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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Olivia Williams

Timeline of This Morning's Phillip Schofield controversies as he quits ITV

Phillip Schofield has stepped down from ITV after admitting to an affair with a runner while working on the show.

The 61-year-old resigned from the broadcaster on Friday and was dropped by his talent agency after confessing to having an "unwise, but not illegal" relationship with a young man who worked on the programme while he was still married to his wife.

Phillip stepped down from This Morning last weekend with "immediate effect" and his former co-host Holly Willoughby remains on half-term holiday leave. There has been controversy surrounding This Morning over the last few weeks putting the show's future in question, with reports claiming it could potentially be axed entirely.

READ MORE: This Morning's Phillip Schofield 'free to say this' as he issues statement after quitting ITV

The ECHO has put together a timeline of events following Mr Schofield's exit. Take a look below.


Phillip Schofield returned to the This Morning sofa following his brother, Timothy Schofield's, trial. Timothy Schofield, 54, was jailed for 12 years after being found guilty of sexually abusing a teenage boy.

He was found guilty last month of 11 sexual offences involving a child between October 2016 and October 2019 following a trial at Exeter Crown Court. As he returned to the ITV show, Mr Schofield said it was "lovely to be back".

Following the verdict, Mr Schofield issued a statement saying he "no longer" has a brother.

May 10

Rumours began to circulate that Holly Willoughby and Mr Schofield were barely speaking behind the scenes of This Morning.

On May, 14 it was rumoured Holly had reportedly cut ties with her long-time TV co-host and close friend. The Mirror exclusively reported she had been pushing for ITV to make a decision on Schofield so she can rebrand herself and plan for the future if required.

May 15

As the rumours heightened, the presenters put on a united front as they appeared on This Morning together.

However, as they were joined by Gyles Brandreth and Camilla Tominey to discuss the day's headlines, which started with the fallout from the Eurovision contest, fans said they were not addressing the "elephant in the room".

People said on Twitter they were confused as they expected the two to address the reports of their feud. Mark said: "Honestly, watching Camilla Tominey and Gyles Brandreth dodge the elephant in the room is painful. Where is Matthew Wright when you need him?"

Steve added: "This elephant’s so big, it could fill the room." Gaenor commented: "Are they going to address the elephant in the room? We’re all waiting…."

@'customerservace posted: "Normally they'd address the elephant in the room...this could be real"

May 20

Mr Schofield quits This Morning after 20 years on the show.

The former ITV presenter stepped back from the show and presented his last episode on Thursday May 18.

In a statement, Mr Schofield said: “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. I understand that ITV has decided the current situation can’t go on, and I want to do what I can to protect the show that I love.

“So I have agreed to step down from This Morning with immediate effect, in the hope that the show can move forward to a bright future. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me – especially This Morning’s amazing viewers – and I’ll see you all for the Soap Awards next month.”

Holly Willoughby said after his departure: “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.”

Kevin Lygo, ITV’s Managing Director, Media and Entertainment said: “Phillip is hands down one of the best broadcasters of his generation and we thank him for his two decades worth of absolutely terrific television on the This Morning sofa.

“This Morning is made by one of the best and most diligent teams in television, who produce over 12 hours of live television each week. 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, some people who had worked with Mr Schofield made digs at the presenter, including Eamonn Holmes and Amanda Holden.

May 22

Following his departure, the next This Morning show was presented by Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary.

The pair shared a tribute to Mr Schofield, they said: "We can't start today's show without paying tribute to the man who spent the last two decades sitting on this sofa." She added: "Quite simply, he's one of the best live tv broadcasters this country has ever had. We and all the team wish him all the best for the future."

May 23

Rumours swirl regarding who would replace Mr Schofield on the This Morning sofa. Alison, Dermot and Rylan were all predicted.

May 26

Mr Schofield issued a statement where he admitted to having an affair with a runner who worked on ITV's daytime programme and apologised for lying to his colleagues about the relationship.

He insisted it was "unwise but not illegal". In a statement to the Daily Mail, he said: "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.

May 26

The former ITV presenter also said he was stepping down from the channel with "immediate effect".

Mr Schofield said: "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."

May 26

The 61-year-old also said he was stepping down from the British Soap Awards.

Despite previous claims that Schofield would be hosting the British Soap Awards, having done so since 2006, he confirmed in his statement that he would not be.

May 26

Mr Schofield was also dropped by his talent agency on this day, following his announcement.

Mr Schofield was previously signed up to YMU Group but the talent management company has confirmed they have dropped the broadcaster. The group CEO of YMU Group, Mary Bekhait, 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."

May 26

ITV also issued a statement following his admission.

The broadcaster also admitted to feeling "badly let down" and "deeply disappointed" after Schofield confessed to lying to bosses about his relationship.

A spokesperson said: "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."

May 27

ITV confirmed they investigated rumours of a relationship between Phillip Schofield and an employee in early 2020.

An ITV spokesperson confirmed that the channel investigated his relationship with an employee when rumours began to circulate in 2020. However, after questioning, ITV did not find any evidence of a relationship "beyond hearsay and rumour".

An ITV spokesperson said: “Further to our statement last night, ITV can confirm that when rumours of a relationship between Phillip Schofield and an employee of ITV first began to circulate in early 2020 ITV investigated.

“Both parties were questioned and both categorically and repeatedly denied the rumours as did Phillip’s then agency YMU. In addition, ITV spoke to a number of people who worked on This Morning and were not provided with, and did not find, any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour.

“Phillip’s statement yesterday reveals that he lied to people at ITV, from senior management to fellow presenters, to YMU, to the media and to others over this relationship.”

May 28

Former This Morning resident doctor Ranj Singh claims "the issues with This Morning go far beyond" Mr Schofield and describes it as "toxic".

He said he "took his concerns right to the top of ITV", but a spokesperson replied while the broadcaster was "sorry" to hear his comments, an investigation found no evidence of bullying.

May 29

Minutes before This Morning began today, Schofield hit out at "the same handful of people with a grudge against me or the show".

An hour later, a tweet from former colleague Eamonn Holmes described him as "delusional" and a "liar". He added he "picked the wrong person... if you're looking for a fight".

Presenters Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary also reference the scandal on air, acknowledging they "happen to be in the news at the moment" and say they "love making the show".


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