Timothy Schofield was always in the shadow of his TV star sibling. Seven years younger than Phillip, it seemed that he was destined to be forever known as ‘the brother of . . .’
Of course, Tim Schofield is now famous in his own right, though sadly for all the wrong reasons, having been found guilty by a jury of sexually abusing a boy over three years.
The case is a tragedy for the victim first and foremost, but it has also signalled the destruction of a fraternal bond.
This week, as the court case came to a close, Phillip announced: ‘As far as I am concerned, I no longer have a brother.’
Seven years younger than Phillip, it seemed that Timothy Schofield was destined to be forever known as ‘the brother of
He said Tim, 54, had committed ‘despicable crimes’, and told his Instagram followers: ‘I welcome the guilty verdicts.’
Yet for all Phillip’s understandable desire to distance himself from Tim — in a statement to police he said there was no brotherly relationship between them because of the seven-year age gap — they were once close enough that Phillip took time off work to care for his younger sibling.
In 2015, Tim fell seriously ill — understood to be related to the type one diabetes he lives with. After helping look after him, Phillip said his sibling’s recovery was ‘the best Christmas present ever’.
He and his brother had also seemed warm as recently as 2016 when Tim went backstage at This Morning.
Two years previously, Phillip had invited Tim to his younger daughter’s 18th birthday party, and to watch Dancing On Ice, which he presents with Holly Willoughby.
Indeed, it was to Phillip that Tim turned — as Phillip relayed in a statement to the police — in September 2021 to say he was suicidal, before driving to the star’s London home ‘in a state of heightened agitation’.
After switching between being ‘furiously angry’ and bursting into tears, he told Phillip he had carried out a sex act and watched pornography in the presence of the teenager.
Tim told his brother it had happened ‘just this time’, prompting the TV host to tell him ‘it should never happen again’.
Three months later Tim Schofield, who was employed as a civilian IT consultant by Avon and Somerset Police, was arrested.
Timothy Schofield told Phillip he had carried out a sex act and watched pornography in the presence of the teenager
Now, as he awaits sentencing from a prison cell, it’s a terrible downfall for a boy who appears to have idolised his older brother to the point of trying to emulate his successful career.
Phillip Schofield was born in Oldham, Lancashire, to Pat and Brian in April 1962. When he was 18 months old, the family relocated to Cornwall, where Brian worked at a surfboard factory and Pat ran a guesthouse.
From a young age Phillip was known for his determination to make it on to TV.
A former neighbour says: ‘He was obsessed with working for the BBC and was always writing to them offering to do anything, no matter how menial.’
Indeed, aged ten, Phillip started writing to the BBC to apply for jobs, using a typewriter to disguise the childish handwriting.
When he was 11, the Radio One Roadshow came to Newquay and he watched entranced as Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman and his team put on a two-hour spectacle.
By this point Tim had arrived. He was Phillip’s first audience and ‘guest’, patiently acting as guinea pig so that his big brother could ‘interview’ him in the front room of the family home ‘for the BBC’, before signing off into a mirror.
Phillip joked that Tim’s first words were ‘no comment’ because he was so sick of being Phillip’s practice interviewee.
Phillip joked that Tim’s first words were ‘no comment’ because he was so sick of being Phillip’s practice interviewee
Tim Schofield, who was employed as a civilian IT consultant by Avon and Somerset Police, was arrested
At Tretherras senior school, Phillip blossomed into a cheerful, extrovert joker. At 16, he landed a job on Plymouth Hospital Radio, his first taste of real broadcasting, and he also ran a mobile disco in and around Newquay.
He started in the sixth form, but was still pestering the BBC. At 17 he finally got a job there — as a bookings clerk for BBC radio outside broadcasts.
He spent six months living in a room in North London and making all the friends he could at the Beeb. He then spent two weeks as holiday cover typing out traffic reports for Radio One DJs.
And where was Tim in all of this? In a statement given to police, Phillip said: ‘I don’t have a relationship with Tim like a brother because there are seven years between us and I moved away when he was ten.’
This is true, but not quite the whole truth. For, although he did move to London for the BBC job when Tim was ten, Phillip rejoined his family when they decided to relocate to New Zealand.
