Phillip Schofield was filmed smoking shisha with his young lover during one of his alleged Thursday ‘playtime’ sessions after finishing work at This Morning.
The extraordinary Snapchat video showed the broadcaster partying with the man 34 years his junior and his best friend Simon Schofield.
In the clip from March 2017, Phillip started by sharing a snap of his pint of beer before dragging on a shisha, giggling as he declared: ‘I can’t get a tune out of these bagpipes’.
Schofield reportedly first met him when he was around 15 at a stage school in 2012 and when he was 18 or 19 when he got a job on ITV’s This Morning in 2016. He is believed to be around 20 in the shisha video when Schofield was around 55 and they were believed to be in a relationship.
After the night out, Phil was filmed under his duvet by someone else. Today Eamonn Holmes claims that Thursdays were ‘playtime’ for the pair, who had an affair while Schofield was still with his wife.
This Morning has been the site of an ongoing scandal after Schofield admitted in a statement to the Daily Mail on Friday that he had lied about his relationship with a younger man to ITV, his lawyers, his talent agency and his co-star of 14 years. He said the affair was ‘unwise but not illegal’.
Phillip Schofield was filmed smoking shisha with his young lover, right, and his best friend Simon Schofield (left) in 2017
Phillip Schofield with his later lover in around 2012 when he was 15 and in a theatre school
As Holly Willoughby, 42, held the trophy and made her speech, Phillip, 61, can be seen looking back at his lover
Schofield sat with his former lover on This Morning’s sofa
Schofield with his young lover followed by Holly Willoughby in 2018
Phillip Schofield and his young lover leave the Ivy Club in London in the early hours of Friday March 23, 2017. Eamonn Holmes claims Thursday nights were ‘playtime’ for them
The young man with Holly Willoughby, asking for her view on his presenting skills.
The presenter’s lover was working as an ITV production assistant at the time, and in a showreel filmed in 2014 the pair are seen joking with one another about Schofield’s long career on This Morning.
In the video seen by MailOnline, the 61-year-old presenter jokes that he ‘can’t find a way out’ of presenting This Morning after having hosted the show for 12 years at the time.
Later in the video, Schofield’s lover muses about what ‘we’ll both be doing’ in three years time, to which the presenter replies: ‘Well, if I’m still getting away with it, I’ll be a happy man.’
The video ends with the production assistant sitting on the famous This Morning sofa alongside Holly Willoughby as he asks her what she makes of his presenting skills.
The lovers were often seen together. In 2018 he was by the star’s side on the National Television Awards stage. In the picture, the young runner can be seen sharing a look with Schofield.
A former This Morning staffer told the Sun it was ‘odd’ to have such a junior worker on stage to accept an award. As Holly Willoughby, 42, held the trophy and made her speech, Phillip, 61, can be seen looking back at his lover.
But within 18 months the assistant was shunted from This Morning to another ITV programme in 2020 after he admitted his love for the now embattled presenter at an awards ceremony in London – prompting much gossip among employees of all levels that there was a relationship between them.
Eamonn Holmes said last night that the TV producer, who has not been named, was eventually shipped out to Loose Women after getting a promotion ‘he didn’t ask for’.
He would later leave ITV and work for the BBC and other production companies. But most recently he was seen behind the bar of a pub on St Patrick’s Day. And just a few weeks ago he was working there as part of the Coronation celebrations.
The young man who had an affair with Phillip Schofield was left in a ‘bad way’ afterwards and felt abandoned by him and ITV bosses who were obsessed with keeping the star and his co-host Holly Willoughby ‘happy’, Eamonn Holmes has claimed.
The ex-This Morning host said that the TV producer, who has not been named, was eventually shipped out to Loose Women after getting a promotion ‘he didn’t ask for’.
Speaking to GB News’ Dan Wootton, Mr Holmes said that the young man was ‘fragile’, ‘alone’ and short of cash after the affair ended, with Eamonn and his wife Ruth giving him extra work to increase his income.
Mr Wootton said that the situation was made worse because Schofield’s lover was forced to reveal he was gay, which his loved ones had not known.
Eamonn also said ITV had failed to have any duty of care for him because ‘everything at ITV was geared towards making Phillip and Holly happy. So no one else counted’.
Calling the younger man ‘lovely’, and a ‘really good talented fella’, he said: ‘Ruth and I particularly looked after him, he never once talked to us about any relationship, but we knew he was in a bad way and he was in a bad way.
‘He seemed to go through a lot of money in his life. And he would use them for other jobs and help them and he was always very, very reliable. But he needed a lot of money in his life, for whatever reason’.
