The presenter, 39, who has enjoyed a three week break over the festive period, had decided to take more time off to look after her three children; Harry, 11, Belle, nine and Chester, six.
Missing: This Morning viewers were left irked on Monday as Phillip Schofield announced Holly Willoughby would be missing the show to spend an ‘extra few days with the family’
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Rochelle Humes, 31, who welcomed her son Blade in October, made her return to the show as she filled in for Holly.
Phillip opened the show with: ‘Happy New Year, welcome to our first This Morning of 2021.
‘Holly is spending a couple of extra days with the family so Rochelle is here, so lovely to see you.’
Time with the family: The presenter, 39, who has enjoyed a three week break over the festive period, had decided to take more time off to look after her three children
‘Is it needed?’: However fans of This Morning took to Twitter to highlight their frustration at Holly deciding to take more days off because she had a lengthy festive break
Rochelle replied: ‘Lovely to see you.’
A source close to Holly said: ‘Holly’s absence is not Covid related.
‘It was always the intention for Holly and Phil to kick off 2021 on This Morning on Wednesday – it’s just that Phil has gone back early.
‘The reason why she hasn’t joined him in studio today is because she couldn’t get childcare at such short notice – as it was a last minute decision by Phil.’
Return to the show: Rochelle Humes, 31, who welcomed her son Blade in October, made her return to the show as she filled in for Holly
However fans of This Morning took to Twitter to highlight their frustration at Holly deciding to take more days off because she had a lengthy break over Christmas and New Years.
One wrote: ‘Why does Holly Willoughby need an “extra couple of days with the family” she’s had two weeks’.
Welcome back: Phil said: ‘Holly is spending a couple of extra days with the family so Rochelle is here, so lovely to see you’
Another viewer added: ‘Are you for real? @hollywills is have a few extra days off just like that? She has just had three weeks off for Christmas. Honestly these high paid so called celebrities need to live in the real word.’
A third chimed: ‘Rochelle had a baby about a month ago and still steps in when lazy (or self isolating from her holiday) Holly Willoughby can’t be bothered to come in!! And people may dislike Phil but at least he TURNS UP for work!!!’
‘Is three weeks holiday over Christmas and New Year not enough for you lass?’, wrote another fan of the show.
A different viewer typed: ‘@hollywills missing you on @thismorning’.
Holly, like many parents, faces homeschooling her youngest children after all schools in London closed along with the majority of Covid-19 hotspots in Essex, Kent, East Sussex, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire after a Department for Education diktat last week.
Britain on Monday recorded a further 54,990 coronavirus cases in 24 hours – marking the sixth day in a row that daily infections exceeded 50,000.
There is growing rumours that the Government will soon cave in and close all schools in another U-turn for Education Secretary Gavin Williamson as the NEU union said that 6,000 primary schools still open have been told formally by staff that it is ‘unsafe’ to come into work.
Looking after her children: It comes after the government confirmed all primary schools in London will remain closed for the start of the new term in the fight against coronavirus