THIS Morning's long-running hosts Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford are "disappointed" to be losing their slot on the show, pal Gloria Hunniford has said.
The Loose Women star, 80, explained that the pair find the decision "difficult to understand”.
It was confirmed last week that Eamonn, 61, and Ruth, 60, would be replaced on This Morning's Friday editions by Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary.
The pair will take over from January 8, with the married couple only appearing on the show as holiday cover.
Speaking in the Mirror, Gloria said: "That one was very hard to understand – I don’t fully understand the reasons behind it.
“I’ve talked to Eamonn since, and he’s clearly disappointed. I think they find it very difficult to understand why the change.”
She added that the arrival of Alison, 45, and Dermot, 47, was an attempt to bring in younger viewers.
Gloria explained: "There are a lot of lovely new young presenters coming in, which is good. They’re trying to cater for every age group."
Ruth and Eamonn graciously congratulated the newcomers in matching emotional tweets.
They wrote: "It's a changing of the guard on Fridays from January.
"We hope you make Alison and Dermot as welcome as you’ve made us over the years. Have a Ball you two!
"It’s not Goodbye from us, it’s simply Au Revoir until the next half term."
Tonight, Dermot and Alison also released statements with the X Factor presenter saying they had "big shoes to fill".
Alison, 45, 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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