Philip Scofield says his career ended after an affair

  • Written by Stephen Macintosh
  • Entertainment reporter

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WATCH: Philip Scofield said this case was the ‘biggest, darkest secret’

After fleeing the paparazzi waiting outside his home, he sits down with Amol Rajan to tell his side of the story.

He said the couple were “not friends” and had only had five or six romantic encounters over the course of a few months.

However, Scofield said this case “was a huge mistake,” adding, “I shouldn’t have done that.”

Looking exhausted and depressed, the TV presenter spoke softly as he said he was “deeply sorry”.

Questions have been raised about ITV’s handling of the situation, the extent of the bosses’ knowledge of the case, and whether its investigation had gone far enough.

After the controversy, Scofield said he doubted he would return to his career in television. “I have to talk about TV in the past tense that breaks my heart,” he said. “I’ve lost everything.

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Schofield told the BBC’s Amol Rajan that homophobia was a factor in people’s rejection of the relationship.

“What am I going to do with my days?” He completed. “I see nothing but blackness in front of me, sadness, remorse, remorse, and guilt. I did something very wrong and then lied about it constantly.”

Referring to his former teammate, the 61-year-old said: “It’s an innocent party here. I was older, I should have known better.” [The affair] It was consensual, but it was my fault.”

In a detailed interview about the case, Schofield told the BBC:

  • His colleague was 20 years old when he first had any kind of sexual contact with him
  • He had suicidal thoughts, adding that his daughters had “never left me for a moment” since word of the affair broke.
  • Scofield’s first romantic encounter with the man is in his ITV dressing room
  • Scofield said homophobia was a factor in people disapproving of their relationship, adding, “If it were about males and females, it wouldn’t be a scandal.”
  • He added that he understood people who thought there had been an abuse of power, but said he “didn’t feel it at the time.”

Scofield paid tribute to his daughters, who he said helped him overcome suicidal thoughts in recent days.

“Last week,” he said, “if my daughters hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be here.” “They have been by my side every moment because they are afraid to let me out of their sight.”

The former This Morning presenter opens up about his affair and subsequent fall-out with the BBC’s Amol Rajan.

Scofield explained that his first romantic encounter with his colleague took place in his dressing room, adding that there had only been five or six such encounters in total between the couple over a few months.

“I fully appreciate that there is a massive age gap, but it just so happens in life. I think there’s an enormous amount of homophobia that happens to be male, but if it were about males and females, it wouldn’t be such a scandal,” Scofield said.

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He said telling his wife, Stephanie Lowe, about the affair “was the hardest conversation we’ve ever had.”

His admission to the case raised questions about the balance of power between the pair and whether or not Scofield profited from his position.

“I understand that, and it’s a very good question to ask me,” Scofield said. “If it’s an abuse of power, it’s not in my nature to be that person, but of course it can be seen as such. But that wasn’t how I felt at the time.”

ITV has instructed a solicitor to conduct an external fact-finding review of how ITV handled its own investigation into the rumors of the affair in 2020.

Network CEO Dame Caroline McCall was asked to attend the Culture, Media and Sport Committee on June 14 to answer questions about the broadcaster’s approach to protection following the controversy.

“The lie is getting too big.”

Scofield confirmed that he first met the man he would go on to when he was invited to appear as part of a drama school event many years ago.

He and the man began communicating on Twitter after following each other following the event. Scofield said the man asked for advice about working in the television industry.

The presenter described his communication as “completely innocent back and forth over a period of time, about a job, about jobs”.

“what’s wrong with that?” Asked. “What’s wrong with talking to someone no matter how old they are, does that mean if you’re following anyone on Twitter you’re not giving advice?”

He continued, “I’ve done it my whole life. I’m best friends with the people who got me into TV, and I’ve always believed in paying it up front, so I didn’t even think about it.”

Scofield noted that he follows 11,300 people on Twitter, which he no longer uses, and there has been “no whiff of wrongdoing” during his time on the social media platform.

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Together Schofield and Holly Willoughby presented The Morning and Dancing on Ice on ITV before he left

When the duo met in person for the first time since the school drama event, Scofield said there was “absolutely no” hint of sexual attraction.

But Scofield said their interactions turned romantic “a few months” after the man started working on This Morning.

“We became buddies,” Scofield said. “And you know, you walk around the studios, you hang out together, you know, you chat to each other, that kind of thing.

“Something happened in my dressing room one day,” he said. “I kissed someone in the workplace, which led to a little bit more,” Scofield said, characterizing the relationship.

The TV presenter said he got guy jobs on other shows he worked on “because he was such a good runner, and it’s always nice to have a team of people you know.”

He confirmed that co-star Holly Willoughby “didn’t know” about the affair, adding: “No one knew.

He said, “Rumors start, and then you lie. When you have a place to work, you lie about it.”

ITV previously said it had investigated reports of a relationship, but this has been repeatedly denied by both parties.

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He appeared exhausted in his emotional and candid interview with BBC News

Asked how much his colleagues knew, Schofield said: “No one ever asked me about being gay. When the rumors were [about the affair] I grew up, and then we were both asked.”

Asked if he liked his former classmate, Scofield said, “No, we were just buddies,” later adding, “We weren’t friends, and we weren’t in a relationship.”

The TV presenter added that he “never” forced the man to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and said he would be free to speak to the media if he wanted to.

Scofield added that, contrary to some press reports, the man was not regularly taken in taxis between Scofield’s home in London and the studios this morning.

He said, “He didn’t come to my apartment frequently, he came to the apartment once, as far as I can remember, he didn’t stay there.”

Schofield also denied he had organized the man’s transfer this morning to work on another ITV daytime show when their relationship ended.

“Absolutely not — he was a good fellow and a good runner, very good. He applied to go to [another ITV programme] And he got the job entirely on his merits.”

Last week, Scofield went public with the issue, a decision he said he made because “the lie just got too big for us.”

“It became massive, and it went off the internet and into the mainstream news, and that had to stop, for the sake of his mental health,” he said.

Earlier this week, Schofield was removed as ambassador for the Prince Trust in light of the controversy, something the TV star said “broke my heart.”

image source, Getty Images

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Leaving his ambassadorship for the Prince’s Trust earlier this week “broke my heart,” Schofield said.

Asked how his former team-mate was feeling now, Schofield said: “What he wants is for all of this [media coverage] To go away, he wants a quiet life, he doesn’t want any of this to happen in the first place.”

Scofield said he last spoke to him “two weeks ago” when he gave him legal support, which he continues to pay for.

The TV presenter said he was “extremely concerned” about taking care of his former colleague, whom he described as “vulnerable”.

He denied reports of a toxic environment this morning, as well as allegations that he had become too forceful or unpleasant to work with. He said, “I’m not rude on the studio floor, I don’t bully people.”

Scofield also flatly denied the allegation that a newspaper struck a deal with him and his management in 2019 in which the media outlet allegedly agreed not to run the story about the young man in exchange for the exclusive interview about his coming out as gay.

“Absolutely not true,” Schofield said, adding that he was encouraged to be interviewed by The Sun by a media consultant as part of his ad.

Scofield said telling his wife Stephanie Lowe about his affair “was the hardest conversation I’ve ever had with her”.

He added, “She’s very frustrated that I lied to her, too.”

Help and support

If you are affected by any of the issues in this article, you can find details about organizations that can help across the BBC’s Action Line.

The former This Morning presenter opens up about his affair and subsequent fall-out with the BBC’s Amol Rajan.

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