ITV source claims network paid for young runner to interview Phillip Schofield
An ITV source has claimed the network ‘made and paid’ for a young runner to interview Phillip Schofield as part of his showreel.
The ex-presenter, 61, admitted last week that he had lied about an affair with the man 30 years his junior, who was working on This Morning after previously asking Schofield to help him get into TV work.
He says the ‘unwise but not illegal’ affair began when the man turned 18 and was working as a runner on the show, having met him when he was 15.
While the runner has not been named, multiple pictures and videos of the pair together on the This Morning set have resurfaced since Schofield’s bombshell confession, including a clip of the young man interviewing the TV star for a showreel portfolio.
In the 2015 video, the runner talks to both Schofield and co-host Holly Willoughby in the This Morning studio in a mock interview, which begins with the This Morning music and is apparently filmed by cameramen on the set.
Now a senior ITV source has questioned how the newcomer to the TV industry got such access – and claims it was ‘made and paid for’ by ITV.
The anonymous source told the Daily Mail the ‘extraordinary’ video shows the ‘extent of Schofield’s influence’ that he could make it happen for such a junior member of the team.
They added that ‘everyone who allowed it to happen’ would have wondered ‘why this was being done for a runner and what the relationship was between them.’
‘Of course it was all bought and paid for by ITV – it was filmed in the This Morning studios by the show’s cameramen. It even starts with the This Morning music. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw it.’
They added that no other runners would get access to the show’s cameras, studios and presenter for a showreel.
A representative for Schofield declined to comment when approached by Metro.co.uk.
It comes as an insider claimed to the Mail that the young runner at the centre of the bombshell confession by Schofield was ‘paid off by ITV’ after the relationship came to an end.
The man had been moved from This Morning to Loose Women, reportedly after his relationship soured with the presenter, and a source claimed he was given money at the time.
An insider reportedly claimed someone senior at ITV must have known about the payment as it required ‘people of some seniority’ to sign off it.’
ITV has since said the runner had applied for a promotion to move to Loose Women, which he was successful in. The comments came in a letter where the ITV chief executive confirmed a barrister has now been instructed to conduct an external review into the facts surrounding Schofield’s departure.
Metro.co.uk has approached ITV for comment.
Phillip Schofield statement in full
‘I am making this statement via the Daily Mail to whom I have already apologised personally for misleading, through my lawyer who I also misled, about a story which they wanted to write about me a few days ago.
‘The first thing I want to say is: I am deeply sorry for having lied to them, and to many others about a relationship that I had with someone working on This Morning. I did have a consensual on-off relationship with a younger male colleague at This Morning.
‘Contrary to speculation, whilst I met the man when he was a teenager and was asked to help him to get into television, it was only after he started to work on the show that it became more than just a friendship. That relationship was unwise, but not illegal. It is now over.
‘When I chose to come out I did so entirely for my own wellbeing. Nobody “forced” me out. Neither I nor anyone else, to my knowledge, has ever issued an injunction, super or otherwise, about my relationship with this colleague, he was never moved on or sacked by or because of me. In an effort to protect my ex-colleague I haven’t been truthful about the relationship.
‘But my recent, unrelated, departure from This Morning fuelled speculation and raised questions which have been impacting him, so for his sake it is important for me to be honest now.
‘I am painfully conscious that I have lied to my employers at ITV, to my colleagues and friends, to my agents, to the media and therefore the public and most importantly of all to my family. I am so very, very sorry, as I am for having been unfaithful to my wife.
‘I have therefore decided to step down from the British Soap Awards, my last public commitment, and am resigning from ITV with immediate effect expressing my immense gratitude to them for all the amazing opportunities that they have given me.
‘I will reflect on my very bad judgment in both participating in the relationship and then lying about it. To protect his privacy, I am not naming this individual and my deepest wish is that both he and his family can now move on with their lives free from further intrusion, and that this statement will enable them to do so.
‘I ask the media now to respect their privacy. They have done nothing wrong, and I ask that their privacy should be respected.’
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