Phillip Schofield had been presenting ITV’s hit morning show This Morning for over 20 years when, in May 2023, he was caught in a scandal. This led to him leaving his entire career behind and, to this day, the once star presenter is keeping a low profile.
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In an interview he gave to the BBC in June 2023, he admitted to having an ‘unwise but not illegal’ affair with a younger member of staff which he had until then denied. This affair is currently being investigated by ITV.
Support among This Morning co-stars
When he announced his departure, Holly Willoughby who sat next to him on the This Morning sofa led the wave of tributes to Phillip Schofield. She wrote:
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.
However, as soon as the affair scandal broke out, Willoughby chose to distance herself from Schofield, taking a week off air. Other members of the This Morning team chose to recognise the presenter’s impact. One of them is Rochelle Humes who, at the time, referred to Phillip Schofield as a ‘fountain of love.’
In her Instagram story she wrote:
I’ve proudly been a part of the This Morning family for almost 10 years and over the last few, it has been an absolute pleasure learning so much from you. Thanks for all the lessons – you’re a fountain of love, knowledge and laughter.
Another source of support came from This Morning chef Clodagh McKenna who paid tribute to her co-worker on Instagram.
Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond on air tribute
When the affair broke out, Holly Willoughby decided to get off the air for a week at the beginning of June. Stepping in at the last minute were Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond who usually host This Morning on Fridays.
While the two presenters at first chose to not speak of the scandal, when they addressed it, their statements weren’t damning. O’Leary admitted that this time was difficult as he was uncovering things about not just a colleague but also a friend. Hammond then added:
Obviously, I loved Phillip Schofield. And it’s weird because I still love Phillip Schofield. However, what he’s done is wrong. He’s admitted it. He’s said sorry. But as a family, we’re all really struggling to process everything.
Who is supporting him now, months after the news broke?
The media storm that involved Schofield was so huge that he was forced into retreating. Over the last few months, the presenter hasn’t been seen at work as all his commitments were canceled. Moreover, he has made a point to keep a very low profile.
Phillip Schofield was seen out only a couple of times. Once around the time his mother wasn’t doing well and another very recently with Vanessa Feltz. Feltz worked with Schofield on This Morning since 2006 and was very vocal in her support of her former colleague.
At the beginning of August 2023, Phillip Schofield and Vanessa Feltz were seen having lunch together. So far she is the only TV personality to be seen in public with him.
ITV is currently still investigating the nature of the affair between Schofield and the other anonymous member of staff. The investigation should be completed in September.
The Tab: All the friends who have stuck by Phillip Schofield since his public downfall
Chronicle Live: Rochelle Humes breaks silence on Phillip Schofield's This Morning exit with tribute to co-star
The Independent: ITV boss says they do not have ‘anything to hide’ as Schofield inquiry continues