Phillip Schofield’s once-respected TV career lies in pieces after he admitted to having a relationship with a much younger man who worked on This Morning.
The presenter was once considered the core star of ITV’s presenting lineup, fronting programmes including The British Soap Awards, The Cube and 5 Gold Rings.
But on Friday, Phillip admitted that he had a relationship with the young colleague while he was still married to his wife Stephanie, and that he lied about it to ITV, his colleagues, friends and his agents at YMU.
In a statement to The Daily Mail, Phillip revealed he would be stepping down from his hosting stint at the British Soap Awards next month, and would no longer be fronting a new primetime series for ITV.
And now industry insiders have said that they expect the 61-year-old Schofield to step back from public life.
On Friday, Phillip admitted that he had a relationship with the young colleague while he was still married to his wife Stephanie (pictured together in 2022)
The presenter included a public apology to his wife and their two daughters in the statement he provided to the Mail
A source close to the disgraced presenter told The Sun: ‘There’s no coming back from this.’
‘Those who have defended him are horrified to find out it is all true – he’s been misleading ITV and even his own team for years.’
Phillip’s departure from ITV brings an end to his lucrative association with the channel, and could spell the final bow for some series he once hosted.
Industry experts have cast doubt on the future of This Morning, while others have said that senior heads, including that of CEO Carolyn McCall, could roll as a result of the bombshell confession.
Questions have been posed about whether senior executives at the channel knew of the ‘unwise but not illegal’ relationship.
ITV said in a statement that: ‘We are deeply disappointed by the admissions of deceit made tonight by Phillip Schofield.
‘The relationships we have with those we work with are based on trust. Philip made assurances to us which he now acknowledges were untrue and we feel badly let down.
‘We accept his resignation from ITV and therefore can confirm that he will not be appearing on ITV as had previously been stated.’
BRITISH SOAP AWARDS
Exit: Phillip Schofield’s TV career lies in pieces, as he quit as host of The Soap Awards and resigned from ITV after admitting to having a relationship with a This Morning colleague
In his statement, Phillip confirmed that he was stepping down as the host of the British Soap Awards, ahead of the ceremony next month.
The presenter had fronted the programme since 2006, previously with his This Morning co-host Ferne Britton, and solo since 2008.
Last year’s ceremony was broadcast live on ITV, with some of soap’s biggest stars descending on London for the glitzy ceremony.
A replacement is yet to be announced.
DANCING ON ICE
Over: Phillip’s decision to leave ITV no doubt means he will no longer host Dancing On Ice this January with Holly Willoughby
Phillip’s decision to leave ITV no doubt means he will no longer host Dancing On Ice this January with Holly.
Rumours had been rife that his future on the show was hanging in the balance, after he ended his longtime partnership with Holly on This Morning last week.
Among those tipped to take over are odds-on favourites Rochelle Humes and her husband Marvin.
It’s also reported that should Holly stay on as host, Stephen Mulhern has been tipped as a likely replacement for Phillip, after he acted as a stand-in host earlier this year.
ITV will make further announcements on the ice-skating competition’s presenting line-up in due course ahead of its return in January 2024.
Done: It comes six days after he announced that he was quitting This Morning after 21 years as its host, following reports of a rift with his co-host Holly (pictured on his last show on May 18)
The pair both commented on Schofield’s departure from the show, with Holly Willoughby saying: ‘The sofa won’t be the same without him’
Phillip’s shock admission comes six days after he announced that he was quitting This Morning after 21 years as its host.
His departure came amid reports of a rift between him and Holly, and after his brother, Timothy Schofield, was sentenced to 12 years in jail after being convicted of child sex offences.
Phillip said in his statement: ‘I have always been proud to cover fascinating stories on This Morning. But recently, This Morning itself has become the story.
‘Throughout my career in TV – including the very difficult last few days – I have always done my best to be honourable and kind.’
Holly said: ‘It’s been over 13 great years presenting This Morning with Phil and I want to take this opportunity to thank him for all of his knowledge, his experience and his humour. The sofa won’t feel the same without him.’
Phil reportedly has just ‘tatters’ of his friendship with Willoughby left after he allegedly failed to tell her about his brother’s child sexual abuse case.
Holly has since taken a break from This Morning, and will return on June 5, with Alison Hammond reportedly the bosses pick to replace Phillip.
