Next up… the backlash

Well for anyone that actually cares – and I really don’t – it looks like the reason for the second most popular TV presenting team disintegrating in such spectacular fashion is now out in the open.

Every day for the next week is likely to be Verbally Batter Schofe Day in papers, on TV new and social media and it would be difficult to argue that he doesn’t deserve it.

Rumours had been rife for quite a while about his extra marital relationship with a much younger man who worked behind the scenes at This Morning – I heard about it a couple of years ago from someone on the set – but the reason for his “agreeing to stand down”, a term he has used twice in statements to the media recently but which actually means he was unceremoniously dropped, by his agent of 35 years and ITV, is that he lied about it to his bosses and to colleagues, in particular co-host and former sister from another mister Holly Willoughby.

These people stood with him as he turned a multi-award winning national daytime television show into his own showbiz outing party (as if anyone else gave a gopher’s gonads about it), carefully staged for him to dictate the narrative (brave Phil) rather than the tabloids I suspect.

Now while ITV is saying that they investigated claims in 2020 and both Schofield and the junior crew member he had met when the young man was a teenager and actually got him the job on the show, denied it, former host Eamonn Holmes, who admittedly has an axe to grind, is claiming that a number of senior figures at the station knew of the relationship.

So I’m taking the comments about being “disappointed” and “badly let down” with a huge pinch of salt.

Meanwhile it’s fair to assume that Holly took her pal at his word until much more recently.

Now the chickens have truly come home to roost and he has admitted that he lied to cover up the potential scandal, which has almost certainly brought a highly successful decades long career to an inauspicious and grubby end.

Dropped by his agent (or he “agreed to step down from their representation with immediate effect” as he put it on Friday) and with ITV having severed all ties with him I can’t see the BBC being too keen to snap him up. TV audiences would forgive him for most things but they don’t like being lied to and Phil’s fans are the type to take this personally so I hope for his sake that he has a few quid put aside to keep him going until that QVC offer comes in.

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Politicians abusing their position has become such commonplace that we just expect it now.

If the story about Cruella Braverman’s speeding offence had broken in the 1960s, the writers of The Frost Report or That Was The Week That Was would have been all over it and the minister involved would have been given a plain choice by the government of the day – resign immediately or be sacked just from the impression it leaves.

But not today. We have a prime minister who came into power blarting on about transparency and integrity yet when it comes to his Home Secretary he’s not even prepared to sanction an investigation into the truth behind her speeding offence.

If there’s nothing to hide then surely an investigation would completely exonerate her.

But instead, and not for the first time, Cruella appears to be made of Teflon.

Where’s the integrity in that?

Stupid TV quiz answer of the week

Tipping Point:

Q: According to The Bible the gifts brought to the baby Jesus were gold, frankincense and what?

A: Silver

The Chase:

On a mobile phone keypad, the letter Z shares a button with what number?

A: Y

Special mentions to the idiot who couldn’t answer the question; In ecology what does the word trophic mean because he had never heard the word ecology and the greatest ever Chaser intro with “The Vixen, so hot she has a climate activist glued to her.”

Edward Case

Columnist