Phillip’s ‘Thursday playtime’ with his young lover: Eamonn Holmes claims Schofield ferried show runner between his £1m flat and This Morning studio for trysts in taxis paid for by ITV – as he launches devastating take-down of his ‘narcissist’ rival
- Holmes also accused ITV of covering up Phillip Schofield’s affair
Eamonn Holmes has claimed that Phillip Schofield would take his younger lover out for ‘playtime’ on Thursday nights followed by trysts at his £1million London bolthole while the star was still with his wife.
Holmes, a former This Morning presenter, accused ITV of a ‘total cover-up’ of the affair, claiming that ‘those in authority had to know’ about it because the man would be ferried between Schofield’s flat and studios in taxis ‘paid for by ITV’.
He told fellow GB News presenter Dan Wootton last night that he had decided to stand up for ‘people who hadn’t got a voice’. He revealed that the younger man, whom MailOnline has decided not to name, had been badly hurt by Schofield, and suggested he was a victim of the man he described as a ‘chief narcissist’.
He said: ‘Thursday was playtime when he and Phillip would hit the town and then he obviously stayed overnight. There are records to show that he was brought in the next day separately in cars paid for by ITV.’
Calling the younger man ‘lovely’, and a ‘really good talented fella’, he said the taxi to work on a Friday morning was part of a ‘cover-up’ by ITV bosses. He said: ‘Unless Phillip paid the bills separately, but it would still have to go through the accounts office. They would have seen that and known.’
Eamonn Holmes – who previously presented This Morning but now works for GB News – accused ITV of a cover-up
Schofield with his former lover on This Morning’s sofa
London digs: Phillip Schofield seen arriving at his new central London flat following the announcement that he was gay in 2020. Holmes claimed Schofield would take his former lover back to a different £1 million flat in an exclusive block at White City in West London
Holmes also told how his wife Ruth Langsford (pictured far left with him, Holly Willoughby and Schofield) was still in touch with Schofield’s ex-lover, whom he described as a ‘lovely fella’
Holmes also spoke of how Thursday’s were known as ‘playtime’ for Schofield and his younger former partner, with the pair arriving at ITV studios in separate cars on Friday mornings
Schofield took to social media yesterday to defend himself and the show he presented for more than 20 years, posting on Instagram: ‘Now I no longer work on This Morning I am free to say this. I hope you have noticed that it is the same handful of people with a grudge against me or the show who seem to have the loudest voice. This Morning is the best show to work on, with the best people. In all the years I worked there, there was no toxicity’.
READ MORE: ITV faces allegations of double standards after refusing to share details on Phillip Schofield workplace romance investigation
Appearing on Wootton’s show last night, Holmes hit back at the statement – and laid into Schofield’s co-host Holly Willoughby. ‘[Schofield] was so rude,’ he said. ‘This nonsense that he wrote today about toxicity, it’s a happy place and whatever… what planet does this man live on? He created an atmosphere where people hated him, that people would avoid them in the corridor, he didn’t look at anybody, he didn’t know anybody’s names. Holly doesn’t know people’s names either. This is legendary within the production team, how distant they are, and how they just don’t care.
‘Not only should Phillip go, but Holly should follow him out the door. I don’t think you’ll ever see Holly back on the couch again.’
Holmes claimed Schofield would take his former lover back to his £1million flat in an exclusive block at White City in west London. The pair are said to have entered through an adjacent hotel to avoid any suspicions of their secret trysts.
On Friday Schofield admitted that he had lied about the relationship, plunging ITV into meltdown and losing millions of pounds of sponsorship deals in the aftermath.
Holmes also told how his wife Ruth Langsford was still in touch with Phil’s ex-lover, whom he described as a ‘lovely fella’, but added that ‘life is tough’ for him.
Speaking of the scandal engulfing ITV, Holmes said: ‘It’s a total cover-up. Those in authority had to know.
‘They had to know what was going on and they thought they would dodge the bullet, which they did and they do constantly.
‘All I’m here to do is to speak for people who hadn’t got a voice… I’m speaking on behalf of them.’
MailOnline has approached ITV for comment.
Last night, sources close to Schofield said of the interview: ‘Phillip is not in a great place right now. If Eamonn Holmes wants to be that cruel to someone in Phillip’s position then that I think says more about Eamonn than Phillip.’