On hold: Phillip also fronted ITV’s primetime game show The Cube until 2021, and sources claimed he bargained to keep his job as host if he agreed to step down from This Morning
Phillip had hosted ITV’s primetime game show The Cube for 11 series from 2009 unti; 2021, with the show brought back during the Covid pandemic with a new Million pound revamp.
It had been reported in April 2022 that the show had been placed back on hiatus.
However, when Phillip’s This Morning exit was announced last week, sources originally claimed he wanted to keep his job as host of The Cube if he decided to leave his daytime role.
5 GOLD RINGS
No longer: Phillip had previously fronted Sunday night game show 5 Gold Rings from 2017 until 2021, before it was axed due to Covid filming concerns
Phillip had previously fronted Sunday night game show 5 Gold Rings from 2017 until 2021, but the series was axed at the height of the Covid pandemic due to filming concerns.
Insiders previously claimed that after quitting This Morning, Phillip could return to ITV with one of his primetime favourites, though this is no longer the case.
AN UNNAMED PRIMETIME SHOW
When Phillip announced he was leaving This Morning, Kevin Lygo, ITV’s managing director of media and entertainment confirmed he would go onto host a new primetime series.
At the time he said: ‘We look forward to continuing our relationship with Phillip starting with The British Soap Awards in June and a brand new peak time series to come.’
However, this is no longer the case with the presenter’s announcement he’s quit the channel.
In his statement, Phillip admitted that he and the man struck up a relationship which was more than a friendship – something Schofield describes as ‘unwise but not illegal.’
The relationship took place while he was still married wife of 30 years, Stephanie Lowe, the mother of his two daughters – Ruby and Molly.
He also confessed that he lied about the relationship to ITV, his colleagues, friends and his agents at YMU. He also lied to The Mail on Sunday, the newspaper that published the story earlier this month, and apologised profusely on Friday.
His mea culpa read: ‘I am making this statement via the Daily Mail to whom I have already apologised personally for misleading, through my lawyer who I also misled, about a story which they wanted to write about me a few days ago.
‘The first thing I want to say is: I am deeply sorry for having lied to them, and to many others about a relationship that I had with someone working on This Morning.
‘I did have a consensual on-off relationship with a younger male colleague at This Morning.
‘Contrary to speculation, whilst I met the man when he was a teenager and was asked to help him to get into television, it was only after he started to work on the show that it became more than just a friendship. That relationship was unwise, but not illegal. It is now over.
‘When I chose to come out I did so entirely for my own wellbeing. Nobody ‘forced’ me out.
‘Neither I nor anyone else, to my knowledge, has ever issued an injunction, super or otherwise, about my relationship with this colleague, he was never moved on or sacked by or because of me.
‘In an effort to protect my ex-colleague I haven’t been truthful about the relationship.
‘But my recent, unrelated, departure from This Morning fuelled speculation and raised questions which have been impacting him, so for his sake it is important for me to be honest now.
‘I am painfully conscious that I have lied to my employers at ITV, to my colleagues and friends, to my agents, to the media and therefore the public and most importantly of all to my family.
‘I am so very, very sorry, as I am for having been unfaithful to my wife.
‘I have therefore decided to step down from the British Soap Awards, my last public commitment, and am resigning from ITV with immediate effect expressing my immense gratitude to them for all the amazing opportunities that they have given me.
‘I will reflect on my very bad judgement in both participating in the relationship and then lying about it.
‘To protect his privacy, I am not naming this individual and my deepest wish is that both he and his family can now move on with their lives free from further intrusion, and that this statement will enable them to do so.
‘I ask the media now to respect their privacy. They have done nothing wrong, and I ask that their privacy should be respected.’
All this week, Schofield’s spinners had done their best to rescue him, optimistically trying to claim that he retained a bright future in TV (with Stephanie Lowe in 2012)
Phillip Schofield apologises to wife Stephanie Lowe (left) who stood by him as he reveals affair with This Morning co-worker
Schofield’s extraordinary statement concludes weeks of increasingly fevered speculation (pictured with wife Stephanie Lowe in 2021)
Following his statement, Phillip has also parted company with his management team YMU after 35 years.
Mary Bekhait, the Group CEO of YMU Group, said: ‘Honesty and integrity are core values for YMU’s whole business, defining everything we do. Talent management is a relationship based entirely on trust.
‘This week, we have learned important new information about our client Phillip Schofield. These facts contradicted what Phillip had previously told YMU, as well as the external advisors we had brought in to support him.
‘As a result, on Thursday we agreed to part company with Phillip, with immediate effect.’