A Complete Timeline Of Phillip Schofield's Dramatic Exit From This Morning

It's been three weeks of headlines about the ITV show and its now-former presenter.
Phillip Schofield
Phillip Schofield
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Phillip Schofield’s exit from This Morning has been dominating the headlines for last few weeks, with new stories unfolding almost daily.

It all started with rumours of a rift between the broadcaster and his co-host Holly Willoughby, with the presenter stepping down from the programme just days later.

Last week, however, Phillip admitted to having an “unwise but not illegal” relationship with a younger colleague on This Morning, prompting outrage from some former co-stars and claims of a “toxic” work environment behind the scenes of the show.

With the news showing no signs of slowing down, here’s a timeline of events leading up to Phil’s exit from This Morning and everything that has happened since...

10 May – Reports of a rift between Holly and Phil first emerge

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield pictured at a Dancing On Ice photocall earlier this year
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield pictured at a Dancing On Ice photocall earlier this year
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Rumours about the state of Phillip and Holly’s friendship first came to light on 10 May, when The Sun published a story claiming there was “off-screen tension” between the two that had reportedly “rumbled for some time”.

The duo had hosted This Morning together since 2009 and became famed for their friendship both on and off the sofa.

Claims of a rift came just months after both parties faced a backlash when some people believed they had “skipped” the queue to see the Queen’s Lying In State in September by claiming they were members of the press – but tried to repair their image by addressing it publicly together.

The reports also followed Phil’s recent break from This Morning, which he took during his brother Timothy Schofield’s court case for child sex offences, which began in late March. On 3 April, the jury returned a guilty verdict for 11 sexual offences involving a child between October 2016 and October 2019, with sentencing to take place on 19 May.

11 May – Phillip denies behind-the-scenes drama with Holly and issues statement

After the headlines of a rift persisted, Phil issued a statement to The Sun insisting that he and Holly were still the “best of friends”.

“The last few weeks haven’t been easy for either of us,” it read. “As I have said before, Holly is my rock.

“We’re the best of friends — as always, she is an incredible support on screen, behind the scenes and on the phone.

“Holly has always been there for me, through thick and thin. And I’ve been there for her.

“The last few weeks haven’t been easy for either of us.”

15 May – The pair put on united front on This Morning

Holly and Phillip on Monday 15 May's This Morning
Holly and Phillip on Monday 15 May's This Morning

While Holly never publicly commented on the alleged fallout between her and Phil, it was claimed in the tabloid press that she was “upset” by the statement, which she reportedly wasn’t aware her co-star was going to release.

However, Phillip denied such claims, according to MailOnline, saying it was “categorically untrue”.

This led to a weekend of headlines about their supposed crumbling friendship and speculation over whether the pair would appear on This Morning together the following week.

Despite the rumour mill being in full swing, Holly and Phil returned to the show together on Monday 15 May, hosting as usual until Thursday 18 May, which later turned out to be Phillip’s last appearance.

19 May – Phillip’s brother is sentenced to 12 years in prison

The presenter’s brother was later jailed on 19 May for 12 years after being found guilty of 11 offences involving a child between 2016 and 2019.

While Phillip did not publicly comment on his brother’s sentence, he’d previously condemned his sibling and welcomed the verdict in a public statement on 3 April.

He wrote on his Instagram Story at the time: “My overwhelming concern is and has always been for the wellbeing of the victim and his family. I hope that their privacy will now be respected.

“If any crime had ever been confessed to me by my brother, I would have acted immediately to protect the victim and their family.

“These are despicable crimes, and I welcome the guilty verdicts. As far as I am concerned, I no longer have a brother.”

20 May – Phillip announces he’s leaving This Morning ‘with immediate effect’

As headlines about Phillip and Holly continued, he announced he was stepping down from presenting the ITV show with “immediate effect” after more than 20 years on the programme on 20 May.

“I have always been proud to cover fascinating stories on This Morning. But recently, This Morning itself has become the story,” Phillip began.

