This Morning's 'furious hosts threaten to quit' after Phillip Schofield reveals affair with young male colleague

28 May 2023, 11:56 | Updated: 30 May 2023, 07:39

This Morning could be axed from ITV's schedule
This Morning could be axed from ITV's schedule. Picture: Getty/Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

This Morning's remaining hosts have been left 'furious' and may even quit in the wake of Phillip Schofield admitting to having an affair with a young male employee.

Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary read out a 30-second tribute to the former presenter after it was announced he would be stepping down from his role.

The pair have reportedly been left furious in the wake of Schofield's admission, with some sources suggesting they may even quit.

A source told the Mirror: "Both are furious. The telling thing in all of this is the silence where Phil’s colleagues could have stepped in to back him. No one wants to be damaged by association.

"There is a real shock behind the scenes that such a successful show has been so badly hit by the actions of one presenter.

"The thinking last week was that when it returned after the summer, Phil would not be replaced by one person – but that there’d be a rolling rota on the sofa, much like there is on Good Morning Britain. But now those conversations seem irrelevant."

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

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Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield also presented Dancing on Ice together
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield also presented Dancing on Ice together. Picture: Alamy

Meanwhile, Schofield's long-time co-presenter described his false reassurances that nothing happened as "very hurtful".

"I asked Phil direct if this was true and was told it was not," she said in a statement on Saturday evening.

Read More: Holly Willoughby accuses Phillip Schofield of lying about affair as insider predicts there's 'no way back' for presenter

It comes amid fears This Morning could be axed from ITV's schedule amid questions over how many people knew about Phillip Schofield's affair with a young male employee, though the broadcaster has said it will go ahead.

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

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.

Despite this, an insider has suggested that This Morning could be axed.

An inside source told The Sun: "This goes right to the top.

"Very senior heads could roll.

"If there’s any suggestion of a cover-up they could be culpable.

"It’s also possible that This Morning could end up getting the axe.”

Read More: Phillip Schofield and young employee 'repeatedly denied' affair after investigation, ITV claims

Read More: 'There's no way back...it's over': Phillip Schofield 'no longer has a career' as insiders say he will 'vanish' from public life

Regarding how much officials at ITV knew, 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."

Phillip Schofield
Phillip Schofield. Picture: Alamy

His management agency YMU has also announced it has 'parted company' with the embattled star with 'immediate effect'.

It comes after Phil, aged 61, announced on Instagram last week that he would be stepping down from This Morning after 13 years of co-hosting with Holly Willoughby, as the pair's friendship was reportedly in turmoil.

Revealing his affair, Schofield said in a statement: "I did have a consensual on-off relationship with a younger male colleague at This Morning. 

"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. 

"In an effort to protect my ex-colleague I haven't been truthful about the relationship.

"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. 

"I am so very, very sorry, as I am for having been unfaithful to my wife.

"I have therefore decided to step down from the British Soap Awards, my last public commitment, and am resigning from ITV with immediate effect expressing my immense gratitude to them for all the amazing opportunities that they have given me.

"I will reflect on my very bad judgement in both participating in the relationship and then lying about it."

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