Kevin Lygo, 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.
He was asked outside a station whether there had been a cover-up of the affair, but Mr Lygo walked away, telling the producer: ‘We really have no more to say.’
ITV has continued to insist that it carried out an investigation in 2020 after rumours of Schofield’s affair with a younger male employee began to circulate.
The broadcaster insists both parties were interviewed, but last night sources close to Schofield’s former lover said he was never quizzed on the matter.
This Morning was plunged into meltdown on Friday after Phillip Schofield admitted lying to ITV, his lawyers, talent agency and co-host Holly Willoughby about his affair with a younger staff member
Tweeting ahead of last night’s tell-all interview, Holmes said: ‘Tonight is for all my workmates over the years who were frightened and ignored by you and your controlling, coercive behaviour’
Ahead of the GB News interview, Holmes and Mail on Sunday columnist Wootton, who also used to work for ITV, pledged to tell ‘the real story’ behind Schofield’s affair.
Holmes tweeted: ‘A lie unchallenged becomes the truth. Not on my watch it doesn’t Pip.
Timeline of the Phillip Schofield scandal
September 2022 – Schofield and Ms Willoughby are criticised for failing to queue for the Queen’s Lying in State. ITV insisted the pair were there to report from the venue.
April 2023 – Phillip is absent from This Morning for two weeks while his brother Timothy, 54, is tried at Exeter Crown Court for sexually abusing a teenage boy.
April 3 – Timothy Schofield is found guilty of ’emotionally blackmailing’ the teenager into performing sex acts and watching porn with him.
May 10 – Reports emerge that Schofield and Ms Willoughby are ‘barely speaking’. A day later he issues a statement calling her ‘my rock’.
May 15 – The pair present a united front while presenting This Morning, but rumours of a feud continue. They are said to have fallen out due to Schofield’s failure to warn her of his brother’s trial.
May 20 – Schofield announces he is stepping down from This Morning with ‘immediate effect’.
May 22 – Stand-in presenters Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond pay tribute to their former colleague as ‘one of the best live television broadcasters this country has ever had’.
May 26 – Schofield releases a statement admitting he’d had an affair with a ‘much younger’ colleague but then lied about it.
May 27 – Ms Willoughby blasts him for lying to her.
May 28 – This Morning’s former resident doctor Dr Ranj Singh hits out at the show’s ‘toxic’ culture.
May 29 – Schofield releases a statement denying claims the show had a toxic culture, only for Eamonn Holmes to slam him as ‘delusional’ on Twitter.
‘Tonight is for all my workmates over the years who were frightened and ignored by you and your controlling, coercive behaviour.
‘All you who no one listened to. I’m here for you.’
He also added that he was ‘just telling the truth in the face of a coercive controller’.
It is unclear who exactly he was referring to as a ‘coercive controller’.
Yesterday, Schofield broke his silence, slamming a ‘handful of people’ with ‘persistently loud voices’ and rejected claims that there was a ‘toxic’ on the show.
In a statement posted on his Instagram, the 61-year-old presenter said: ‘Now I no longer work on This Morning I am free to say this. 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.
‘This Morning IS the best show to work on, with the best people. In all the years I worked there was no toxicity.
‘You can listen to those persistently loud voices if you like. But the thousands of guests over the years, thousands of staff and crew, hundreds of presenters and contributors all know it, it IS a family of wonderful, talented, kind, hard, working people.’
Shortly after the statement, Holmes, who has been a critic of Schofield for a number of years, released his own thoughts.
The 63-year-old tweeted: ‘Schofield has just put out a delusional statement. Like Holly he puts it on Insta Stories so if it goes wrong there is no record after 24 hrs.
‘I’m reluctant to give the liar any more publicity but believe me Pip if u r looking for a fight , u have picked on the wrong person!’
He and Schofield were never close, but appreciated each other’s broadcasting styles and worked professionally alongside each other.
Yet in 2019, the pair fell out after Holmes’s wife Ruth Langsford filed an official complaint against Schofield when he cut her off on air as she was explaining what was coming up on her section of This Morning.
Schofield said: ‘Guys, we’re going to have to jump in there and stop you I’m afraid because we’re a bit tight for time at this end. Thank you, Ruth.’
A clearly unimpressed Langsford responded: ‘Well, I only had about two more words to say.’
