This Morning star Dr Ranj has confessed that he is weighing up his future on the show due to the ‘negativity’ surrounding the ongoing feud between hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.
The show’s resident doctor, whose full name is Ranjit Singh, has been a mainstay on the sofa ever since he joined the popular daytime TV show in 2016.
But with ITV bosses suddenly ‘beside themselves’ after learning viewing figures for Monday’s show dropped an almost unprecedented 20 per cent from the week before, they may now have another dilemma if they have to replace popular presenter Dr Ranj.
In audio obtained by The Sun, Dr Ranj, 43, is heard opening up to host Johnny Seifert on his The Secure the Insecure Podcast about the impact the Holly and Phil saga is having on his mental health.
He said: ‘I’ve had a bit of a wobble this week, where we’re kind of thinking, hang on, do I fit in here?
This Morning star Dr Ranj (pictured) has confessed that he is weighing up his future on the show amid the spectacular ongoing feud between hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield
ITV bosses are facing a dilemma as former best friends Holly and Phil continue to host This Morning despite falling out off camera
‘Does this align with my values? It feels like this isn’t the kind of environment that I want to be a part of. And there’s been a lot of negativity around various parts that we’re all part of this process.
‘Is this really a place for people like us where we’re thinking, hang on, this is not okay, you know, what’s going on and what we’re hearing doesn’t align with our values.’
Dr Ranj, who was part of Strictly Come Dancing in 2018, also admitted he was facing somewhat of an ‘identity crisis’ as a result of the behind-the-scenes ITV drama.
He went on to say that he did not know how he now fits in amid the fallings-out between people he knows well, but later insisted that he is ‘confident enough to be who I am’.
Dr Ranj, who also presented ITV1’s Save Money Good Health with Sian Williams, added that he has his ‘core values’ no matter what is going on around him.
His comments come as host Phil is said to be resisting calls to quit despite his popularity with the show’s viewers taking a hit amid the continuing off-screen dispute with Holly.
The awkward feud between the former best friends began in September when the pair were criticised after avoiding the queue for the Queen’s lying in state.
The duo have so far failed to address their rift since re-partnering on This Morning – as they returned to the sofa for a fourth day following time apart when Phil had taken a break during his brother’s trial for sex crimes before Holly was struck down with shingles.
In a bid to ease awkwardness, today’s show opened with a brief speech by the robot, which described This Morning as ‘the UK’s number one breakfast show’.
Dr Ranj (left), 43, was heard opening up to host Johnny Seifert on his The Secure the Insecure Podcast about the impact the Holly and Phil saga is having on his mental health
Dr Ranj (pictured), who was part of Strictly Come Dancing in 2018, also admitted he was facing somewhat of an ‘identity crisis’ as a result of the behind-the-scenes ITV drama.
But while social media users mocked the robot – joking that it was ‘Phil’s replacement’, body language expert Judi James desribed the move as a ‘welcome ice-breaker’ for the presenting duo.
‘After their awkward, toe-curling body language moments this week it was the best gag to get Holly and Phil replaced by a robot this morning,’ she told MailOnline.
It comes amid fresh embarrassment for Holly and Phil when the deputy prime minister used reports of their off-screen feud as fuel for an attack on Labour in the Commons.
Oliver Dowden, standing in for Rishi Sunak at Prime Minister’s Questions, described opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer and his deputy Angela Rayner as ‘the Phil and Holly of British politics’.
Explaining his statement, Mr Dowden said: ‘All lovey dovey on the surface, they turn it on for the cameras, but as soon as they’re off, it’s a different story. They’re at each other’s throats.’ One ITV insider described the MP’s comments as a ‘cheap shot’.
Yesterday, feuding Holly and Phil shared an awkward kiss after the former left This Morning early so she could go to Buckingham Palace to introduce the winners of the Prince’s Trust Awards to King Charles
Today’s episode of This Morning opened with a robot which TV viewers joked was ‘Phil’s replacement’
The embarrassing episode prompted yet another crisis meeting at the broadcaster, with one source saying: ‘Enough is enough.’
They added: ‘You know things have got really serious when they’re mentioned in the House of Commons.
‘This is no longer just a bit of beef on Twitter.
‘Those upstairs know they have to act – they just don’t know what to do.’
Another ITV insider described the situation between the two presenters as being like a ‘runaway train that cannot be stopped’.
Phil is standing firm amid calls for his resignation due to his appeal to viewers being on the wane.
Oliver Dowden (pictured), standing in for Rishi Sunak at Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, described opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer and his deputy Angela Rayner as ‘the Phil and Holly of British politics’
Sources say it is causing a headache for ITV bosses because they are desperate to keep Holly while they would be inclined to depart with her co-star.
One told the Mail: ‘Phil doesn’t see why he should go.
‘It’s his job, he has steered the show for more than 20 years.’
This Morning fans were left cringing today after an attempt to present a united front saw Holly, 42, giving Phil a kiss and cuddle goodbye as she left the show early.
Her early departure was a pre-planned commitment to introduce the Prince’s Trust winners to King Charles at Buckingham Palace.
After seeing a shocking drop of 1,000 viewers in a week, Tuesday’s episode did slightly better with an average of 663,000 viewers. Yesterday’s attracted only 551,000 – down from 647,000 on Wednesday last week.
The peak viewership also reduced significantly, from 905,000 to 683,000 – a major issue for ITV bosses who will hope to extinguish this feud in its entirety.
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