Eamonn says that he and Ruth supported the young man and Ruth remains in touch with him
Holmes also claimed that Phillip Schofield would take his younger lover out for ‘playtime’ on Thursday nights followed by trysts at his £1million London bolthole while the star was still with his wife.
He said that rumours began about their affair – but the young man never told Eamonn and Ruth the truth – and then he was suddenly moved to Loose Women.
‘There was talk of Phillip having a relationship with a young man, that young man was promoted.
‘He didn’t seek promotion, didn’t ask for promotion. I haven’t ever heard and I’d like ITV to produce the records for people who were promoted from This Morning to another programme because it would have been a very rare occurrence if it happened. So he was promoted against his will onto another programme – Loose Women’.
He went on: ‘He seemed to go through a lot of money in his life. And he would use them for other jobs and help them and he was always very, very reliable. But he needed a lot of money in his life, for whatever reason.
‘The only thing I ever knew was that, oh, they’re very close, oh Phillip’s boyfriend, whatever, the lad would never admit anything like that to us. We never overtly asked him.
‘But what I do know is he would particularly seek comfort, you know, he would phone often. I remember on my 60th birthday, and I was in Belfast. And he phoned Ruth and Ruth handed the phone to me. And he was very close to Ruth. And we never intruded into what was wrong we just asked him if he was okay, if he needed help if he needed support, and we were there if he wanted that’.
Rumours of the affair then reached the public domain.
Eamonn said: ‘He just felt very alone and that no one was looking after him, really. But what he really was saying was that there was press attention and pressure on him.’
Mr Wootton said: ‘One of the problems that I think a lot of people don’t know is that this colleague at that point was a straight man as well, which was a complicated factor in terms of he hadn’t opened up to people in his own life about his sexuality, which made it particularly difficult for him’.
Eammon replied: Well, again, it’s so confusing. I don’t know, if he was straight if he was gay. What was going on? No one knew of Phillip was straight or gay. We just knew that he was married. But what happened is that everything at ITV was geared towards making Phillip and Holly happy. So no one else counted’.
Mr Holmes said his wife is still in touch with him.
‘I’m not, Ruth is. I think life’s tough for him. I ask why Schofield put that statement out. I’d say that suddenly you ask a question of that young colleague and you’re faced with top, top London lawyers’, he said.
He added: ‘There’s an incredible duty of care that needs to go towards that young man. This hashtag #bekind, the company [ITV] don’t seem to care when people harm themselves or commit suicide through their programmes so why would they care about people who aren’t known behind the scenes?’
Eamonn Holmes – who previously presented This Morning but now works for GB news – accused ITV of a complete cover-up
London digs: Phillip Schofield seen arriving at his new central London flat following the announcement that he is gay in 2020. Holmes claimed Schofield would take his former lover back to a different £1 million flat in an exclusive block within the studios at White City, in West London
Holmes also spoke of how Thursday’s were known as ‘playtime’ for Schofield and his former younger partner, with the pair arriving at ITV studios in separate cars on Friday mornings
Eamonn Holmes has claimed that Phillip Schofield would take his younger lover out for ‘playtime’ on Thursday nights followed by trysts at his £1million London bolthole while the star was still with his wife.
Holmes, a former This Morning presenter, accused ITV of a ‘total cover up’ over the affair, claiming that ‘those in authority had to know’ about the affair because the man would be ferried between Phil’s flat and studios in taxis ‘paid for by ITV’.
Mr Holmes told his fellow GB News presenter Dan Wootton last night that he had decided to stand up for ‘people who hadn’t got a voice’. He revealed that Schofield’s lover, who MailOnline has decided not to name, had been badly hurt by Phil and suggested he was a victim of the man he branded a ‘chief narcissist’.
He said: ‘Thursday was playtime when he and Phillip would hit the town and then he obviously stayed overnight. There are records to show that he was brought in the next day separately in cars paid for by ITV’.
Calling the younger man ‘lovely’, and a ‘really good talented fella’, he said the taxi to work on a Friday morning was part of a ‘cover up’ by ITV bosses. He said: ‘Unless Phillip paid the bills separately, but it would still have to go through the Accounts Office. They would have seen that and known’.
Schofield took to social media yesterday to defend himself and the show he presented for more than 20 years, posting on Instagram: ‘Now I no longer work on This Morning I am free to say this. I hope you have noticed that it is 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’.
Appearing on Mr Wootton’s show last night, Holmes hit back at the statement. ‘[Schofield] was so rude,’ he said. ‘This nonsense that he wrote today about toxicity, it’s a happy place and whatever… what planet does this man live on? He created an atmosphere where people hated him, that people would avoid them in the corridor, he didn’t look at anybody, he didn’t know anybody’s names. “Holly doesn’t know people’s names either. This is legendary within the production team, how distant they are, and how they just don’t care’.
