Cat Deeley’s panic over ‘cursed’ This Morning job

Cat is wary that she could be taking on a poisoned chalice

Cat Deeley presenting This Morning, alongside a photo of Cat and husband Patrick Kielty

by Millie Payne |
Updated on

The This Morning execs are likely to be breathing a hefty sigh of relief now they’ve finally nailed down the permanent replacements for Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield. And with Cat Deeley and Ben Shephard waiting to start their 
new roles next month, both presenters have assured viewers they are raring to go.

After branding the daytime show a “national institution”, Cat said, “Whenever it’s on, it’s like having your friends over – funny, smart, silly, heartfelt, informative and joyful, like all the greatest friendships. This Morning is and always will be the viewers’ show. Ben and 
I both know how much people love it, and with the help of an amazing team of people, we’re going to do our best to take care of it.”

But heat has learned that, behind closed doors, Cat – who started out as a presenter on SM Live with Ant & Dec – is wary that she could be taking 
on a poisoned chalice, considering some of the show’s history.

Cat Deeley presenting 'Spin to Win' on This Morning
Editorial use only Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock (14207587au) Cat Deeley 'This Morning' TV show, London, UK - 13 Nov 2023 ©Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

“Cat is worried about taking on this role because of all the controversy that came beforehand,” an insider tells heat. “Some people actually warned her against the job after what happened to Phillip and Holly – not to mention Fern Britton [who left
the show in 2009 claiming that she’d been treated ‘pretty poorly’].”

The source continues, “This Morning has seen some TV titans topple – 
it feels like it’s cursed sometimes – and Cat doesn’t want to be working in a potentially toxic environment. Of course, Ben is lovely, and they’re going to do everything they can to make it a success, but it’s a daunting job. They both feel as though there is a lot of work ahead to get the viewers 
to see them as genuine and trustworthy.”

Cat, 47, and her husband, fellow presenter Patrick Kielty, 53, spent 15 years living in California before they relocated to London with sons Milo, eight, and James, five, in 2020. They have said their decision to leave the US was driven
by wanting to spend more time with family in the UK and fears of gun violence, after Patrick and Milo were caught up in a terrifying mall shooting
in LA. Speaking about how it pushed them to quit America, Cat said, “There was a moment when I was with a friend looking at potential schools for Milo and we had to ask the question nobody wants to – ‘What do you do if there is a live shooter on the premises?’”

Cat Deeley with husband Patrick Kielty
HOOK, HAMPSHIRE - AUGUST 07: Cat Deeley and Patrick Kielty seen arriving at the wedding of Ant McPartlin and Anne-Marie Corbett at St Michael's Church in Heckfield on August 07, 2021 in Hook, Hampshire. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

And our insider says that Cat – who reportedly gave up a £43k-an-episode hosting role on So You Think You Can Dance for a £550k annual salary on This Morning – is also apprehensive about having to sacrifice her privacy as part of her
new role. Our source says, “Cat is a consummate professional and is excited to get properly stuck into her new role, but she’s also said that she’s extremely nervous about it. She doesn’t want to invite
a lot of extra scrutiny 
of her private life, so she knows she’s going to have to walk a fine line when it comes to emotional interviews with guests.”

When Phillip quit all
his roles at ITV last year following his confession to a “unwise but not illegal” affair with a much younger colleague, This Morning quickly became entangled in reports of toxicity. Holly was also accused of being privy to the affair, something she and Phillip strongly deny. And, following the breakdown of the duo’s tight-knit friendship both off and on screen, we’re told that Cat doesn’t want her and Ben to suffer the same fate.

“Cat has said that she’s going to be on high alert
for any off-set drama
or toxicity and has zero tolerance for it,” we’re told. “She’s promised that if she witnesses any bad behaviour, she will take it straight to the top.”

heat magazine

Millie Payne is a News and Entertainment Writer for Bauer Media. She has specialised in showbiz interviews, features, articles and roundups for over three years and loves combining her love for writing, talking and all things popular culture.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us