Dermot O'Leary 'to be Phillip Schofield's successor' if he quits This Morning

DERMOT O'Leary has been tipped 'to be Phillip Schofield's successor' if he quits This Morning.

The 48-year-old presenter has been a runaway hit with viewers of daytime ITV show, which he hosts with Alison Hammond on Fridays.

Dermot has reportedly been seen as the perfect replacement for Phillip, 59, and has been singled out by producers to be "back-up" for him if ever steps down, according to sources.

Phil and Holly Willoughby have hosted the show together for 11 years.

The Mirror wrote: "While Phillip has a great relationship with his co-presenter Holly Willoughby, both on and off the screen, it is hoped that Dermot could also have that spark if he had to step in for Phillip.

"What seems to be certain is that the This Morning bosses see a long term future for Dermot with the show and that he could soon be presenting on more days than the Friday show he currently does."

Dermot and Alison replaced Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes earlier this year.

Putting the duo in the hosts' seat of This Morning has proved a huge hit for ITV.

Their ratings were 44 per cent higher than their predecessors Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes in January.

The presenters' debut show Friday 8 January drew in 1.41million viewers, 200,000 more than tuned in for Eamonn and Ruth's final episode in December.

That's a whopping 44 per cent increase and 21 per cent of the audience share.

Ruth and Eamonn did not sign off with a whimper, managing to bag 23 per cent of the audience for their final shows.

It was a successful start for the new pairing, with viewers branding Alison the programme's "best ever host".

Alison and Dermot impressed when they were put together to host last summer and have been a hit ever since.

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