In Auckland, he fronted a pop music programme, Shazam!. But then, in 1984, the boys’ father collapsed from a heart attack at home, and Tim watched as his older brother heroically resuscitated him, bruising his hand ‘black’ in the effort.
Shaken by the near-tragedy, the family returned to the UK when Tim was 16 and Phillip 23.
From this point the brothers’ paths diverged. Phillip rose from working in the ‘broom cupboard’ on children’s BBC with Gordon the Gopher to star in Joseph And The Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Although he did move to London for the BBC job when Tim was ten, Phillip rejoined his family when they relocated to New Zealand (Pictured: Phillip Schofield with his brother and parents)
Tim was Phillip’s first audience and ‘guest’, patiently acting as guinea pig so that his big brother could ‘interview’ him in the front room of the family home ‘for the BBC’
Coincidentally, both Phillip and Tim are gay men who married women, and each had two children with their wives
The boys’ father collapsed from a heart attack at home, and Tim watched as his older brother heroically resuscitated him
And Tim seemed determined to emulate Phillip’s successful path. He opened a record shop in Newquay, and his famous older brother did the honours, ceremoniously cutting the ribbon.
Tim then worked as a DJ on various local radio stations, just as Phillip had done, his big brother even visiting him at the studios from time to time, which caused a flutter.
Tim is believed to have worked for a short while on local radio in Plymouth, just like his older brother, before moving to DevonAir based in Exeter. He was a launch presenter for the station’s successor, Gemini Radio, in 1995.
A fellow presenter from that time said: ‘We were a small, close-knit team but Tim was always on the fringes. He wasn’t a loner as such but he was a little bit aloof from the rest of us.
‘He didn’t really socialise with us and did not join the station football team which did a lot of public engagements. He did do a lot of gigging in local clubs though.’
Another Gemini manager added: ‘I didn’t have much to do with him but we were all aware of his far more famous brother. I remember Phillip calling in one day to see his brother live on air.’
By then Phillip was living in London, having married his girlfriend, Steph, and started a family.
In 2002, he got his biggest break when he was asked to take over at This Morning.
From a young age Phillip was known for his determination to make it on to TV
In 2002, Phillip Schofield got his biggest break when he was asked to take over at This Morning
Whether that helped focus Tim’s mind about his future broadcasting prospects isn’t known, but around that time he decided to change career and work in IT.
He became training manager at Cosmic, a website designer based in East Devon, where he was later made a director.
Tim’s next move was to his most recent job as a civilian IT consultant, working with Avon and Somerset Police. It was while he was here that the attacks on the boy, which led to the charges against him, took place.
He had also got married, to Petra, in Teignbridge, South Devon, in 2000. She is a freelance theatre director and acting tutor.
Coincidentally, both Phillip and Tim are gay men who married women, and each had two children with their wives.
Phillip, 61, ‘came out’ in 2020 but said he had been aware when he got married that he was denying his orientation.
He said at the time: ‘I am not saying I didn’t know. Whatever was there I thought: “OK, whatever this is, you stay back because I am happy.” I was confused by what it was. I thought maybe I was bisexual, but over time I started coming to terms with it, and I realised I had to be honest with myself.’
Tim, meanwhile, told the court that he was aware from the age of six or seven that he was gay. He said he had always been attracted to young-looking gay men and spoke in court, briefly, about cruising the streets in Cornwall with a male friend when he was a teenager to ‘see who they could bring home and have sex with’.
Two years previously, Phillip had invited Tim to his younger daughter’s 18th birthday party, and to watch Dancing On Ice, which he presents with Holly Willoughby
It’s impossible to know if the brothers will ever be reconciled. Tim’s close friend John Picton, who lived with him and accompanied him to court during the trial, said that Tim’s relationship with Phillip has been a source of great pain to him.
He said: ‘Tim has spent his lifetime living in Phil’s shadow and being controlled by everyone. The one person Tim thought might be able to help him has thrown him under the bus.’
In the circumstances, though, what choice did Phillip have?
Additional reporting: Simon Trump