The whole Phillip Schofield controversy explained - what exactly has been going on?

A swift recap of everything that has been going on with Phillip Schofield and This Morning

Phillip Schofield controversy
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The controversy surrounding Phillip Schofield has been swirling since the presenter stepped down from This Morning. Here is a breakdown of what you need to know from the past few months.

Over the past few months, there has been an awful lot to digest as the Phillip Schofield controversy has continued to develop as new stories, statements, and interviews have been released. Here is a brief explanation of everything that you need to know to wrap your head around this story.

Phillip Schofield

(Image credit: Samir Hussein / Contributor / Getty Images)

On May 20, ITV announced that Phillip would be leaving the show, "After more than 20 years on the This Morning sofa, Phillip Schofield has stepped back from ITV’s flagship morning show having presented his last episode on Thursday 18 May," read the statement.

The presenter was then dropped by his agency YMU. The agency’s CEO Mery Bekhait said, "Honesty and integrity are core values for YMU’s whole business, defining everything we do. Talent management is a relationship based entirely on trust. This week, we have learned important new information about our client Phillip Schofield. These facts contradicted what Phillip had previously told YMU, as well as the external advisors we had brought in to support him. As a result, on Thursday we agreed to part company with Phillip, with immediate effect."

It was then revealed on May 26, that Phillip had allegedly been having an affair with a young staff member on This Morning who Philip reportedly met when the staff member was just 15. Phillip admitted the affair in a statement published by the Daily Mail but denied anything illegal had taken place.

Phillip Schofield

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Phillip Schofield's full statement about his affair

Philip told the Daily Mail, “I am making this statement via the Daily Mail to whom I have already apologized personally for misleading, through my lawyer who I also misled, about a story which they wanted to write about me a few days ago." 

“The first thing I want to say is: I am deeply sorry for having lied to them, and to many others about a relationship that I had with someone working on This Morning. 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."

“When I chose to come out I did so entirely for my own wellbeing. Nobody ‘forced’ me out. 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.‘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."

“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."

“To protect his privacy, I am not naming this individual and my deepest wish is that both he and his family can now move on with their lives free from further intrusion and that this statement will enable them to do so. I ask the media now to respect their privacy. They have done nothing wrong, and I ask that their privacy should be respected.”

Phillip Schofield

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Following the statement, Holly Willoughby released a statement claiming that this news was very 'hurtful'. On her Instagram story, Holly wrote, "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. Holly."

Former resident This Morning doctor Dr. Ranj Singh also made a statement on May 29 about the show being a toxic workplace and because he 'whistle-blew' he was 'managed' out of the show.

In a post on his Instagram story, Phillip denied any toxic environment at This Morning. On May 29 he said on social media, "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 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," he said.

Phillip was then called out by Eamonn Holmes who called his statement 'delusional.' "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!"

On May 30, Eamonn gave an exclusive video interview to GB News where he opened up about his experience working with Phillip Schofield, and how he treated members of staff and the women on Loose Women.

In the interview, Eamonn said of Phillip, "He is the chief narcissist. He is a complete and utter dyed-in-the-wool narcissist, everything is about him." 

He also said that he didn't believe that Holly Willoughby would be returning to the show and said, "Not only should Phillip go but Holly should follow him out the door. I don’t think you’ll ever see Holly back on the couch again. It’s not about protecting the young fella involved, it’s about brand protection with her, her company, and advertising deals which looks like she’s distancing herself from to protect herself."

On May 31 it was announced that ITV would be instructing a barrister to review the facts surrounding the scandal. "We have now instructed Jane Mulcahy KC (Blackstone Chambers) to carry out an external review to establish the facts. She will review our records and talk to the people involved. This work will also consider our relevant processes and policies and whether we need to change or strengthen any."

She added, "Given Phillip's admission of the extent of his deception the work will extend to cover any related issues that may emerge. This work will be carried out as quickly as possible and we will be happy to share the outcome."

On May 30, it was also revealed that King Charles had dropped Phillip Schofield as an ambassador for The Prince's Trust. The charitable organization announced, "In light of Phillip's recent admissions, we have agreed with him that it is no longer appropriate to work together."

On June 1, it was also announced that Jane McDonald would be replacing Phillip as the British Soap Awards host. Kerry Katona has also came forward and revealed that an interview with Phillip back in 2008 left her 'suicidal' after he accused her of slurring her speech.

Kerry said, "People don't understand what that interview did to me emotionally." She added, "even now, when I go back to ITV - which isn't very often - there is a sense of snobbery and that I'm not good enough."

Speaking about the interview from over a decade ago she said, "I was suicidal. I wanted to die, I wanted to kill myself. It was everywhere." She also criticized the 'aftercare' and 'toxicity' at ITV.

Phillip Schofield speaks out in interview

On June 2, 2023, Phillip gave his first interview about his recollection of the events and admitted that although his young lover was 15 when they first met, nothing untoward took place.  In addition to speaking to The Sun, Phillip also sat down to speak with the BBC and gave a similar interview recounting the controversy surrounding his dismissal. 

The same day, the interview was discussed on This Morning by Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary. Alison broke down crying as she said, "I was finding it really painful because obviously, you know, I loved Phillip Schofield, and it's weird because I still love Phillip Schofield. However what he's done is wrong, he's admitted it, he's said sorry. But as a family, we're all really struggling to process everything. I never know what to say."

On June 5, Holly Willoughby addressed the Phillip Schofield drama on her first day back on This Morning after a half-term break. 

The presenter said she was ' shaken, troubled, let down, worried for the wellbeing of people on all sides'. This speech has since received flack as some have accused the presenter of throwing her former co-host 'under the bus' and that she was 'insincere'. Others complimented the presenter for her diplomatic words during a difficult time.

Who will replace Phillip Schofield on This Morning?

Since Phillip left the show, This Morning has continued without him as a host and instead, Holly has been joined by other presenters including Josie Gibson, Craig Doyle, Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary. 

A full-time replacement has not yet been announced for Phillip's position and there are rumours that the show will not be replacing his role at all. Instead, it has been suggested that Holly will be the solo lead presenter of the show and will continue to have one of the other presenters fill in as her co-host.

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.