Cat Deeley and Ben Shephard 'lined up for This Morning jobs'

Cat Deeley and Ben Shephard are reportedly being lined up to take over hosting duties on This Morning following the departure of Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield

Cat Deeley

Cat Deeley and Ben Shephard are reportedly being lined up as the new main hosts on 'This Morning'.

ITV bosses have been looking for a new pair of presenters to take over regular hosting duties following the departure of both Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield this year - and a new report suggests Cat and Ben are the frontrunners to take over.

A source told The Sun newspaper: "This is one of the most coveted gigs in UK television. ITV execs are determined to get it right.

"Cat really impressed when she came in, and Ben is a consummate professional and hugely popular with the housewife demographic."

However, the insider added that Cat has yet to seal a deal with ITV to bring her onto 'This Morning' full time.

They explained: "Cat is the number one target to replace Holly, but negotiations are ongoing."

The source added: "Lots of people were considered, but ultimately it’s all about chemistry. Everyone is very excited, and the sense is that Ben and Cat will be a real boost to morale on the ground."

Ben previously worked as a stand-in presenter on 'This Morning' between 2005 and 2011 stepping in to cover shows for Phil when he was off, but in recent years he has been presenting on ITV's breakfast show 'Good Morning Britain'.

Cat was previously tipped to take over from Holly after proving popular when she guest-hosted the show for three days last month.

Holly's departure from 'This Morning' in October followed the exit of her longtime co-star Phillip earlier in the year after it was revealed he had an illicit onset relationship with a younger male colleague.

It's not yet known whether Holly will return to host 'Dancing on Ice' in January after previously presenting the show with Phillip, and reports suggested it's a tough decision for her.

A source told the Daily Mail newspaper: "She absolutely loves ITV, she is loyal to them and they have been extremely loyal to her, but she's just not sure if she can do it. "Holly doesn't want to let anyone down. It is literally the toughest decision for her. "I mean, what do you do? It starts in a few weeks, she knows that. It's a huge quandary."

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