“Throughout my career in TV – including the very difficult last few days – I have always done my best to be honourable and kind.

“I understand that ITV has decided the current situation can’t go on and I want to do what I can to protect the show that I love.

“So I have agreed to step down from This Morning with immediate effect, in the hope that the show can move forward to a bright future.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me – especially This Morning’s amazing viewers – and I’ll see you all for the Soap Awards next month.”

The statement issued by Phillip on his Instagram account.
The statement issued by Phillip on his Instagram account.

At the time, ITV confirmed that Holly will remain on the show, but revealed she was to take an early half-term holiday, returning to the sofa alongside other members of the This Morning family on Monday 5 June.

Holly herself posted a statement on her story following the confirmation of Phil’s departure.

She wrote on her Instagram Story: “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.”

22 May – Alison and Dermot address Phillip’s exit in a brief tribute

Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary addressed Phillip's exit from the show
Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary addressed Phillip's exit from the show

Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary praised Phillip as “one of the best live television broadcasters this country has ever had” in a brief on-air tribute as they presented the first episode of This Morning following his exit on Monday 22 May.

Opening the show, Alison said: “We can’t start today’s show without paying tribute to the man who spent the last two decades sitting on the This Morning sofa. Phillip Schofield.”

Dermot added: “So as a show, everyone on and off screen at ITV and This Morning on say a huge thank you to Phil for what he’s done to make the show such a success over the last 21 years.”

Alison concluded the address, saying: “Quite simply, we all know he’s one of the best live television broadcasters this country has ever had, and we and all the team wish him all the best for the future.”

26 May – Phillip admits relationship with a younger male colleague and issues apology

In a statement issued to the Daily Mail, he apologised for misleading the publication and his lawyer, and many others.

“I did have a consensual on-off relationship with a younger male colleague at This Morning,” he said.

“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.”

Phillip then insisted that when he came out as gay in February 2020, he “did so entirely for my own wellbeing”, and was not “forced” to do so.

“Neither I nor anyone else, to my knowledge, has ever issued an injunction, super or otherwise, about my relationship with this colleague, he was never moved on or sacked by or because of me,” he continued.

“In an effort to protect my ex-colleague I haven’t been truthful about the relationship. But my recent, unrelated, departure from This Morning fuelled speculation and raised questions which have been impacting him, so for his sake it is important for me to be honest now.”

Phil added: “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.”

Phil resigned from ITV with immediate effect, and the broadcaster confirmed he would not present the British Soap Awards as planned, or the other prime time series it had previously said it would be working with him on.

The presenter was also dropped by his talent agency YMU.

27 May – ITV reveals it investigated rumours about Phillip’s affair in 2020

A spokesperson for ITV said the broadcaster was “not provided with, and did not find, any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour” when it investigated reports of Phillip’s relationship in 2020.

“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”, the statement read.

“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.”

27 May – Holly issues statement following news of Phillip’s relationship

Holly claimed that former co-host lied to her about his relationship with the younger ITV colleague after previously confronting him about the claims.

In a statement shared on her Instagram Story the day after Phillip’s admission, she said: “It’s taken time to process yesterday’s news. 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.”

28 May – Dr Ranj Singh claims there was ’toxicity’ behind-the-scenes at This Morning

Dr Ranj on the set of This Morning in 2019
Dr Ranj on the set of This Morning in 2019
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

This Morning’s former resident doctor, Dr Ranj Singh, hit out at the daytime show’s “toxic” culture in a social media post on 28 May.

In a statement, he claimed he raised concerns about “bullying and discrimination” two years ago when he worked there, and afterwards felt like he was “managed out” for whistleblowing.

Dr Ranj said he raised his concerns with senior executives at ITV as he had been heavily involved in “diversity, anti-bullying and mental health projects” across the channel.

“I then found myself being used less and less,” he continued.

“I even took my concerns directly to the top of ITV: the culture at This Morning had become toxic, no longer aligned with ITV values, and I felt like because I whistle-blew I was managed out.

