Ben Shephard is reportedly being lined up to replace Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain as ITV are believed to consider him the “safest option”.
Piers sensationally quit the show earlier this month in a row over his coverage of Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Ben, 46, has been filling in for Piers, 55, since his departure, and now the Mail on Sunday reports he will continue hosting alongside Susanna Reid until September.
The publication states there will then be a review to ” assess how the partnership is going down with viewers”.
A source told the paper: “ITV and GMB bosses were totally unprepared for Piers going… Nobody had a back-up plan.
“Ben, who is adored by the staff and much of the audience, stepped in and the thought is now that he will work long term…”
The publication report Ben is seen as the “safest option” as he’s the “consummate professional”.
Bookies had previously tipped Ben to become Piers’ full-time replacement following the fiery host’s exit.
Fellow GMB host Ranvir Singh was also said to be in the running while former Top Gear star Jeremy Clarkson was also mentioned as a possible replacement for Piers.
The show has seen ratings plummet since Piers’ departure, with reports suggesting GMB has now lost around 40% of its usual audience.
Piers’ exit came around the time the show overtook rival show BBC Breakfast in the ratings for the first time, but viewing figures have since been tumbling.
There was also another huge setback this week when former EastEnders star Patsy Palmer angrily ended an interview with Susanna and Ben.
Patsy, 48, wasn’t happy about the fact that GMB had captioned her segment “addict to wellness guru” – and she slammed her laptop closed to bring the chat to an abrupt halt.
GMB bosses are said to have held “crisis talks” in the aftermath of the car crash interview.
A show source told The Sun : “On Thursday, the GMB production team were summoned to a meeting about the handling of Patsy’s chat.
“Her interview was viewed as a disaster as obviously upsetting anyone is the last thing anyone would want.
“It was made clear to some members of the team that this was a crisis meeting as there were issues that needed addressing quickly.”
The Mirror has contacted representatives for ITV for comment.