Phillip Schofield has admitted to having a relationship with a much younger man who worked with him on This Morning, and later lying about it.
In a bombshell statement to the Daily Mail, the veteran TV presenter admitted that he and the man began a relationship that was more than a friendship. The ex-TV presenter describes this as ‘unwise but not illegal’.
Schofield further confessed that he lied to his employer ITV, to his colleagues, his friends and his agents at the management firm YMU.
He also lied to The Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail’s sister paper, which first exclusively described his relationship with the younger man earlier this month.
In his groveling apology, Schofield said: ‘I am making this statement via the Daily Mail, to whom I have already apologized personally for misleading, through my lawyer who I also misled, about a story [sic] 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 a just a friendship. That relationship was unwise, but not illegal. It is now over…’
‘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 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.’
Schofield’s extraordinary statement concludes weeks of increasingly fevered speculation in both the TV industry and the wider country about the future of his career, following his sudden departure from the This Morning sofa earlier this month.
His exit from ITV apparently scotches plans for the ‘prime time’ show he was allegedly offered by the network as consolation for leaving This Morning after more than 20 years on the show.
Schofield said: ‘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’
Schofield had been due to present the prestigious British Soap Awards next week – a role he had performed since 2006. His statement confirms he will no longer do so.
Even before his bombshell statement last night, TV sources were furious at the prospect of him presenting the Awards.
One of his critics called the decision ‘unbelievable’. Another said: ‘We do not want him, thank you,’ while a third exclaimed: ‘Are you freaking kidding me?!’
Without these slick PR professionals behind him, and in the aftermath of this new statement, the chances of him returning to the small screen any time soon look bleak.
So is his career finished?
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. A comfortable berth could even be found for him soon at the BBC, they claimed.
The national broadcaster, claimed Team Phil, had Schofield ‘in [its] sights’ as a contestant on the ever-popular dance show Strictly.
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.’
An ITV Spokesperson said on Friday night: ‘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.’