This Morning bosses' decision to axe Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes from their regular Friday presenting slot could be a blessing in disguise, says their close pal Rylan Clark Neal.
The former X Factor star has given his take on news Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary will be replacing the couple – insisting, despite rumours of behind-the-scenes tiffs on the daytime show, Eamonn and Ruth are the most genuine people in the industry.
ITV have confirmed that Eamonn and Ruth will bow out of their regular slot at the end of the year with Dermot and Alison taking over from January 8.
Rylan, 32, told The Daily Star: "Ruth and Eamonn are my telly mum and dad, they have been since day one.
"They have been my biggest supporters out of the entire industry.
"I have learnt a lot from both of them, they are genuine friends of mine outside of work.
"I would love to see them [do] loads of things, they are brilliant."
He continued: "They are still doing holidays and stuff on This Morning so it is nice we will still see them on there, but if it frees up their time to do other stuff then I really hope so, as they are really lovely people."
Keen to rally around the duo, Rylan, who has teamed up with Play-Doh for their Colour of the Year campaign, added: "If my opinion is worth anything to anyone reading this, they are two of the most genuine decent people out there and they deserve every success.
"They work hard and they are lovely to everyone they meet.
"Walking down the street with Eamonn Holmes is the most difficult thing as because he stops and chats with anyone who says 'hello'. He has got time for everyone."
ITV's decision to cull Eamonn and Ruth was met with fury from viewers who took to social media to call for producers to think again about the move.
Asked how he thinks Alison and Dermot will do in taking the reins, Rylan replied: "I love Alison to bits, she has been at This Morning for so many years now that I'm glad she's finally getting something.
"I have co-hosted the show with her before and she is an absolute pleasure.
"I wish her and Dermot the best. Alison is one of the decent ones in real life, she is one of the normal ones.
"Any type of success she sees I'm first in line to applaud her."
Talking about her new role, former Big Brother star Alison said: "I never dreamt that when I first joined This Morning – initially for a few months – that I would still be there 19 years later.
"I genuinely care about the show and the viewers who watch, so it’s a huge privilege and honour to be hosting a show I adore so much. I’m just really excited to be doing even more of what I love alongside the lovely Dermot."
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