Yorkshire's Jane McDonald to replace Phillip Schofield as host of British Soap Awards

Yorkshire’s Jane McDonald will replace Phillip Schofield as the host of the British Soap Awards this weekend.

The former This Morning presenter stepped down from hosting the ceremony when he quit ITV amid a furore over his extramarital affair with a younger male colleague.

Singer McDonald will take his place on stage at The Lowry in Salford Quays on Saturday to honour the best in soap.

She said she is “so excited” to be taking on the role.

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Jane McDonald at Hardraw Force Waterfall in the Yorkshire Dales. Photo: PAJane McDonald at Hardraw Force Waterfall in the Yorkshire Dales. Photo: PA
Jane McDonald at Hardraw Force Waterfall in the Yorkshire Dales. Photo: PA

McDonald said: “I'm so excited to be this years host for The British Soap Awards! I LOVE my soaps, so this is just a dream come true.

"I can’t wait to see all our wonderful soap nominees and celebrate all their hard work with them - roll on the awards!”

McDonald, 60, is best known for her TV series Cruising With Jane McDonald, as well as her long stint on Loose Women.

She is a proud Yorkshirewoman and still resides in Wakefield with her best friend, Sue Ravey, who moved in with the star following the death of McDonald’s partner, Eddie Rothe.

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Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, she said: “Coming from a working class Yorkshire means value, home and love.

“I love Yorkshire. I love Wakefield. And I'm thrilled to say I get a lot of love back.”

Schofield had previously confirmed he would host the awards when he explosively left This Morning on May 20.

However, he stepped down from the ceremony, his last public commitment, when he quit ITV.

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The furore over Schofield had threatened to overshadow the soap awards as the scandal has dominated the headlines.

On Wednesday, ITV instructed a barrister to carry out an external review of the facts following his departure from This Morning and subsequent press statements, according to a letter from chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall.

The letter was sent to Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer, DCMS Committee chairwoman Dame Caroline Dinenage and Ofcom chief executive Dame Melanie Dawes, in the wake of Schofield's departure from ITV last week.

Schofield, 61, was dropped by his talent agency YMU after admitting to the "unwise but not illegal" affair.