In February 2022, Holmes publicly condemned Schofield on the matter, telling the Daily Mail’s Weekend magazine that his wife was one of many people within the television industry that had been ‘snubbed’ by the presenter.
He said: ‘Phillip is renowned for snubbing people. He’s very passive-aggressive.
Holmes slammed Phillip Schofield as ‘delusional’ during the interview
Speaking out for the first time since leaving the show, Schofield hit out at those ‘with a grudge against me’
Holmes said that if Schofield was ‘looking for a fight’ he had ‘picked the wrong person’
‘It’s up to Ruth to say how she felt, but I was feeling hurt for her. No one would have snubbed me like that.
EXCLUSIVE: ‘If I’m still getting away with it, I’ll be a happy man’: Phillip Schofield’s comments to his younger lover caught on video
‘I don’t go for presenters who think they have a special privilege or aura or influence.’
Last night’s interview comes a day after This Morning’s former resident doctor Dr Ranj Singh called out the programme for having a ‘toxic culture’.
He said he had raised concerns about ‘bullying and discrimination’ two years ago while he was still working on the programme but felt like he was ‘managed out’ for ‘whistleblowing’.
Dr Ranj said he raised his concerns with senior executives at ITV because he had been heavily involved in ‘diversity, anti-bullying and mental health projects’ across the channel.
‘I then found myself being used less and less,’ he continued.
‘I even took my concerns directly to the top of ITV: the culture at This Morning had become toxic, no longer aligned with ITV values, and I felt like because I whistle-blew I was managed out.
‘But as history and experience have taught us, things like bullying and discrimination are very hard to prove, particularly in hindsight and when the ‘people in power’ control the narrative.
Schofield and Ms Willoughby presented together for 14 years until Schofield’s sudden departure last week
Ms Langsford, Schofield, Holmes and Ms Willoughby in 2020, when they presented This Morning together
‘As we’ve seen, no review or investigation is foolproof.’
An ITV spokesperson said in response to his post: ‘We are sorry to read Dr Ranj’s post today.
‘At ITV we are fully committed to providing every opportunity for anyone who works with us to raise any concern or comments they may have.
‘Following a complaint made by Dr Ranj, we appointed an external and independent advisor to carry out a review. This external review found no evidence of bullying or discrimination.’
This Morning has been in the spotlight since Schofield admitted in a statement to the Daily Mail on Friday that he had lied about his affair with a younger colleague to ITV, his lawyers, his talent agency and his co-star of 14 years.
READ HERE: ‘A handful of people have a grudge against me’: Phillip Schofield hits back at growing accusations of ‘toxic’ culture and bullying on This Morning
Last night the scandal showed no signs of easing with new photos emerging of a smiling Schofield with his former lover and Ms Willoughby in 2018 as they left a This Morning Live event.
This Morning’s biggest sponsor, Arnold Clark, announced it would not renew its multi-million-pound deal with the channel this autumn.
A source told The Sun: ‘There is a lot of speculation about This Morning’s future and some staff are concerned about their jobs.
‘Phil’s admission of deceit has plunged ITV into a crisis which it has never been faced with before.
‘It is widely known internally that they have lost over £2million in sponsorship deals since Phil’s affair became public.
‘Brands do not feel ITV is a safe bet at the moment.’
Dr Ranj said he had taken his concerns to ‘the top’ of ITV but that he felt he had been ‘managed out’
Ms Willoughby, who has fronted the show for 14 years, is expected to make a return to the programme on Monday
Another source told The Mirror: ‘The next few weeks will be a desperate bid to save the show – and the jobs of the execs.
‘Fingers are being pointed at the top brass, even though he admitted he lied to all of them.
‘The show’s wholesome image is clearly tarnished, but bullish ITV execs are not going to just throw the baby out with the bath water.
‘They are determined to prove that the brand is stronger than any single presenter, and that they can give it a fresh start after Schofield.’
Ms Willoughby is understood to be battling to maintain her presenting role on the show and hopes to ride out the scandal.
She has been off-air since Schofield’s sudden departure, but this was due to a planned holiday for the school half-term break.
The presenter, who has fronted the show for 14 years, is expected to make a return to the programme on Monday.
But she is also facing calls to leave the show, with former culture secretary Nadine Dorries claiming the much-loved presenter ‘has questions to answer’.
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