Phillip Schofield quits This Morning after more than 20 years

Philip Schofield

Phillip Schofield has announced he is to leave ITV’s This Morning after more than 20 years on the breakfast show.

The nationally-beloved TV host announced on Saturday (20 May) that he is quitting the show, saying that This Morning itself had “become the story”.

Schofield came out as gay in 2020 after 27 years of marriage to his wife Steph.

“I have always been proud to cover fascinating stories on This Morning. But recently, This Morning itself has become the story,” the presenter said in a statement provided to PinkNews.

“Throughout my career in TV – including the very difficult last few days – I have always done my best to be honourable and kind.

“I understand that ITV has decided the current situation can’t go on and I want to do what I can to protect the show that I love. So I have agreed to step down from This Morning with immediate effect.

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“I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me – especially This Morning’s amazing viewers – and I’ll see you all for the Soap Awards next month.”

ITV confirmed that Holly Willoughby would remain on the show, adding that she would co-present “with members of the This Morning family”.

This comes amid rumours that both Schofield and Willoughby have had a number of backstage disputes and that behind the scenes they are ‘barely speaking’.

According to reports published by The Sun, the pair began to feud around 2019, after Schofield became ‘jealous’ after Willoughby won a BAFTA for her run on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! as she replaced Ant McPartlin.

Schofield’s decision to leave This Morning also comes after his brother, Timothy Schofield, was convicted of sexually abusing a child. Timothy Schofield was sentenced on Friday (19 May) to 12 years on 11 counts of sexual offences against the boy between October 2016 and October 2019.

The presenter and staple of British breakfast TV ‘disowned’ his brother in a statement after the verdict was announced in April. It read: “Before Tim was arrested, I felt I had no freedom. I often felt panic, stress and fear. I felt like I was trapped in a loop of fear and anxiety of the abuse happening again and again.

“It was only after Tim was arrested that I felt safe. It was only after Tim was arrested that I felt free. Free to be me, free to be happy, free to be relaxed.

“When I think about what happened, it wasn’t just what happened to me, it was who it made me become. I felt trampled on and feel I became a person who didn’t expect a lot from people and how they treated me and therefore, I didn’t get a lot.

“I feel numb to life and I know I should feel really happy or really sad but I don’t have the ability to emotionally connect with what is happening.”

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby attend the Pride of Britain Awards 2022 at Grosvenor House in October 2022. (Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Responding to Schofield’s decision to quit This Morning in a statement, co-host Willoughby said: “It’s been over 13 great years presenting This Morning with Phil and I want to take this opportunity to thank him for all of his knowledge, his experience and his humour. The sofa won’t feel the same without him.”

Kevin Lygo, ITV’s managing director of media and entertainment, praised Schofield as “hands down one of the best broadcasters of his generation” and teased a brand new series with the presenter.

“We thank him for his two decades worth of absolutely terrific television on the This Morning sofa,” Lygo wrote. “This Morning is made by one of the best and most diligent teams in television, who produce over 12 hours of live television each week.”

“We look forward to continuing our relationship with Phillip starting with The British Soap Awards in June and a brand new peak-time series to come.”