Eamonn Holmes accuses ex-colleague Phillip Schofield of ‘toxicity’ and ITV of ‘cover-up’

Holmes previously presented ‘This Morning’ on Fridays with wife Ruth Langsford

Luke O'Reilly
Thursday 01 June 2023 06:33 BST
Holly and Phil don't know This Morning crew's names, says Eamonn Holmes

Eamonn Holmes has accused Phillip Schofield of “toxicity” amid the furore over the culture on ITV’s This Morning programme.

Schofield, 61, resigned from ITV on Friday 26 May and was dropped by his talent agency YMU after admitting to an “unwise, but not illegal” affair with a young male colleague on This Morning.

In the wake of his resignation, some former This Morning employees have come out to criticise the “toxic” culture at the broadcaster.

In a post on Instagram on Monday 29 May, Schofield hit back at the critics, saying that there was “no toxicity” on This Morning. “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,” he wrote.

Referring to Schofield’s comments in an interview on GB News on Monday, Holmes accused Schofield himself of “toxicity”.

“I think that Phillip is absolutely right about toxicity,” he said. “But my friend, the toxicity is not with me, [journalist] Dan Wootton, or anyone else, the toxicity is with you.”

Holmes previously presented This Morning on Fridays with his wife Ruth Langsford and now works for GB News.

Holmes has been scathing in his criticism of his former colleague

ITV has said it investigated rumours of an affair between Schofield and the unnamed colleague in 2020, but was “not provided with, and did not find, any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour”.

It said that both Schofield and his colleague “categorically and repeatedly denied the rumours” when questioned at the time.

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But Holmes claimed in his interview that “it's a total cover-up”.

“Those in authority had to know what was going on and they thought they would dodge a bullet with this,” he told GB News. “With Schofield talking about those who speak out against him - namely me, Amanda Holden, you (referring to Wootton) ... Dr Ranj [Singh] as well. You simply sit there and think ‘No mate, you’ve had it all your way for too long’.”

In the same programme, ITV’s managing director of media and entertainment refused to answer questions about Schofield after being pursued on the street by a GB News producer.

In a segment broadcast on Monday, a producer tracked down ITV’s Kevin Lygo and asked him if there was a “cover-up” of Schofield’s affair with a young male colleague at the station.

This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby said Schofield previously denied to her having a relationship with a younger ITV colleague – saying his admission now is “very hurtful”

He also asked Lygo if he “protected” Schofield.

Lygo walked away from the producer, telling him: “We really have no more to say.”

Schofield has been contacted for comment.

In a previous statement, ITV said: “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.”

Schofield’s former co-host on This Morning, Holly Willoughby, is currently on a two-week holiday, with Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary covering until her return on Monday, 5 June.

Follow the latest updates on the Schofield scandal here.

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