ITV This Morning viewers defend pregnant Mollie King as she replaces Josie Gibson

This Morning viewers were left surprised when they tuned into the latest edition of the show to find Josie Gibson had been replaced. Craig Doyle, who has been hosting the ITV daytime show this week alongside the Big Brother winner, had a new co-host in the shape of Mollie King.

It had already been announced by ITV that the former Saturdays singer and BBC Radio 1 host would be stepping into the main presenting slot alongside Craig at some point during the summer. However, it appears fans weren’t expecting Josie’s run to be cut short on Thursday (July 28).

Opening the show, Mollie, 35, and Craig, 51, welcomed viewers before Craig turned to chat to his new co-host. “Look who’s joining me today,” he said. “It’s Mollie! How’s it going,” Craig asked to which she replied: “I’m so excited, thanks for having me on with you.”

READ MORE: ITV Good Morning Britain’s Ben Shephard steps in to defend Ranvir Singh as Nadine Dorries hits back

Craig spoke to Mollie about he felt he had ‘jumped into the telly’ when he first started hosting the popular show earlier this year to which Mollie agreed. The 35-year-old continued: “I had one of those nights last night where I kept waking up throughout the night thinking, ‘I’ve missed the alarm, I’ve overslept.’

“Thank goodness, I’m here on time… just about,” she added before Craig mentioned Mollie recently announced news that she’s expecting her first child with cricketer fiance Stuart Broad. “Baby’s arriving in November. I’m six months now.” She said: “I’ve got lots to learn but loving every minute.”

Craig was quick to make Mollie feel welcome as she joked about him ‘holding her hand’ throughout the two-hour long show. However, he may not have realised Mollie has previously hosted This Morning back in 2020 alongside friend and former bandmate Rochelle Humes.

Josie and Craig had been hosting the show

Regardless, the pair cracked on with the busy show which included a chat with Panto legend Christopher Biggins in the studio and a delicious brunch from John Torode in the kitchen which featured cheese toastie fingers.

Meanwhile, some This Morning viewers were defending Mollie’s appearance on the show as it caused a divide. @TonyGre97915994 said: “#ThisMorning Mollie is nervous and trying to impress with uncontrollable laughter. Just like Rochelle when she’s on with Phil.”

@Crazier tweeted: “#thismorning Ok I’ve had enough of Mollie now. The silly giggling is annoying.” @hecky128 fumed: “Annoying laugh Mollie!!!! TM can’t you get the combination of presenters right?!! So much talent out there and you just pluck anyone and out them on a popular programme. About to turn off!”

But @GillShaw10 said: “#thismorning Mollie King is wonderfully normal and relaxed presenting This Morning – how come shes not been used before.” @fibrojayne tweeted: “@MollieKing fully deserves to be presenting #ThisMorning. She’s worked hard to get where she is today.” @OfficialLukeW shared: “Love @MollieKing on this morning. Brightening up my Thursday morning!” @jorainey added: “@ITV loving @MollieKing on @thismorning today she’s a natural and must be on more often please #timeforchange.”

Mollie joined Craig for Thursday’s show

This Morning confirmed on Wednesday evening that Mollie would be joining Craig. They said in a tweet: “Josie’s off on her holidays so tomorrow Craig is joined by the lovely Mollie King and we can’t wait! See you tomorrow, from 10am.”

Mollie announced she is pregnant was expecting her first child last month. The mum-to-be confirmed the news on Instagram, sharing a photo of England sportsman Stuart kissing her baby bump. Alongside the sweet snap, she wrote: “Stuart and I are so so happy to share that we’re expecting a baby later this year!

Mollie added, “We’re absolutely over the moon.” Stuart also shared the same photo on his Instagram to confirm the pair’s joyous news. He wrote, “Mollie & I are thrilled to be expecting a baby at the end of the year!” The dad-to-be gushed: “Exciting times ahead!”