ITV’S flagship This Morning show is seeking to hire a black presenter, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
In a video conference call with staff last week, the programme’s editor Martin Frizell said: ‘There is not a black presenter on any of the programmes today.
‘We plan to change that, we [This Morning] are looking into it.’
Editor Martin Frizell admitted that finding a black candidate ‘won’t be easy’ and while there is no suggestion that either Holly Willoughby (left) or Phillip Schofield (right) are leaving, there will inevitably be speculation that the move could bring an end to their 11-year partnership
Frizell admitted that finding a black candidate ‘won’t be easy’ and while there is no suggestion that either Holly Willoughby or Phillip Schofield are leaving, there will inevitably be speculation that the move could bring an end to their 11-year partnership on This Morning.
Miss Willoughby, 39, has recently scaled back her work with ITV and taken on a new role with the BBC, which has been courting her.
She announced last month that she was quitting ITV2’s Celebrity Juice after 12 years and will star alongside Bradley Walsh on Take Off, a new BBC series that airs later this year.
This Morning, which has never had a main black presenter since it launched 32 years ago, is hosted on Fridays by Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford. The couple also cover their co-stars’ holiday.
Miss Willoughby (left), 39, has recently scaled back her work with ITV and taken on a new role with the BBC, which has been courting her. Right: Schofield on the show
An ITV source said: ‘It’s a tough one for Martin. He appeared to really mean what he said so it will be difficult to simply give the presenter the once-a-week Friday slot because he would leave himself open to claims of tokenism.’
Another show insider said: ‘Kudos to Frizell for being the first ITV boss to pledge to make this happen. What we are all wondering now is, ‘Will anyone go and, if so, who?’ ‘
ITV has faced accusations that its daytime roster is ‘too white’.
Last October, The Mail on Sunday revealed that the channel had failed to feature a single non- white main host on its entire daytime schedule, although some supporting presenters were from ethnic minorities.
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