Eamonn Holmes alleges 'total cover-up' at ITV over Phillip Schofield affair

30 May 2023, 07:59 | Updated: 30 May 2023, 08:17

Eamonn Holmes accused This Morning of a 'total cover-up' of Phillip Schofield's affair
Eamonn Holmes accused This Morning of a 'total cover-up' of Phillip Schofield's affair. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

Eamonn Holmes has alleged a ‘total cover-up’ at ITV’s This Morning after Phillip Schofield admitted an affair with a young mail colleague.

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Schofield, 61, resigned from ITV on Friday and was dropped by his talent agency after admitting to an ‘unwise, but not illegal’ affair.

Holmes, who previously presented This Morning with wife Ruth Langford, spoke about the affair, saying: “It’s a total cover-up.

“Those in authority had to know what was going on and they thought they would dodge a bullet with this.

“And you simply sit there and think ‘No mate, you’ve had it all your way for too long,” he told GB News.

On Saturday, ITV said it investigated the rumours in early 2020, but Schofield “categorically” denied it was true.

“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,” a spokesperson for the broadcaster said.

“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.”

Over the weekend, Schofield hit back at critics after claims of a "toxic" culture on This Morning.

He posted on Instagram: ‘Now I no longer work on This Morning I am free to say this. I hope you have noticed that it is the same handful of people with a grudge against me or the show who seem to have the loudest voice.

"This Morning is the best show to work on, with the best people. In all the years I worked there, there was no toxicity'.

But Eamonn Holmes hit back at the statement, saying: "[Schofield] was so rude.

"This nonsense that he wrote today about toxicity, it’s a happy place and whatever... what planet does this man live on? He created an atmosphere where people hated him, that people would avoid them in the corridor, he didn’t look at anybody, he didn’t know anybody’s names. 

"Holly doesn't know people's names either. This is legendary within the production team, how distant they are, and how they just don't care."

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Schofield's Instagram statement
Schofield's Instagram statement. Picture: Instagram

Dermot O'Leary also appeared to reference claims of "toxicity" at This Morning as he presented Monday's episode of the show, saying: "We all know we happen to be in the news at the moment and of course we appreciate that but just from both of us, the whole team here, the crew, the guys downstairs, we love making this show for all of you."

Co-host Alison Hammond added: "We really do and that's exactly what we are going to do, we are going to continue to do that."

Gyles Brandreth, who is in the studio to review the news stories of the day, said: "We are very happy to be here, can I say that as well?

"This is a happy place to work, I enjoy coming in here and have done since I began coming in. We are happy people in a happy place."

It comes after TV doctor Ranj Singh slammed a toxic culture at This Morning which led to him being "managed out" of the show.

Speaking on Twitter, the former contributor on the show revealed that he believes that his complaints about the culture on the show led to his departure from his role.

TV doctor Ranj Singh
TV doctor Ranj Singh. Picture: Alamy

Read more: Former This Morning doctor slams 'toxic' culture at ITV show after bosses say show will not be axed

Read more: Phillip Schofield's lover was '15 when they met' as ex-presenter 'helped young boy get a job at This Morning'

Singh wrote: "I was on the show for 10 years and I genuinely loved and valued working there.

"However, over time I grew increasingly worried about things were behind the scenes and how people including myself, were being treated.

"I didn't know the truth about what was going on with Philip [sic], but I do know the issues with TM [This Morning] go far beyond him. It takes more than one person to create a culture."

Another former colleague, Eamonn Holmes, also said in his reaction to the controversy on Twitter that Schofield had "finally been caught out".

"He's not the only guilty party. 4 high members of ITV management knew what sort of man he was," he said.

Responding to Schofield's latest statement, Holmes tweeted: "Schofield has just put out a delusional statement. Like Holly he puts it on Insta Stories so if it goes wrong there is no record after 24 hrs.

"I'm reluctant to give the liar any more publicity but believe me Pip if u r looking for a fight, u have picked on the wrong person!"

Schofield has now completely resigned from ITV and been dropped by his agents amid the ongoing controversy.

Since the saga began, there have been rumours that This Morning could be axed from ITV's schedule amid questions over how many people knew about the host's affair with a young male employee.

The former presenter admitted to having a "consensual on-off relationship with a younger male colleague at This Morning", which he said was "unwise, but not illegal".

There are growing questions over how many people knew about the relationship, including top TV bosses and colleagues such as Holly Willoughby.

Willoughby, who is due to return next Monday, previously said in a statement that "when reports of this relationship first surfaced, I asked Phil directly if this was true and was told it was not".

"It's been very hurtful to now find out this was a lie," she added.

ITV has denied that it knew about the affair, saying an investigation into rumours was carried out in 2020, but that Schofield and the young employee "repeatedly denied" having a romantic relationship.

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