Phillip Schofield: ITV host admits relationship with ‘younger male colleague’ after shock resignation

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The former ITV host has said that “contrary to speculation” the relationship was “not illegal” - although he did first meet the man when he was still a teen

Just days after his shock resignation, Phillip Schofield has admitted to having an affair with a younger male co-worker - although claims that was not the reason he left This Morning.

Last week, Schofield announced he had quit ITV's flagship breakfast programme with "immediate effect", after more than 20 years on the show. The broadcasting stalwart confirmed that he had presented his final episode on Thursday, 18 May.

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Co-star Holly Willoughby will continue as host, although is currently taking some leave. Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary are temporarily filling in as hosts.

But on Friday (26 May), the veteran TV presenter made a shock admission that he has lied about a relationship he had with “a younger male colleague” at This Morning.

Here's everything you need to know.

What has Phillip Schofield said?

In a statement released through the Daily Mail, the presenter apologised for lying about the relationship.

“The first thing I want to say is: I am deeply sorry for having lied to them (the Daily Mail), and to many others about a relationship that I had with someone working on This Morning,” he said. “I did have a consensual on-off relationship with a younger male colleague at This Morning.”

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Schofield quit ITV's flagship breakfast programme with "immediate effect", after more than 20 years on the show (Photo: Getty Images)Schofield quit ITV's flagship breakfast programme with "immediate effect", after more than 20 years on the show (Photo: Getty Images)
Schofield quit ITV's flagship breakfast programme with "immediate effect", after more than 20 years on the show (Photo: Getty Images)

He continued: “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," the presenter 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 said he was “so very, very sorry, as I am for having been unfaithful to my wife".

When he chose to come out as gay, "I did so entirely for my own wellbeing", he said. "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."

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Schofield said he had not been honest about the relationship in the past in an effort to protect his ex-colleague.

Was the affair why Schofield left This Morning?

Schofield said in his statement his departure was unrelated, but had "fuelled speculation and raised questions which have been impacting [his former colleague], so for his sake it is important for me to be honest now".

The host said he had also decided to step down from the British Soap Awards - his last public commitment - and was resigning from ITV with immediate effect. "I will reflect on my very bad judgment in both participating in the relationship and then lying about it."

Schofield has not confirmed exactly why he left the morning programme. In an earlier statement, he said: “I have always been proud to cover fascinating stories on This Morning. But recently, This Morning itself has become the story."

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"Throughout my career in TV – including the very difficult last few days – I have always done my best to be honourable and kind," he added. "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."

He said his the hope was that his departure would mean "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.”

Schofield had been taking pre-planned leave from the show around his brother’s sex abuse trial at Exeter Crown Court last month. Former civilian police worker 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 following the court case.

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