Phillip Schofield, the former This Morning presenter, has given an emotional interview to BBC News in which he said he has « lost everything » and does not see a future for his career. Schofield admitted to having an affair with a young male colleague, which he said was consensual but his fault. He said he doubted he would return to a career in TV and that he saw nothing ahead of him but « blackness, and sadness, and regret, and remorse, and guilt ». Questions have been raised about ITV’s handling of the situation, how much bosses knew of the affair, and whether its own investigation went far enough.
Schofield confirmed he first met the man when he was invited to appear as part of an event at a drama school many years ago. He and the young man began communicating on Twitter after they followed each other following the event. Schofield said he asked for advice on working in the TV industry. The presenter characterised their communication as a « completely innocent backwards-and-forwards over a period of time, about a job, about careers ». When the pair met in person for the first time since the drama school event, Schofield said there was « absolutely not » any hint of sexual attraction. But Schofield said their interactions turned romantic « a few months » after the man began working on This Morning.
ITV has instructed a barrister to carry out an external review to establish the facts about how ITV handled its own investigation into rumours of the affair in 2020. The network’s chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall has been asked to attend the Culture, Media and Sport Committee on 14 June to answer questions about the broadcaster’s approach to safeguarding following the controversy. Schofield said he was « massively concerned » for the welfare of his former colleague, who he described as « vulnerable ». He denied reports that there is a toxic environment on This Morning, as well as claims that he had become too powerful or was unpleasant to work with.
Keywords: Phillip Schofield, This Morning, ITV, affair, BBC News, interview, career, future, blackness, sadness, regret, remorse, guilt, investigation, barrister, external review, safeguarding, vulnerable, toxic environment.
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