He added: ‘Not only should Phillip go, but [co-host] Holly [Willoughby] should follow him out the door. I don’t think you’ll ever see Holly back on the couch again.’
Holmes also claimed Schofield would take his former lover back to his £1 million flat in an exclusive block within the studios at White City, in West London. The pair would enter through an adjacent hotel to avoid any suspicions of their secret trysts, the paper reported.
On Friday Schofield admitted that he had lied about his relationship with the man, plunging ITV into meltdown and losing millions of pounds of sponsorship deals in the aftermath.
He also told how his wife Ruth Langsford is still in touch with Phil’s ex-lover, who he described as a ‘lovely fella’, but ‘life is tough’ for him.
Speaking of the scandal engulfing ITV, Eamonn said: ‘It’s a total cover up. Those in authority had to know.
‘They had to know what was going on and they thought they would dodge the bullet which they did and they do constantly.
‘All I’m here to do is to speak for people who hadn’t got a voice… I’m speaking on behalf of them,’ he added.
Holmes claimed that Phillip and his young lover would go out and enjoy ‘playtime’ on Thursdays, with the man staying overnight at his £1million London flat.
The following day, the pair would arrive at ITV Studios in separate cars from Schofield’s home, he added.
Holmes said: ‘Usually on a Friday morning, because Thursday was playtime when he and Phillip would hit the town and then he obviously stayed overnight. There are records to show that he was brought in the next day separately in cars paid for by ITV.’
MailOnline has approached ITV for comment.
Last night sources close to Schofield said of the interview: ‘Phillip is not in a great place right now. If Eamonn Holmes wants to be that cruel to someone in Phillip’s position then that I think says more about Eamonn than Phillip.’
ITV’s managing director of media and entertainment Kevin Lygo refused to answer questions about Schofield after being pursued on the street by a GB News producer.
He was asked outside a station whether there had been a ‘cover up’ of the affair, but Mr Lygo walked away, telling the producer: ‘We really have no more to say.’
ITV has continued to insist that it carried out an investigation in 2020, after rumours of Schofield’s affair with a younger male employee began to circulate.
But last night, while ITV maintains both parties were interviewed, sources close to his former lover said he was never quizzed on the matter.
This Morning was plunged into meltdown on Friday after Phillip Schofield admitted lying to ITV, his lawyers, talent agency and co-host Holly Willoughby about his affair with a younger staff member
Tweeting ahead of last night’s tell-all interview, Holmes said ‘tonight is for all my workmates over the years who were frightened and ignored by you and your controlling, coercive behaviour’
Ahead of the interview, Holmes and Wootton, who also used to work for ITV, pledged to tell ‘the real story’ behind Schofield’s affair.
Holmes tweeted: ‘A lie unchallenged becomes the truth. Not on my watch it doesn’t Pip.
Timeline of the Phillip Schofield scandal
September 2022 – Schofield and Willoughby are criticised for failing to queue for the Queen’s Lying in State. ITV insisted the pair were there to report from the venue.
April 2023 – Phillip is absent from This Morning for two weeks while his brother Timothy, 54, is tried at Exeter Crown Court for sexually abusing a teenage boy.
April 3 – Timothy is found guilty of ’emotionally blackmailing’ the teenager into performing sex acts and watching porn with him.
May 10 – Reports emerge Phillip and Holly are ‘barely speaking’, but a day later he issues a statement calling Holly ‘my rock’.
May 15 – The pair present a united front while presenting This Morning, but rumours of a feud continue. The pair are said to have fallen out due to Phillip’s failure to warn Holly of his brother’s trial.
May 20 – Schofield announces he is stepping down from This Morning with ‘immediate effect’.
May 22 – Stand-in presenters Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond pay tribute to their former colleague as ‘one of the best live television broadcasters this country has ever had’.
May 26 – Schofield releases a statement admitting he’d had an affair with a ‘much younger’ colleague but then lied about it.
May 27 – Holly blasts Phillip for lying to her.
May 28 – This Morning’s former resident doctor Dr Ranj Singh hits out at the show’s ‘toxic’ culture.
May 29 – Schofield releases a statement denying claims the show had a toxic culture, only for Eamonn Holmes to slam him as ‘delusional’ on Twitter.
‘Tonight is for all my workmates over the years who were frightened and ignored by you and your controlling, coercive behaviour.
‘All you who no one listened to. I’m here for you.’
