- By Steven Mackintosh
- Entertainment reporter
TV presenter Philip Schofield lied to his colleagues and the media about his relationship with a young ITV worker.
The former This Morning host said his relationship with the man, who the BBC has not named, was unwise but not illegal.
He has resigned from ITV with immediate effect and will not be presenting the British soap awards next month.
ITV will not be airing a new primetime series for Scofield, who last week said they were growing with him.
Schofield said his departure from the show was unrelated to the incident.
At the time of the affair, the TV presenter was still married to his wife, Stephanie Lowe. They split in 2020 after Scofield came out as gay.
Scofield said he was “very, very sorry” for being unfaithful to his wife and lying to his colleagues, agents, employers, the media and the public.
The TV host said he was reflecting on “a very bad judgment both for being involved in the relationship and for lying”.
His announcement follows months of intense online speculation about Schofield’s personal relationships.
Talent agency YMU cut ties with Schofield following the announcement about the matter.
In a statement to the BBC, the broadcaster said: “After 35 years at the helm of YMU, it is with great regret that I have agreed to step down.”
Full description of Philip Schofield
“I made this statement to the Daily Mail, to whom I have personally apologized through my lawyer for misrepresenting a story they wanted to write about me a few days ago.
“The first thing I want to say is: I’m very sorry for lying to a co-worker this morning about my relationship and so many others. I had an engagement with a younger man. A co-worker this morning.
“Contrary to expectations, when I met the man in his teens and was asked to help him get into television, it was after he started working on this show, the relationship that developed beyond friendship was unwise. But it’s not illegal. It’s over now.
“When I chose to leave, I did so entirely for my own safety. No one ‘forced’ me. Neither I nor anyone else, as far as I know, made any orders, senior or otherwise, regarding my relationship with this colleague. He was not moved or fired because of me.”
“In an effort to protect my ex-colleague, I didn’t tell the truth about the relationship. But I haven’t been in contact with him recently this morning, my exit this morning has fueled speculation and raised questions about his influence, so for his sake it’s important for me to be honest now.
“I am deeply sorry that I lied to my employers, my colleagues and friends at ITV, my agents, the media and the public and most of all my family. I was unfaithful to my wife.
“I have therefore decided to step down from the British Soap Awards, my last public commitment, and to leave ITV with immediate effect, expressing my deepest gratitude for the wonderful opportunities they have given me.
“I reflect on my worst judgment in both getting involved in my relationship and lying.
“To protect his privacy I have not named the individual and my deepest wish is that he and his family can continue to live their lives free of further intrusion and allow this statement to be made.”
“I now ask the media to respect their privacy, they have done nothing wrong, and I ask that their privacy be respected.”
This morning, Schofield’s last appearance was Friday, May 19. He announced his departure from the ITV daytime show that weekend.
Schofield has hosted This Morning since 2002, with Willoughby joining as co-host in 2009.
Willoughby is currently on holiday but is set to return to the show on Monday 5 June.