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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Charlotte McLaughlin

Phillip Schofield's lengthy career in TV as his teenage dream crashes after affair

Phillip Schofield has cut all ties with ITV following news that he had an affair with a "younger" male colleague at This Morning while he was married to wife Stephanie Lowe.

His reputation has been one of the widely regarded in the industry having graduated from presenting on CBBC’s Broom Cupboard to enjoy one of the most enduring careers in television, however now it seems that is in tatters.

The 61-year-old, who made his name alongside sidekick Gordon The Gopher on the BBC children’s television show, came to be seen as the king of daytime TV.

On Friday, he announced he had parted ways with ITV after admitting to the affair and left the talent agency that had represented him for 35 years.

Phillip fronted the popular daytime show for 21 years, enjoying a longer small-screen shelf-life than many other presenters, thanks in part to his chemistry with Holly Willoughby, 42.

Phillip started his TV career in the Broom Cupboard with Gordon the Gopher (PA)

As well as co-hosting This Morning, the pair also fronted Dancing On Ice and for years it seemed they could do no wrong.

Schofield always knew he wanted to be on TV, spending many years writing letters to the BBC.

“I never had a thought about pursuing another career,” he is quoted as saying.

At 17, he got a job as a bookings clerk at the BBC but later moved with his family to New Zealand, where he landed TV and radio work.

When he returned to Britain, he presented links with puppet Gordon The Gopher from 1985, on the first afternoon of what was then called Children’s BBC, for two years until 1987.

“If you can introduce Newsround with a fluffy gopher squeaking next to you, you can handle anything,” he later said.

His words were proved right. The Oldham-born star moved on to Saturday morning show Going Live in 1987, which he hosted for five years alongside Sarah Greene.

In 1996, he signed an exclusive contract to present a series of shows including Talking Telephone Numbers, Schofield’s Quest and Schofield’s TV Gold.

He also notched up success on stage, as the lead in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, which he performed on the West End in 1991.

In 2002, Schofield was given the plum job on This Morning after John Leslie was sacked after allegations of sexual offences were made in the press against him.

Phillip shared the sofa with Fern Britton, who later quit, and was then joined by Holly Willoughby, who became Schofield’s "on-screen wife" and with their chemistry earning them a legion of fans.

Phillip first presented This Morning alongside Fern Britton (ITV)
Phillip and Holly's relationship came under intense speculation with the two ultimately parting ways (Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

In February 2020, just before the Covid lockdown, Phillip made the brave step to come out as gay in an emotional on-air chat with his friend and co-host Holly.

His wife Stephanie later told The Sun she supported Schofield’s “brave step” and “always will” love him.

She also said: “Our family has also been so supportive and will help us going forward.”

Despite years of being untouchable and winning a number of awards, in September 2022 the co-hosts faced criticism over false claims they skipped the queue for the Queen’s lying in state while attending as members of the media to film a segment for This Morning.

A month later, Schofield thanked viewers after the chat show took home the daytime prize at the National Television Awards, saying: “This means so much to us every year, especially this year.”

In April, the presenter returned to the show after taking pre-planned leave around his brother’s sex abuse trial at Exeter Crown Court last month.

Phillip also hosted 'Schofield's Quest' (ITV/REX/Shutterstock)
Fern Britton left This Morning following rumours of a fall out with Phillip (Ken McKay/REX/Shutterstock)

His younger brother Timothy Schofield, 54, was convicted of 11 sexual offences involving a child between October 2016 and October 2019, including two of sexual activity with a child.

It coincided with Holly being ill with shingles and also taking time off This Morning, which sparked speculation everything was not perfect between the two.

In May, after weeks of rumours, he announced he was stepping down from This Morning in a mutual decision decided on by him and the programme, amid reports of an on-going rift with Holly.

Days later, he resigned from ITV completely, after admitting he lied about a relationship he had with “a much younger male colleague” at This Morning.

Schofield said that the affair began while he was still married, adding he was “very, very sorry” for having been unfaithful.

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