Phillip Schofield’s ‘fragile’ former lover abandoned his promising TV career to work in a pub in a rural village in the Lake District, after being left in a ‘bad way’ when his affair with the fallen This Morning star ended.
Last night, friends of the young man, who landed a role at ITV meeting Schofield, claimed he was ‘determined to be famous’ but following the fallout from the relationship suffered ‘a big downfall’.
It follows claims that ITV paid off the young star following the breakdown of the relationship. The broadcaster repeatedly declined to comment on the alleged settlement or deny it.
Schofield had met the young man when he was just 15 and still at drama school. He then asked the ex-host for a job, which led to a position as an ITV production assistant when he turned 18. Sometime after that, the affair began.
After the young man reportedly declared his love for Schofield at an awards ceremony in January 2020, he was then moved to another of the network’s programme Loose Women, before eventually leaving the broadcaster.
Now photos have emerged show him working a rural bed and breakfast having turned his back on hopes of a dazzling television career amidst the scandal surrounding This Morning and Schofield.
Phillip Schofield’s former lover has abandoned his promissing career in television to work in a rural pub, friends have said
The young man pictured with Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on the set of This Morning
Schofield admitted on Friday to lying about the ‘unwise, but not illegal’ affair with his junior colleague
The pub in question declined to comment when approached by MailOnline.
One friend, however, said that the young man had ‘a very prominent personality’ on the ITV show and the ‘next step’ in his career would have been a job on the production team.
He told The Telegraph: ‘He should have a good career in television now, but because of this he’s not.
‘For someone who was determined to be famous, it’s quite striking.
‘He said he had found work at a remote pub B&B miles away and he hoped his family and friends would visit.’
The insider added that it had been a ‘big downfall’.
Schofield admitted on Friday to lying about the ‘unwise, but not illegal’ relationship with his junior colleague.
Tonight, ITV launched an external inquiry into Schofield’s relationship with the man, amid a number of cries from former workers on the channel that ITV bosses must have known about their romance.
Former This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes accused the broadcaster of a ‘total cover up’ claiming ‘those in authority had to know’ about it because the man would be ferried between Schofield’s £1million bolthole studios in taxis ‘paid for by ITV’.
While ITV insiders told the Daily Mail that the young man had been given a payment following the end of the on-off relationship, which Schofield admitted to last Friday, calling it ‘unwise but not illegal’. ITV have repeatedly declined to comment on the alleged pay-off or deny it.
But tonight, in an embarrassing climbdown for the broadcaster, an external review into the goings-on will be carried out by a barrister, in a bid to save the scandal ridden This Morning.
Former This Morning presenter claimed that ITV had failed to have a duty of care towards the young staff member because ‘everything at ITV was geared towards making Phillip and Holly happy
Pixilated photo of Schofield leaving The Ivy Club with his much younger ex-lover back in 2017
ITV insisted it had spoken to both Schofield and the young man involved when rumours of their relationship began
ITV launches external investigation into Schofield affair: Letter to staff in full
Tonight ITV bosses announced an external inquiry looking into Schofield’s affair with a much younger colleague would take place.
This is the full letter sent to ITV staff from its chief people officer David Osborne, which has been seen by the Daily Mail:
‘Whilst we are extremely mindful of our duty of care and confidentiality to all concerned, I know you have your own questions on this matter. So to clarify, the individual was concerned when he was first employed at ITV, having completed work experience the previous year. He subsequently secured a promotion through an open recruitment process before leaving in 2021.
‘We have taken this matter extremely seriously and have reviewed how we have handled this issue, including how we investigated the rumours when they arose in late 2019/early 2020 when both parties were questioned and both categorically and repeatedly denied the rumours and subsequent follow ups.
‘The relationships we have with those we work with are based on trust. Phillip made assurances to us and others which he now acknowledges were untrue and we feel badly let down.
‘We believe the approach we have taken to be the right one taking into account all of the circumstances. Today we have set up an externally led review to establish the facts, review our records and talk to people involved. This work will also consider our relevant processes and policies and whether we need to change or strengthen any. This work will be carried out as quickly as possible and we will of course be happy to share the findings.’
It follows a staff crisis meeting with the show’s editor Martin Frizell and head of daytime Emma Gormley. Both returned from their holidays to attend it.
Shortly after the meeting, where staff were allowed to put questions and concerns to the bosses, the broadcaster’s chief people officer David Osborn wrote to staff to inform them of the enquiry.
ITV insisted it had spoken to both Schofield and the young man involved when rumours of their relationship began. But sources close to the former production assistant claim he was never asked about the relationship by ITV.
Staff at the station were quick to react to the email, with some speculating some in senior management will have their roles axed.
One told the Daily Mail: ‘It’s about time this happened, all week nobody has said a word while the bosses were off on holiday. Now they have to answer some questions and let’s hope they are not stupid enough to try to cover up what appears to be a cover up.’
It comes as senior ITV sources have told the Daily Mail this evening, that ITV ‘made and paid’ for a showreel of Schofield’s ex-lover at This Morning studios in an attempt to launch his TV career.
The video was made and shared in 2015, and shows the young man, now in his mid-20s, interviewing Schofield.
A senior ITV source said: ‘This is quite extraordinary. It shows the extent of Schofield’s influence that he could make this happen for someone so junior.
‘Of course, it was all bought and paid for by ITV – it was filmed in the This Morning studios by the show’s cameramen. It even starts with the This Morning music. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw it.
‘How many runners get access to the cameras, studio and main presenter? I’ll tell you how many: none.’
The video once again raises questions of how much ITV knew or suspected Schofield’s affair with a much junior colleague.
MailOnline has contacted ITV about the video.
Speaking to GB News’ Dan Wootton in a tell-all interview of the scandal, Mr Holmes said that the young man had been left ‘fragile’, ‘alone’ and short of cash when the affair ended, with Mr Holmes and his co-presenter wife Ruth Langford giving him extra work to increase his income.
Schofield (pictured after leaving his ITV show) had met the young man when he was just 15 and still at drama school. He then asked the ex-host for a job, which led to a position as an ITV production assistant when he turned 18
Schofield was a presenter on This Morning for more than 20 years, hosting alongside his co-star Holly Willoughby for 14
He claimed that ITV had failed to have a duty of care towards the young staff member because ‘everything at ITV was geared towards making Phillip and Holly happy. So, no one else counted’.
Mr Wootton added that the situation was worsened for the young man as he was forced to come out as gay to his family who had not previously known.
Calling the former runner, a ‘lovely’ and a ‘really good talented fella’, Holmes added: ‘Ruth and I particularly looked after him, he never once talked to us about any relationship, but we knew he was in a bad way, and he was in a bad way.
‘He seemed to go through a lot of money in his life. And he would use them for other jobs and help them and he was always very, very reliable. But he needed a lot of money in his life, for whatever reason’.
In the two-part bombshell interview Holmes went on to allege that Thursday nights were ‘playtime’ for the former couple, followed by trysts at Schofield’s White City flat.
He added that while rumours were circulating of the affair, the young man never confided in him or his wife. Soon after he was moved to Loose Women.
‘There was talk of Phillip having a relationship with a young man, that young man was promoted.
‘He didn’t seek promotion, didn’t ask for promotion. I haven’t ever heard, and I’d like ITV to produce the records for people who were promoted from This Morning to another programme because it would have been a very rare occurrence if it happened. So, he was promoted against his will onto another programme – Loose Women’.
Holmes added his wife is still in touch with Schofield’s former lover, adding that ‘life is tough for him’.