Instagram ahead of her comeback, Holly enthused: “And just like that… it’s back to school… can’t wait to see you!!!”

Sadly for the presenter, the feeling wasn’t mutual.

And after watching the opening five minutes with a cringe-fest Mamma Mia! performance featuring Alice Beer singing into a banana and James Martin looking like he wanted to murder whoever had made him sit there, I can’t help but think the viewers are right – it’s time to retire This Morning.

Holly Willoughby and Alison Hammond dancing on This Morning
Mamma Mia! Holly’s back (Credit: ITV)

Sorry ITV but This Morning has had its day

After an early summer full of scandal with Phillip Schofield’s exit, ITV really did try to turn things around.

In Holly‘s absence we saw an ever-changing rota of presenters (Rochelle Humes was even brought out of retirement) trying to fill the void left by Holly and Phil. And some of them worked (if you’re reading this ITV, bring back Steve Jones, whatever the cost).

Then, last week, a new promo dropped and, along with it, the promise of the Queen of Daytime returning to save the sinking ship. Except I’m not sure that she did.

James Martin looking embarrassed on This Morning
James looked like he’d rather be anywhere else (Credit: ITV)

The problem with This Morning…

They certainly went for it all guns blazing with that intro today. But one look on Twitter will tell you that viewers aren’t really loving the content. You can’t blame them. Who wants to sit there watching millionaires talking about the cost-of-living crisis? Not me.

I’m not sure if it’s the content, or the fact that Holly without Phil just doesn’t work for me, but something just feels a bit off to me… For example, all seems to have been forgiven with James Martin and his recent “bullying” scandal, but even his smile didn’t reach his eyes.

As a viewer, today’s show just felt a bit forced to me. After all that talk of allegedly “toxic” behaviour behind the scenes, with more stories over the weekend, Holly and co-host Alison Hammond just seemed to be trying a bit too hard to ram the idea of the This Morning ‘happy family’ down our throats.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that two women are fronting one of TV’s biggest shows. But I don’t want to see them shimmying and shaking their way onto my screen. And I don’t see why they have to hold hands and dance as they wait for someone to pick up the phone during Spin to Win. I very much doubt you’d get Steve Jones and Dermot O’Leary doing the same if they were presenting together.

Holly Willoughby and Alison Hammond holding hands on This Morning
Yes ladies, we get it, you’re pals off screen (Credit: ITV)

New term, same old cringe

It just feels like new term, same old cringe. And I really don’t know how ITV can save the show. So is it time to retire This Morning and come up with an entirely new format for morning TV? I think so.

Just because something’s been around forever (well, 35 years next month), it doesn’t mean it has to stick around until the end of time. All good things come to an end, and I can’t help but think ITV really has tried to save the show following Phil‘s exit, but it just doesn’t hit the same these days.

It’s time to cut your losses and walk away, ITV. And if you don’t, then I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of your viewers did just that.

Read more: Bad news for Holly Willoughby as This Morning return sparks backlash

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Nancy Brown
Associate Editor