ITV responds to reports This Morning could be axed after Phillip Schofield controversy | Ents & Arts News

ITV has said there are no plans to axe its flagship This Morning show following reports it could be taken off air in the wake of the Phillip Schofield controversy.

The veteran TV presenter, 61, quit the broadcaster on Friday and was dropped by his talent agency after admitting he lied about an “unwise, but not illegal” affair with a young male colleague who worked on the programme.

Rumours of the relationship had first begun to circulate in 2020.

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ITV said it had investigated – but both Schofield and the employee “repeatedly denied” the affair.

The network was forced to issue the statement on Saturday after questions were raised over what bosses knew about Schofield’s conduct.

Now ITV has sought to end rumours This Morning could be axed.

More on Phillip Schofield

Denying reports in Sunday’s newspapers about the future of the show, an ITV spokesperson said today: “As we said on the record yesterday, This Morning is not under review and there’s no plans for the show to be axed.

“This Morning will return as normal tomorrow.”

Read more:
Holly Willoughby accuses Schofield of lying to her
Schofield leaves This Morning after more than 20 years

Timeline of departure and rumours of rift with co-host Holly
Statements from presenter and his agents in full

Holly Willoughby (left) and Phillip Schofield attending the launch of Dancing On Ice 2020, held at Bovingdon Airfield, Hertfordshire. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday December 9, 2019. See PA story SHOWBIZ Ice. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire.

It comes after presenter Holly Willoughby spoke of her hurt after finding out that her former co-host had lied to her about his affair.

Writing on Instagram, she said: “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.”

Schofield ‘deeply sorry’

In a statement on Friday, Schofield said he was “deeply sorry” for lying about the relationship.

It is understood the younger colleague, who is not a public figure, did not want the relationship to be made public.

The affair took place before Schofield came out as gay in 2020, and while he was still married to his wife, Stephanie Lowe.

In a damning statement, his former agents YMU Group said “honesty and integrity” were core values of their business and that their relationships are “based entirely on trust”.

Schofield, 61, left This Morning last week, amid reports his long-term friendship with Willoughby had come under strain.

Rumours of behind-the-scenes problems between the pair surfaced after his brother Tim Schofield was convicted of child sex offences.

Willoughby is expected to return to This Morning on 5 June.