Phillip Schofield’s former This Morning co-host Fern Britton shares an emotional post amid the fallout from his ITV affair scandal
- READ MORE: Holly Willoughby ‘saddened’ to see Phillip Schofield suffering – but there’s NO WAY she will be forced out at ITV
Phillip Schofield’s former This Morning co-host Fern Britton has shared an emotional post, amid the fallout from his ITV affair scandal.
On Friday morning, the TV presenter, 65, ignored the ongoing drama, as she tweeted: ‘Just watched the final #TedLasso with cuppa in bed.
‘Tears rolling down my face but such a smile in my heart. What a show what a cast what a story.’
Fern co-hosted This Morning with Phillip Schofield, 61, between 1999 and 2009. The pair had a well-publicised fallout, and have subsequently lost touch in the years since.
Her most recent tweet was notably different to the response she posted last month, alluding to the affair scandal that had engulfed Phil and ITV’s This Morning.
Former colleagues: Phillip Schofield ‘s former This Morning co-host Fern Britton has shared an emotional post amid the fallout from his ITV affair scandal (Archive photograph)
Doing her own thing: On Friday morning, the TV presenter ignored the ongoing drama
What a story! Fern shared that she was feeling emotional after watching the Ted Lasso final
Fern said that she and GB news presenter Eamonn Holmes had been ‘shooting the breeze’ during the catch up, as fans quickly speculated about their topic of conversation.
Hours after Phil revealed his affair with a younger colleague, Fern wrote: ‘Unexpected calls from old mates are so lovely. Just had the loveliest catch up with @EamonnHolmes.
‘I think we have known each other since the 80’s when we were babies. Shooting the breeze.’
Fern’s tweet came hours after Eamonn launched a blistering attack on his former This Morning colleagues Phillip and Holly Willoughby.
Eamonn and his wife Ruth Langsford have endured well-documented frosty relations with Phillip over the years.
When Fern announced she was quitting This Morning back in 2009, she addressed the entire team in general and didn’t mention Phil specifically.
In 2013, Phil confirmed in an interview with Heat that the pair were ‘not really’ in touch anymore.
Fern confirmed the same while speaking to MailOnline: ‘Like Morecambe and Wise, we chose not to live in each other’s pockets. We were a great professional partnership but we never went on holiday together.’
Former co-hosts: Phil and Fern presented the show together from 2002 to 2009 but have lost touch in the years since
Fern – who has since become an author – was also absent from This Morning’s 25th anniversary celebrations that year but insisted it was nothing to do with Phil and she was simply busy.
In his book Life Is What You Make It, Phil revealed he had an awkward row with Fern in 2009 when she accused him of ‘meddling’ with the content of the show.
He wrote: ‘I walked back into the make-up room and calmly said, “Please don’t do that to me again”. I think, for whatever reason, that was the point Fern decided she didn’t want to do This Morning any more.’
Their feud was back in the spotlight in 2018 when Fern appeared on This Morning via video link for the show’s 30th anniversary and claimed she wasn’t invited to the show’s BAFTA ceremony.
Speaking to Phil, she said: ‘Congrats on the BAFTA. That was absolutely wonderful and brilliant. I would have loved to have been there but I didn’t get an invitation.’
Phil was quick to dispute this, saying Fern was on stage in Scotland at the time but she replied: ‘I wasn’t on Monday night, I would have come but I wasn’t invited.’
The TV star later suggested on Twitter that Fern was suffering from ‘memory loss’ and the team would have loved to have had her there.
Phillip also revealed Fern never got in touch with him after he came out as gay on This Morning in 2020, but she did message his wife Steph, saying: ‘When I came out, she didn’t text me. She did text Steph though, which was really kind.’
Oh! Her most recent tweet was notably different to the response she posted last month , alluding to the affair scandal that had engulfed Phil and ITV’s This Morning
Awkward! Meanwhile, Phil’s conflict with Eamonn and Ruth all kicked off in 2019 when it was reported that Ruth had filed a complaint against Phil to ITV bosses
Meanwhile, Phil’s conflict with Eamonn and Ruth all kicked off in 2019 when it was reported that Ruth had filed a complaint against Phil to ITV bosses.
Fans speculated the complaint may have been down to an awkward moment between the pair caught on camera that year.
Ruth appeared at the end of an episode of This Morning to preview what was coming up on Loose Women and was cut off by Phil while she was speaking.
Phil 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.’
Ruth, who clearly looked unimpressed with the interruption, responded: ‘Well I only had about two more words to say,’ and looked away from the camera.
Eamonn co-hosted the ITV daytime show with his wife Ruth Langsford from 2006 until August 2021, until being ‘dropped’ by ITV and replaced by Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary.
It comes after it was revealed that Phillip’s longtime presenting partner Holly Willoughby was ‘saddened’ to see his suffering in the wake of his affair confession.
The presenter is said to be ‘gobsmacked’ by her former colleague lifting the lid so publicly on his affair with a much younger colleague.
