…By Alan Peterson for TDPel Media.
Bosses at This Morning are facing a potential crisis as employees plan to collectively approach HR this week, threatening a mass walkout following the scandal involving presenter Phillip Schofield.
The veteran host left the show last week and subsequently departed from ITV altogether after confessing to an “unwise, but not illegal” affair with a younger male colleague on This Morning.
The broadcaster confirmed that it initiated its own investigation three years ago after receiving reports from several staff members regarding a relationship between Schofield and a much younger runner working on the show.
A former TV executive claimed to have directly warned management about the possibility of Schofield’s disgruntled former colleagues going public in 2021.
The executive was later informed by HR that the matter was “ongoing,” according to reports from the Mirror.
However, an ITV spokesperson stated yesterday that the network was not provided with any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumor during its investigation in 2020.
The spokesperson emphasized that no such evidence was found either.
The network clarified that in early 2020, when rumors about a relationship between Schofield and an ITV employee started circulating, an investigation was conducted.
Both parties involved were questioned and denied the rumors, including Schofield’s then agency YMU.
In addition, ITV spoke to several individuals who worked on This Morning but found no evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumor.
The statement from ITV highlights that Schofield’s recent admission reveals his deceit to people at ITV, from senior management to fellow presenters, his agency, the media, and others, regarding this relationship.
Former colleagues of Schofield on This Morning were reportedly “angry and stunned” by his admission of the affair.
One individual told the Mirror that he lied blatantly to staff members at all levels.
Eamonn Holmes, a former host on This Morning, claims that four high-ranking members of ITV management were already aware of Schofield’s character before he came forward.
A source close to Holmes confirmed that although he was unaware of Schofield’s relationship, he made efforts to advocate for staff members he believed were mistreated while on the show.
The insider stated that Holmes did what he could during his time there and felt that ITV has questions to answer.
Holly Willoughby, Schofield’s former co-host on This Morning, expressed her hurt and disappointment regarding his previous denial of a relationship with a younger ITV colleague.
Willoughby revealed on an Instagram story that Schofield had lied when she asked him directly about the rumors.
She described the situation as “very hurtful.”
All the shows Philip Schofield has left
Dancing On Ice:
Schofield presented Dancing On Ice alongside Willoughby from 2006 to 2011, returning in 2018.
Christine Lampard hosted with Schofield from 2012 to 2014.
Regarding his future on Dancing On Ice, an ITV spokesperson stated that the show is not currently in production as it is scheduled to return in January 2024.
Further announcements, including the presenter line-up, will be made in due course.
British Soap Awards: Schofield announced his resignation from all ITV work, including DOI and the British Soap Awards.
Expressing remorse for being unfaithful to his wife, he decided to step down from the British Soap Awards, his last public commitment, and immediately resign from ITV.
ITV confirmed that the British Soap Awards will take place as planned, and further announcements regarding the ceremony will follow.
The Cube and 5 Gold Rings:
As both The Cube and 5 Gold Rings are part of ITV, Schofield will no longer be hosting these game shows.
The Cube is a gameshow where contestants compete for the chance to win £250,000 by completing challenges inside a perspex cube.
The show aired in 2009 and returned as The Million Pound Cube in 2020.
The Cube is currently not scheduled to return in 2022, but its future is not ruled out.
Similarly, 5 Gold Rings was not renewed for another series in 2021 due to difficulties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, but there is still a possibility of its return.
Schofield, who hosted This Morning for two decades, will no longer be part of the show following his decision to quit.
Schofield acknowledged that This Morning itself had become the focus of attention and stated his intention to step down immediately to protect the show he loves.
He expressed gratitude to ITV for the opportunities provided and assured viewers that he will be present at the upcoming Soap Awards.