Phillip Schofield: 9 Key Takeaways From His Sit-Down Interviews With The Sun And BBC

The former This Morning star has spoken out about his affair with an ex-colleague, his relationship with Holly Willoughby and his future prospects.
Phillip Schofield as seen during his sit-down interview with the BBC
Phillip Schofield as seen during his sit-down interview with the BBC

Phillip Schofield has given his first interviews since admitting to an affair with a younger colleague during his time hosting This Morning.

Just under a week quitting the daytime show, Phillip issued a statement last Friday confirming that he’d previously had an affair with an undisclosed younger colleague on This Morning, and would be parting ways with ITV effective immediately.

This announcement coincided with the news that he had been dropped by his long-time management, to whom he apologised for lying about the affair.

Phillip has now given two interviews with The Sun and BBC News about the scandal and the ensuing media fall-out. Here are nine key revelations from the presenter’s first public interviews:

He has outright denied allegations of grooming

Phillip Schofield on the set of This Morning
Phillip Schofield on the set of This Morning
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

During his interview with The Sun, Phillip denied that he had groomed his ex-colleague, who the daytime host met when the former runner was 15, but insists he did not begin a relationship with until around five years later.

“I did not,” he stated when asked about the accusations of grooming. “There are accusations of all sorts of things. It never came across that way (an abuse of power) because we’d become mates. I don’t know about that.

“But of course I understand that there will be a massive judgment, but bearing in mind, I have never exercised that anywhere else.”

Phillip also spoke at length about their affair, conceding he ‘should have known better’

Phillip Schofield left This Morning after more than 20 years last week
Phillip Schofield left This Morning after more than 20 years last week
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

He also spoke more in detail about the affair, which he first admitted to last week in a lengthy statement in which he announced his resignation.

Phillip claimed he and his one-time colleague initially began a friendship, which turned into something more after what he described as a “consensual moment” in his dressing room in 2017.

“One day something happened that just changed it,” he said of the pair’s one-time friendship. “That is the moment I look back on, and regret so deeply.”

He added: “It was not a love affair, it was not a relationship, we were not boyfriends; we were mates [...] I was really struggling with my sexuality at that time in the build-up to what happened. But over a period of time it happened maybe five or six times.”

Later in the interview, Phillip said: “I was unprofessional, one time, in a 41-year career. I know I did that. And there is no excuse. I won’t put forward an excuse. No one did anything wrong apart from me.”

He claimed that homophobia has played a part in public reaction

Phillip and BBC presenter Amol Rajan
Phillip and BBC presenter Amol Rajan

Addressing the fall-out from the affair, Phillip admitted he felt the public’s reaction had been tinged with homophobia.

“I fully appreciate there is a massive age gap, but that happens in life,” he told the BBC.

“I think there is an enormous amount of homophobia that [the affair] happens to be male, but if it was male-female then it wouldn’t be such a scandal.”

He also told The Sun: “There’s [an age] ­difference. It’s accepted [if it’s] ­Leonardo DiCaprio [dating younger women], it’s not accepted if it’s in the gay world.

“People are attracted to, or have relationships – wise or unwise – with people of different ages.”

Phillip said he’d experienced suicidal feelings since going public with his affair last week

Phillip disclosed that feelings of wanting to end his life “haven’t left me for a moment” since he first went public about the scandal.

He credited his daughters with helping him through the past week, telling the BBC: “Last week, if my daughters hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be here.

“They’ve been by my side every moment because they’re scared to let me out of their sight.”

Phillip Schofield pictured with his wife and daughters
Phillip Schofield pictured with his wife and daughters
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

He described his career as ‘over’ in the wake of the fall-out

During his BBC interview, Phillip said he felt he had to refer to his TV career “in the past tense, which breaks my heart”.

“I have lost everything,” he said, adding: “What am I going to do with my days? I see nothing ahead of me but blackness, and sadness, and regret, and remorse, and guilt.

“I did something very wrong, and then I lied about it consistently.”

Phillip called on the media and public to leave the man in question alone

Phillip filming This Morning in 2019
Phillip filming This Morning in 2019
HGL via Getty Images

In his initial statement last week, Phillip said he would not be naming the former colleague with whom he had the affair in order for the man and his family to be able to put the matter behind them.

Speaking to The Sun, the former Dancing On Ice host said the fall-out had brought “the greatest misery” to a “totally innocent life”.

Elaborating to the BBC, he said: “There is an innocent person here who didn’t do anything wrong, who is vulnerable and probably feels like I do.

“And I just have to say stop with him, OK with me, but stop with him. Leave him alone now.”

He also shared his wife Stephanie’s reaction to his admission about his affair

Phillip Schofield and his wife Stephanie attending Wimbledon together last year
Phillip Schofield and his wife Stephanie attending Wimbledon together last year
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Phillip’s interview with The Sun saw the presenter recalling how he broke the news to his wife, Stephanie, about his affair.

Stating she was “very, very angry” with him, he said: “She got off a plane and I phoned her up and texted saying, ‘I need to talk to you’. She called back and I told her.”

In 2020, Phillip came out as gay, but maintained at the time he had no plans to divorce his wife, and the two are still married.

Phillip went on to open up about where things stand with his former co-presenter Holly Willoughby

Phillip spoke at length about his relationship with his co-host of over a decade in both interviews.

He maintained that Holly was not aware of his affair with their This Morning colleague, and stated how sorry he was to have lied to her – something she previously described in a statement as “very hurtful”.

“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 that this was a lie,” she said last week.

Speaking to The Sun, Phillip said: “I’ve lost my best friend. I let her down.”

Holly and Phillip at the launch of Dancing On Ice last year
Holly and Phillip at the launch of Dancing On Ice last year
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

He continued: “Holly did not know. And she was one of the first texts that I sent, to say, ‘I am so, so sorry that I lied to you’.

“She didn’t reply and I understand why she didn’t reply, as well. So yeah. If anyone is in any way linking Holly to this; that is ­absolutely, wholly untrue.”

Phillip also opened up about the rift that had grown between himself and Holly prior to his departure from This Morning, which he had previously denied before stepping down from the show last month.

He told the tabloid that Holly had taken a “step back” from their friendship after his brother Timothy was jailed for child sex offences.

“I had no feud with Holly. She is my TV sister,” he insisted. “But quite rightly, when I am in the middle of a shitshow with bad press over something where I have done nothing wrong – in fact, I did everything right – it’s a witch hunt. And that strips that [friendship] away.

“Quite rightly, she is going to take a step back and think, ‘I have to step back from this’, and I understand that completely.”

HuffPost UK has contacted Holly Willoughby’s representatives for additional comment.

He also said he’d been vaping ‘a lot’ in the last seven days

Much has been made on social media of the fact that Phillip could be seen vaping in video clips from both interviews, which he said he’d been doing “a lot” in the past week.

“I am not sleeping, I am not eating. There’s a lot of Southern Comfort,” he said.

“My mind is in constant, utter turmoil. I think back to regrets, forwards to… ‘What do I do now? What I am going to do now?’. I’ve been vaping, a lot.”


ITV previously said in a statement: “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 [...] 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.”

ITV has since instructed a barrister to carry out an external review of the facts following Phillip’s This Morning exit and subsequent press statements, the broadcaster’s chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall said.

HuffPost UK has contacted ITV for additional comment following Phillip’s latest interviews.

Phillip Schofield: The Interview is available to watch now on BBC iPlayer.


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