Mystery surrounds the sudden departure of Phillip Schofield’s former personal assistant and runner after he left This Morning for a rival ITV show.
10 Dec 2019
The male runner, who had a close working relationship with Schofe, quit the show earlier this year and is now working on Loose Women – frequently fronted by Ruth Langsford, who has reportedly lodged an official complaint against Phil.
And while ITV has said the runner was promoted, other staff are said to be confused about the move.
“It was odd because they were so close and then he up and went to Loose Women and they didn’t seem to be talking much anymore,” one insider told the Sun .
It comes as an actor who previously worked with Phil branded him a “t**t” on Twitter .
Former Emmerdale and Tracy Beaker star Connor Byrne blasted the host, tweeting: “I’ve seen a lot of the nonsense on here about Philip Schofield’s encounter with the duplicitous Bulsh*t Johnson this morning and, having worked with Mr Schofield I can categorically state cuddly Phil is a total t**t. So, it’s no surprise.
“Schofield only serves Schofield,” he added savagely.
Revealed: The frenzied 24 hours of planning at ITV before Phillip Schofield came out as gay on live TV
- Philip Schofield might have been approached from a media organisation
- His announcement at ITV on Friday morning might have been prompted by this
- It is understood those present were asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement
The Mail on Sunday has learned that Friday’s announcement followed a frenzied 24 hours for ITV, during which a carefully orchestrated plan was put in motion to ensure his coming out went without a hitch.
Rumours have circulated within the showbusiness world that the announcement may have been prompted by an approach to Schofield from a media organisation.
This was said to have led to discussions between the TV presenter, his representatives, ITV head of daytime Emma Gormley and This Morning editor Martin Frizell.
It is understood those present were asked to sign non-disclosure agreements to prevent damaging leaks.
On Thursday morning, Frizell, a workaholic, was notably absent from the daily ideas meeting he usually leads. Production executives began to suspect something was afoot and later overnight staff were told to cancel a number of guests booked to appear on the following morning’s programme, due to be presented by Friday hosts Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes.
She is said to have a particularly close relationship with the This Morning presenter and last year began working as his agent.
Schofield last night admitted he had known that he was gay ‘for a while’, but said it wasn’t something he had considered when he married wife Steph in 1993. In an interview with the Sun on Sunday, the This Morning host said: ‘I admit I was perhaps a bit naive. But when we got married it was a joyous time and it wasn’t a consideration in my head…
‘I was confused by what it was. I thought maybe I was bisexual. But over time I realised and started coming to terms with it. And I realised I had to be honest with myself.’
During his television revelation on Friday, Schofield, 57, paid tribute to his family, saying: ‘My family have held me close. They have tried to cheer me up, to smother me with kindness and love, despite their own confusion.’
He told the Sun on Sunday it was too early to say if he and his wife will remain married. ‘It has taken me a long time to get here. I am not rushing to get to any other place,’ he said.
He declined to say if he was in a relationship with a man, or had been in the past, adding: ‘Steph and I have agreed to keep our private life private
But it was when Frizell, husband of former GMTV host Fiona Phillips, arrived from his home in Wandsworth, South-West London, earlier than normal at 6.45am on Friday and looking tired that This Morning’s behind-the-scenes team guessed they were in for a different kind of day. It is understood Frizell had toiled until the early hours ensuring that Schofield’s Instagram and Twitter posts announcing his coming out – issued to coincide with his televised revelation – were word perfect. He also worked on the interview with Schofield that co-presenter Holly Willoughby was preparing to conduct, post announcement.
The only other party who knew of the plans except Schofield’s family was the £30,000-per-month crisis management firm Phil Hall Associates who he instructed to work on his behalf three months ago when allegations of bullying by Schofield – which he angrily denied – began to circulate.
Frizell’s next job was to call Langsford and Holmes, who according to close friends were expecting their once-a-week presenting slot to be no different from any other. They were let into the ‘circle of trust’ just after 7am via their mobiles as they travelled to work.
An hour and a half later, staff were said to be ‘stunned’ when Willoughby and Schofield unexpectedly arrived in the studios.
Schofield went on to make his announcement, and then the two This Morning pairings embraced on camera.
For the first time in a career that has spanned more than three decades, golden boy of television Schofield has in recent months seen his name tarnished by accusations of being difficult to work with.
There were rumours of a fall-out with Willoughby, while Ms Langsford reportedly made an official complaint against him. ITV denied all claims.
Tomorrow though, ITV staff are expecting a ratings boost when Schofield and Willoughby return to their presenting duties.
Mr Phillip Bryan Schofield
01 Feb 2004 10 November 2005
Commander Charles Arthur Howeson
1 May 2004 10 November 2005
Phillip Schofield surprises charity with £20,000 donation
A HENLEY charity has received a surprise £20,000 donation thanks to Chris Evans and Phillip Schofield.
The Chiltern Centre, which offers support to young adults with learning or physical disabilities, only learned about the money when the donation was made on live television.
Schofield, who lives in Fawley, was interviewing Evans on ITV’s This Morning show about Carfest, an annual family music and motoring festival that was founded by the radio presenter in 2011 and raises funds for children’s charities.
Evans revealed he had two cheques for £20,000 each from the funds raised at the event, which he was giving to Schofield and his co-presenter Holly Willoughy to donate to the charities of their choice.
Schofield chose the Chiltern Centre, of which he has been patron since 2009. Later, he posted on Instagram, where he has 2.6 million followers, said: “Thank you, Chris Evans and Carfest, for the £20,000 you have so generously donated to the Chiltern Centre.
Carfest, which is held in Cheshire and Hampshire, gave half of the money it raised this year, to the BBC’s Children in Need appeal, while the other beneficiaries included the Teenage Cancer Trust, the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity and the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
Willoughby chose to donate her £20,000 to Short Lives, a children’s charity of which she has been patron since 2008.
The Patrons of The Chiltern Centre
We are very grateful for the continued support of our Patrons
- Alex Haigh
- Lady McAlpine – (wife of Sir William Mcalpine/ sister-in-law of Lord Alistair McAlpine)
- Phillip Schofield
- Gaie Scouller
- Jane Wates OBE
Lord Alistair McAlpine and ITV near settlement over Phillip Schofield blunder
OFFICERS AND ADVISORY PANEL Executive Board
Phillip Schofield attending William McAlpine’s funeral despite having libeled his brother Alistair McAlpine
Boris Johnson’s father also attended.
30 March 2018
A NUMBER of well-known names attended the funeral of Sir William McAlpine at Fawley Church on Saturday.
They included Lord Camoys, BBC director-general Lord Hall, Sir John Madejski, Stanley Johnson, Phillip Schofield and Mike Read.
Jan 24, 2008
Boris Johnson will speak at the Chiltern Centre Patrons Club launch, in Sonning Common.