by Thinus Ferreira
ITV in the United Kingdom has fired Phillip Schofield who was forced to admit on Friday that he's had a secret affair with a male staffer 34 years younger than him who he helped to get work on ITV's This Morning show.
The shocking revelations could lead to the exit of co-host Holly Willoughby, the end of Ths Morning, as well as the exit of top ITV executives if it comes out that they were complicit in a cover-up at the broadcaster, or where aware of the problem and did nothing.
The shocking ITV, This Morning and Phillip Schofield revelations is a case of real life mirroring fiction.
The exploding Phillip Schofield scandal - following after his behaviour that's been ongoing for years and with ITV saying it did investigate rumours but found nothing - looks as if it's ripped straight from the American Apple TV+ drama series, The Morning Show.
In The Morning Show, the male anchor is fired after shocking revelations of inappropriate sexual relationships and how he abused his power and position to have sex with other and junior staffers, with his female co-host who had an inkling of what was going on.
Making it worse is that Phillip Schofield's wholly inappropriate relationship with Matthew McGreevy was known and gossiped about within Britain's TV industry, by showbiz reporters and many inside the media, although nobody did anything about it and failed to report on it for whatever reasons.
Phillip Schofield isn't very well known in South Africa but DStv subscribers would have seen him in some shows when MultiChoice carried the short-lived ITV Choice TV channel like The Cube, The Greatest Show on Ice, Dancing on Ice, and some British royal interview programming.
Phillip Schofield who came out as gay on This Morning just a few years ago after 27 years of marriage has allegedly been carrying on a secret affair with Matthew McGreevy who is around 34 years younger than him and who Phillip Schofield had allegedly been grooming since he was just around 10 years old when he was part of a local theatre group.
Phillip Schofield then got Matthew McGreevy a job at This Morning. Later - for reasons yet unknown - ITV moved Matthew McGreevy away from This Morning and over to the talk show Loose Women.
When Phillip Schofield announced he was gay, insiders thought he was going to reveal his secret relationship with Matthew McGreevy but he didn't.
Last week Phillip Schofield was axed from This Morning, after the relationship between him and Holly Willoughby soured and got so strained that she demanded ITV bosses remove him. ITV however said it would still be working with Phillip Schofield and use him for other shows.
This Friday Phillip Schofield dropped the bombshell of his tawdry and inappropriate affair with the decades-younger man, which forced ITV to now completely distance itself from Phillip Schofield who will no longer do the other projects for ITV.
Phillip Schofield was also fired by his agent although he has a share in the YMU agency, as well as his lawyer, with his TV career that looks to be completely ruined over his shocking lies.
"I did have a consensual on-off relationship with a younger male colleague at This Morning," Phillip Schofield admits in his statement issued on Friday, saying his secret affair was "unwise" but "not illegal".
"'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 a just a friendship. That relationship was unwise, but not illegal. It is now over."
"'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 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."
After his statement, YMU issued a statement.
"Honesty and integrity are core values for YMU's whole business, defining everything we do. Talent management is a relationship based entirely on trust," said Mary Bekhait, YMU Group CEO.
"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."
ITV in a statement says "We are deeply disappointed by the admissions of deceit made tonight by Phillip Schofield. The relationships we have with those we work with are based on trust".
"Philip made assurances to us which he now acknowledges were untrue and we feel badly let down. We accept his resignation from ITV and therefore can confirm that he will not be appearing on ITV as had previously been stated."
ITV did an investigation in 2020 into rumours of Phillip Schofield and his young lover but said it found no evidence. ITV called allegations at the time, in a statement, "malicious gossip". It turns out it wasn't.
Meanwhile, Phillip Schofield's secret affair continued after he announced in February 2020 on-air that he was gay but left out that his younger lover was working at ITV - a job Matthew McGreevy got with the help and power of Phillip Schofield.
Now the Phillip Schofield scandal that destroyed his career, threatens the jobs of ITV CEO Carolyn McCall, ITV director of television Kevin Lygo, ITV's head of daytime programming Emma Gormley, Martin Frizell as This Morning editor, and group corporate communications director Paul Moore, with allegations that they have been part of a cover-up of Phillip Schofield's affair.
Allegations are also swirling about what and how much Holly Willoughby knew, whether she could stay on, and if or when the tarnished This Morning is getting cancelled.
The former This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes said on Twitter that Phillip Schofield "has finally been caught out but he's not the only guilty party. Four high members of ITV management knew what sort of man he was and never took action to prevent him controlling or taking advantage of his position over young people".
ITV in a statement says that "ITV can confirm that when rumours of a relationship between Phillip Schofield and an employee of ITV first began to circulate in early 2020, ITV investigated. Both parties were questioned and both categorically and repeatedly denied the rumours as did Phillip’s then agency YMU".
"‘In addition, ITV spoke to a number of people who worked on This Morning and were not provided with, and did not find, any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour."
"Phillip’s statement reveals that he lied to people at ITV, from senior management to fellow presenters, to YMU, to the media and to others over this relationship."