He also added that he was ‘just telling the truth in the face of a coercive controller’.
It is unclear who exactly he was referring to as a ‘coercive controller’.
Earlier today, Schofield broke his silence slamming a ‘handful of people’ with ‘persistently loud voices’ and rejected claims that there was a ‘toxic’ on the show.
In a statement posted on his Instagram, the 61-year-old presenter said: ‘Now I no longer work on This Morning 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, it IS a family of wonderful, talented, kind, hard, working people.’
Shortly after the statement, Holmes, who has been a critic of Schofield for a number of years, released his own thoughts.
The 63-year-old tweeted: ‘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!’
He and Schofield were never close but appreciated each other’s broadcasting styles and worked professionally alongside each other.
Yet in 2019, the pair fell out after Holmes’ wife Ruth Langsford filed an official complaint against Schofield after she was cut off mid-air by the presenter as she was explaining what was coming up on her mini section of This Morning.
Schofield said: ‘Guys, we’re going to have to jump in there and stop you I’m afraid because we’re a bit tight for time at this end. Thank you, Ruth.’
A clearly unimpressed Langsford responded: ‘Well, I only had about two more words to say,’ and looked away from the camera.
In February 2022, Holmes publicly condemned Schofield on the matter, telling the Daily Mail’s Weekend magazine that his wife was one of many people within the television industry that had been ‘snubbed’ by the presenter.
He said: ‘Phillip is renowned for snubbing people. He’s very passive-aggressive.
Holmes slammed Phillip Schofield as ‘delusional’ during the interview
Speaking out for the first time since leaving the show today, Schofield hit out at those ‘with a grudge against me’
Holmes said that if Schofield was ‘looking for a fight’ he had ‘picked the wrong person’
‘It’s up to Ruth to say how she felt, but I was feeling hurt for her. No one would have snubbed me like that.
‘I don’t go for presenters who think they have a special privilege or aura or influence.’
Last night’s interview comes a day after This Morning’s former resident doctor Dr Ranj Singh called out the programme for having a ‘toxic culture’.
He said he had raised concerns about ‘bullying and discrimination’ two years ago while he was still working on the programme but felt like he was ‘managed out’ for whistleblowing’.
Dr Ranj said he raised his concerns with senior executives at ITV because 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.
Schofield and Holly Willoughby presented together for 14 years until Schofield’s sudden departure last week
Eamonn Holmes, his wife Ruth Langsford, Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield used to be the faces of This Morning (pictured in 2020)
‘As we’ve seen, no review or investigation is foolproof.’
An ITV Spokesperson said in response to his post: ‘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.’
Last night the scandal showed no signs of easing with new photos emerging of a smiling Schofield with his former lover and Holly Willoughby in 2018 as they left a This Morning Live event.
In another blow to the ITV programme, with This Morning’s biggest sponsor Arnold Clark announcing it would be pulling out of its existing multi-million-pound deal with the channel this autumn as planned.
And the Mail revealed that while ITV insists that it held an investigation into the men’s relationship when rumours began to circulate in 2020, the host’s former lover is reported to have never been quizzed over the matter.
A source told The Sun: ‘There is a lot of speculation about This Morning’s future and some staff are concerned about their jobs.
‘Phil’s admission of deceit has plunged ITV into a crisis which it has never been faced with before.
‘It is widely known internally that they have lost over £2million in sponsorship deals since Phil’s affair became public.
‘Arnold Clark, who are the main sponsors of This Morning, are also reconsidering their position.
Dr Ranj said he had taken his concerns to ‘the top’ of ITV but that he felt he had been ‘managed out’
Willoughby who has fronted the show for 14 years, is expected to make a return to the programme on Monday, June 5
‘Brands do not feel ITV is a safe bet at the moment.’
Another source told The Mirror: ‘The next few weeks will be a desperate bid to save the show – and the jobs of the execs.
‘Fingers are being pointed at the top brass, even though he admitted he lied to all of them.
‘The show’s wholesome image is clearly tarnished, but bullish ITV execs are not going to just throw the baby out with the bath water.
‘They are determined to prove that the brand is stronger than any single presenter, and that they can give it a fresh start after Schofield.’
Willoughby is understood to be battling to maintain her presenting role on the show and hopes to ride out the scandal.
She has been off-air since Schofield’s sudden departure, but this was due to a planned holiday for the school half term break.
The presenter, who has fronted the show for 14 years, is expected to make a return to the programme on Monday, June 5.
But Willoughby is facing calls for her to also leave the show, with former culture secretary Nadine Dorries who claimed the much-loved presenter ‘has questions to answer’.
ITV has been contacted for a statement.