But as the fallout continues to rage, those close to Holly insist there is ‘no way’ she will be following Schofield out the door at This Morning.
Despite suggestions that she would also depart the show, sources claim she is needed to ‘steady the ship’ at the programme.
Friends of Holly have also suggested that ITV cannot risk sacking her without questions being asked about the position of its management team and whether they were aware of the affair.
Holly was said to be sorry to see how Mr Schofield has been struggling with his mental health since leaving This Morning.
A source told The Sun: ‘Holly has not spoken to Phil, but was saddened to see him like that.
‘Seeing Phil so downtrodden and in a bad way was distressing for a number of people who know him personally.’
They added: ‘It is an incredibly sad situation. Phil has his daughters and friends supporting him now.’
When Holly accepted the National Television gong on behalf of This Morning for best daytime show in 2018, she wasn’t just surrounded by her fellow presenters, who included Ruth Langsford and Alison Hammond, and the programme’s editor Martin Frizell.
READ MORE: Phillip Schofield reveals he is too scared to leave his house: Shamed This Morning star fears people will SPIT on him
Also smiling among the top brass was a handsome but lowly twentysomething production assistant — as we now know, this was Phillip Schofield’s much younger lover at the time.
For such a junior member of staff to be included in this illustrious group certainly surprised his superiors, many of whom were not invited to celebrate the award with the great and good of the programme.
He was also, apparently, on the VIP river boat organised by ITV executive Emma Gormley, which had arranged to take the ‘talent’ up the Thames from the broadcaster’s HQ to the O2 Arena, where the awards were taking place.
One former staff member tells me: ‘You should have seen him on there, quaffing champagne. It was a treat for the talent and very high-ups — not the junior production assistants.’
That the young man had been invited to such an exclusive gathering adds credence to the fact that surely Emma Gormley and others must have known that he and Schofield had some kind of close relationship.
In particular, there has been speculation in some quarters over what Holly knew. For in addition to these images, she and the young man were seen interacting outside the same event two years later.
Former co-stars Phillip and Holly also had a famously close relationship, even enjoying holidays together at their adjacent luxury villas on the Algarve.
Indeed, Portugal was where mother-of-three Holly spent the half-term break with her family this week. I understand she knew Phillip wouldn’t be there before she confirmed her travel plans.
And it was where she was said to be ‘gobsmacked’ on Thursday night when she discovered that Schofield had spoken out about his relationship with his much younger colleague just days before she returns to present This Morning on Monday.
In his first interviews since the scandal erupted, Schofield insisted Holly had been entirely ignorant of the affair.
‘Holly did not know [about the romance]. . . If anyone is in any way linking Holly to this, that is absolutely, wholly untrue,’ he insisted.
Ms Willoughby was also said to be irritated that he had apologised to her so publicly.
He said: ‘I WhatsApped her on the day I put out the statement. I said: ‘You don’t have to reply, you probably can’t, but I want to say I’m desperately, desperately sorry.’ ‘
As Schofield predicted, Holly did not respond. While he claimed it was because she would have been advised not to, I’m told that it’s because she is deeply upset.
‘When Phil admitted the truth about his younger partner, Holly was shell-shocked,’ said a friend of the star’s.
‘She couldn’t believe it — it came from nowhere, and she had no idea it was about to happen. It took some time for her to register it, and, yes, it has hurt her.
‘Phil was someone she was close to for a very long time and the fact she had even asked him if anything had gone on, or was going on, and she was lied to was really hurtful for her.
‘She had always planned to go away for half term but she hoped it would be a happier time. It has been difficult.’
Phillip admitted his TV career is over and he has been shunned by Holly, 42 – who responded with an Instagram post about how to keep ‘your hair safe all summer long’.
In his first broadcast interview since the scandal erupted, the presenter explained how he messaged his former co-host to say he was ‘so, so sorry’ for lying to her about his ‘unwise, but not illegal’ relationship with the man who is 34 years his junior.
But he denied he had groomed a younger colleague before their affair and revealed that he is suicidal, saying: ‘Do you want me to die? Because that’s where I am.’
Scandal: Phillip, 61, quit ITV with immediate effect after admitted to cheating on his wife Stephanie with a This Morning colleague
Schofield told the BBC he first met his lover when he was 15 and in a theatre school where he offered him career advice without ‘any whiff of impropriety’. Their sexual relationship began with a kiss in his dressing room at work and led to ‘more’ on around six occasions when the man was around 20. Schofield said they were never in love, and remained ‘mates’ afterwards.
But he vehemently denied grooming him as a teenager before he began working at ITV, declaring: ‘What’s wrong with talking to someone?’
He said: ‘I would say to everyone, my family, friends, my work colleagues, to ITV, the public, my management company, the people I lied to: I am desperately sorry. But principally I would like to apologise to him.
‘It may have been consensual, fully legal, but I shouldn’t have allowed it to happen and that is a grave error on my part and I know that because if that an absolutely innocent person is being persecuted.’
Source: Read Full Article