Phillip Schofield dropped as Prince’s Trust ambassador after ‘unwise’ affair with male ITV colleague
The charity, founded by King Charles, said it was ‘no longer appropriate’ to work with Schofield
and live on Freeview channel 276
The charity, founded by King Charles, said it was “no longer appropriate” for it to continue working with him.
A Prince’s Trust spokesperson said: “In light of Phillip’s recent admissions, we have agreed with him that it is no longer appropriate to work together.”
The announcement follows Schofield admitting that the relationship took place while he was still married to wife Stephanie Lowe and before he came out publicly as gay. The pair met when the younger man was 15 but the presenter said the affair began after he joined This Morning as an adult.
Since his resignation, This Morning has been plagued by allegations of “toxicity” with Eamonn Holmes, who previously presented on the show on Fridays with his wife Ruth Lansford, saying Holly Willoughby should follow Schofield “out the door” of the show.
Speaking on Dan Wootton’s GB News show on Monday morning, Holmes said: “Not only should Phillip go, but Holly should follow him close out the door. I don’t think you will ever see Holly Willoughby back on the couch. There are people who say for her it’s not about what Phillip did, for her it’s not about protecting the young fellow involved or whatever.
“There are people who are financial experts who will say this is about brand protection with her. She’s got her company and she’s got advertising deals, which suspiciously looks like she’s trying to distance herself from Phillip to protect those.”
Holmes, who said he was “tossed out the door” when he was given the boot from ITV, also claims there was a “total cover-up” on This Morning over Schofield’s affair. He told Wootton: “Those in authority had to know what was going on and they thought they would dodge a bullet with this, which they do, and they do constantly, because with Schofield talking about those who speak out against him, namely me, Amanda Holden and you (Dan Wootton), you’ll be included in the toxicity that goes on. Dr Ranj, of course, as well. And you simply sit there and think, ‘No, mate. You’ve had it all your way for too long’.”
The show’s former resident doctor, Dr Ranj Singh, also hit out at the show’s “toxic” culture, saying he raised concerns about “bullying and discrimination” two years ago when he worked there and afterwards felt like he was “managed out” for whistleblowing.
ITV has confirmed it had investigated the rumours of Schofield’s affair in early 2020, but the 61-year-old “categorically” denied that it was true and it found no evidence “beyond hearsay”.
A 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.”
TV executives, including from ITV, are reportedly expected to appear before MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Committee next week to be questioned about their handling of the row.
The channel’s bosses were already scheduled to appear before the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee to discuss the future of public broadcasting - but one of the committee’s members, John Nicolson, said he was concerned by “recent events” and was “looking forward to getting some answers”.
The session is expected to focus on scrutiny of the forthcoming Media Bill, with SNP MP John Nicolson – a committee member – writing on Twitter: “The issues erupting around ITV have been a cause for concern. I look forward to getting some answers from ITV bosses.”