British television has been rocked by Phillip Schofield’s departure from ITV, the broadcaster he worked for for more than two decades.
Schofield, who hosted the ITV daytime show This morning with Holly Willoughby, announced his departure from the series in May after reports of a behind-the-scenes “feud” between him and Willoughby.
The 61-year-old presenter later revealed he was leaving ITV altogether after admitting he had an “unwise” but “not illegal” affair on the show with a much younger colleague, and to his employers about it ITV, his colleagues and friends, his agents, the media and the public.
A number of television personalities and celebrities have offered their opinions on Schofield’s shocking departure.
Follow live updates on the story here
Divisive GB News anchor Piers Morgan detailed the aftermath of Schofield’s initial This morning Departure was “to be viewed as brutal” and criticized “reckless underhandedness in the world of daytime television”.
“One minute Schofield was the undisputed king of morning television and on his way to becoming a true national treasure – the next he’s a dethroned, disgraced, vilified, national disgrace and a social media laughing stock,” Morgan wrote.
Morgan gave up his own position as presenter of another ITV morning show. Good morning Britainin 2021 amid a row over his comments on the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle.
Citing his own GMB After his fall, Morgan claimed he had “personal sympathy” with Schofield for the manner in which he retired.
Following Schofield’s testimony about his affair with a colleague, Morgan simply tweeted “fuck” before posting another tweet on Monday, May 29, which read, “I’m afraid we’re entering this now Reservoir Dogs phase of This morning Scandal… and it could result in many careers being ruined.”
After Schofield gave the BBC an emotional interview in which he suggested he had had suicidal thoughts amid the backlash, Morgan tweeted, “Unless Phillip Schofield’s ex-lover disagrees with his version of events.” The sun [and the] BBC, then it’s time to end this relentless pursuit of a man who has lost everything and is on the brink of the abyss for me.
Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trial
“He does not appear to have committed any crime and has not [government] Minister.”
Another celebrity who has commented on the story is Eamonn Holmes, who previously hosted Friday’s edition of This morning alongside Mrs. Ruth Langsford.
He was speaking on his GB News breakfast show after Schofield quit This morning, Holmes claimed that Schofield did not choose to resign but was actually “fired.”
“Oh please, just stop it,” he said. “He was fired. All that ‘I’ve decided to resign’ nonsense. I’m sure you did – ‘Here’s your P45, now resign’.”
Holmes’ testimony contradicts Schofield’s testimony announcing his departure. ITV then declined, stating: “Phillip Schofield’s decision to step down This morning was (as his testimony made clear) an agreed decision between Phillip and ITV.”
On Monday, May 29, Schofield shared an Instagram post in which he denounced those who “held grudges” against him and claimed that there had been “no toxicity” during his tenure This morningwhich he described as “the best show to work on, with the best people.”
Holmes then criticized Schofield’s testimony, calling it “delusional”. He wrote: “I’m hesitant to pay any more attention to the liar, but believe me Pip, if you’re up for a fight, you’ve picked the wrong person.” [sic]!“
Holmes then doubled down on his statement, accusing Schofield of “toxicity” and ITV of a “cover-up”.
Read a timeline of the Schofield vs. Holmes feud here.
Former This morning Also accused was Dr. Ranj Singh This morning having a “toxic culture”.
The health expert, who appeared on the daytime TV show for 10 years, said he was “increasingly concerned” about what was happening on the show and the way people were being treated.
He claimed that after raising those concerns to ITV’s top bosses he was “kicked out” and did not appear on ITV This morning since then.
When hosting This morning On Monday, May 22, due to Willoughby’s absence at halftime, guest presenters Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond discussed Schofield’s departure and paid tribute to their former colleague.
O’Leary said: “As a show, everyone on and off screen at ITV and This morning I want to say a big thank you to Phil for what he’s done over the past 21 years to make the show such a success.”
Hammond added, “We all quite simply know that he is one of the best live television networks this country has ever had and we and the entire team wish him well in the future.”
O’Leary re-hosted the show on Monday, May 29, following the revelation of the affair, asking viewers, “How was your weekend?” in a subtle nod to the excitement surrounding her former colleague. He and Hammond also stressed that the show’s set was a fun place to work.
Later that week, Hammond broke down while discussing Schofield on live television. “I just find it really painful,” she said. “Of course I loved Phillip Schofield and it’s weird because I quiet Dear Phillip Schofield.
“But what he did is wrong. He admitted it, he apologized. As a family, we all have a really hard time processing everything.”
Nadine Dorries has called for an investigation into the entire scandal. The former culture secretary claimed Willoughby “has questions to answer” about how the young employee Schofield was having the affair with came to ITV.
Willoughby, who co-hosted the ITV daytime series with Schofield for 12 years, posted an update to her Instagram Stories on Saturday May 27, saying: “It’s taken time to digest yesterday’s news.”
She said she “asked Phil directly” about rumors of his relationship with a This morning Colleagues agreed, but he assured her that was not the case.
“When reports of this relationship first surfaced, I asked Phil directly if that was true and was told it wasn’t,” she wrote, adding, “It was very hurtful to now find out that the one.” was a lie.”
Before the affair became known, he was an Irish chef and colleague This morning Star Clodagh McKenna paid tribute to Schofield on social media, captioning it, “21 years of making our mornings brighter…” And I’ve been extremely fortunate to be a part of three of them. I will miss that morning hug, the sparkle in your eyes that makes me giggle, and your empathy.
“We will miss you.”
gladiators Presenter Ulrika Jonsson also commented on the alleged “feud” between Willoughby and Schofield.
“Daytime television is a bustling, narcissistic melting pot of ego, vanity, hierarchy and domination, not to mention the bevy of managers and agents who stand backstage, ready to compete for their clients’ best results,” she said.
“However, for the show’s dedicated followers, I suspect this war of egos is a great sadness. They’ve invested in and are drawn to both presenters over the years. On-screen duos are all about balance, harmony and respect, and finding the right one can be very difficult.”
In an interview with Channel 4, actor Rupert Everett said coverage of Schofield’s affair was “homophobic” and should be “ceased” by the media.
The actor agreed that reports of the relationship between the former ITV presenter and a younger male colleague were disproportionate and a “moment of madness”.
In an interview with The sunIn his June 1 article, Schofield had suggested that some of the backlash against him was due to homophobia.
He said age differences in reported heterosexual relationships with Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio are “accepted.”