“But as history and experience have taught us, things like bullying and discrimination are very hard to prove, particularly in hindsight and when the ‘people in power’ control the narrative.

“As we’ve seen, no review or investigation is foolproof.”

The doctor said he was assured that things would be addressed and changes made but he has not worked on the show since, adding it “still hurts” two years on from lodging complaints.

In response, an ITV spokesperson said: “We are sorry to read Dr Ranj’s post today. At ITV we are fully committed to providing every opportunity for anyone who works with us to raise any concern or comments they may have.

“Following a complaint made by Dr Ranj, we appointed an external and independent advisor to carry out a review. This external review found no evidence of bullying or discrimination.”

29 May – Phillip hits back at ‘toxic’ This Morning claims

With just minutes to spare before This Morning was due to go on air on Monday 29 May, Phillip defended the show and insisted there was no toxicity.

Sharing a statement on his Instagram Story, he said: “Now I no longer work on @thismorning I am free to say this.

“I hope you have noticed that it’s 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 was no toxicity.

“You can listen to those persistently loud voices if you like.

“But the thousands of guests over the years, thousands of staff and crew, hundreds of presenters and contributors all know, it is a family of wonderful, talented, kind, hard working people.”

29 May – Dermot and Alison respond to toxicity claims live on air

Dermot O'Leary and Alison Hammond on Monday's This Morning
Dermot O'Leary and Alison Hammond on Monday's This Morning

As This Morning aired on Bank Holiday Monday, stand-in hosts Dermot and Alison spoke out in support of This Morning in the wake of toxicity claims.

Dermot began by 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 added: “We really do and that’s exactly what we are going to do, we are going to continue to do that.”

29 May – Eamonn Holmes speaks out in damning interview

Eamonn Holmes and Phillip Schofield
Eamonn Holmes and Phillip Schofield
GB News/ITV/Shutterstock

Former This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes has spoken out against Phillip numerous times over the last few weeks, but sat down for an explosive interview with GB News colleague Dan Wootton on Monday 29 May.

Eamonn – who previously hosted This Morning on Fridays and school holidays with wife Ruth Langsford from 2006 to 2021 – didn’t mince his words and went in on Phillip.

Eamonn alleged: “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.”

Eamonn also called for Holly “should follow [Phillip] out the door”.

In response, ITV reiterated that it found no evidence of the affair during its 2020 investigation and that Phillip had “lied to people at ITV, from senior management to fellow presenters, to YMU, to the media and to others over this relationship”.

31 May – ITV orders external review following Schofield’s exit

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

A letter sent to culture secretary Lucy Frazer, DCMS committee chair Dame Caroline Dinenage and Ofcom’s chief executive Dame Melanie Dawes mentions the “significant media coverage concerning Phillip Schofield” and adds that: “As you would expect we take the matter extremely seriously and have reviewed our own records over the weekend.”

It says that ITV records show that “when rumours of a relationship between Phillip Schofield and an employee of ITV first began to circulate in late 2019/early 2020 ITV investigated”.

“Both parties were questioned then 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 the This Morning and wider Daytime team and were not provided with, and did not find any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour.

“Given the ongoing rumours, we continued to ask questions of both parties, who both continued to deny the rumours, including as recently as this month.”

The letter goes on to set out details following what Dame Carolyn says has been “a lot of inaccuracy” in reporting and she added the former employee Schofield admitted to an affair with has been offered support throughout.

It said: “The ITV employee was aged 19 when he first did work experience at This Morning in 2015 and 20 years old when he applied and succeeded in securing a job as a runner on the show.

“He subsequently applied for and was successful in securing a promotion to Loose Women in 2019. He left ITV in 2021. As you would imagine given the social media scrutiny of him, we have offered him our support throughout this period and indeed are still doing so.

“The employee has made it clear that he does not wish to be named or identified in connection with this matter. We would be grateful if you would be mindful of this.”

The letter states that ITV has instructed Jane Mulcahy KC, of Blackstone Chambers, to “carry out an external review to establish the facts”.


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