This Morning's Alison Hammond is reportedly top choice as a possible successor to Holly Willoughby on the daytime show.
It's reported that ITV has singled out Alison, 48, as a potential replacement for Holly, 42, if she ever decides to depart the role she's held since 2009.
According to The Mirror, chiefs are scrambling to draw up a new bumper deal to keep their current presenter on the sofa, with her current contract ending in December.
If Holly, who presents the show with Phillip Schofield, does decide to walk then the popular Alison, who currently fronts the show with Dermot O’Leary on a Friday, tops the replacement list.
A source told the publication: “ITV bosses are clear they want Holly to return to This Morning next year. But while a question mark hangs over her future, there have been conversations about who could step in if she decided to go.
“Top of that list is Alison. She has gone from being seen as a safe pair of hands to a real asset to the channel."
They added that while Alison's partnership with Dermot is "solid", there has reportedly been conversations about other pairings, such as Josie Gibson.
The Brummie presenter first appeared on This Morning in 2002 but has held down a regular guest host role since 2020 when ITV decided to shake up its presenting roster by parting ways with long-running Friday hosts Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes.
A spokesperson for Holly commented last week to say she had no plans to leave This Morning.
A show source said: “Both Holly and Alison are much-loved, respected and valued members of the This Morning family and have been so for over 14 and 20 years respectively.
"Both women very much enjoy working with each other on the show and are friends.”
An ITV spokesperson said: “We do not comment on speculation about artists' contracts.”
Meanwhile, Alison has addressed the reports that she is engaged to her boyfriend Ben Hawkins, who she was recently pictured with.
Co-host Dermot congratulated her on the news that she is engaged and was keen to know more.
Alison soon set the record straight and told her co-host that the engagement reports are, in fact, not true.
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