Eamonn Holmes has alleged that there was a “total cover-up” on ITV’s This Morning show over Phillip Schofield’s affair with a young male colleague.
Schofield, 61, resigned from ITV on Friday and was dropped by his talent agency YMU after admitting to an “unwise, but not illegal” affair.
Following Schofield’s resignation, some former This Morning employees have come out to criticise the broadcaster.
The show’s former resident doctor, Dr Ranj Singh, hit out at the daytime show’s “toxic” culture, saying he raised concerns about “bullying and discrimination” two years ago when he worked there and afterwards felt like he was “managed out” for whistleblowing.
Holmes, who previously presented This Morning on Fridays with wife Ruth Langsford, spoke about the affair on Dan Wootton’s GB News show on Monday.
He alleged that “those in authority” had to have known what was going on.
“It’s a total cover-up,” he said.
“Those in authority had to know what was going on and they thought they would dodge a bullet with this.
“Which they do, and they do constantly, because with Schofield talking about those who speak out against him, namely me, Amanda Holden and you (Dan Wootton), you’ll be included in the toxicity that goes on. Dr Ranj, of course, as well.
“And you simply sit there and think ‘No mate, you’ve had it all your way for too long’.”
On Saturday, ITV said that it had investigated the rumours in early 2020, but Schofield “categorically” denied that it was true.
“Further to our statement last night, ITV can confirm that when rumours of a relationship between Phillip Schofield and an employee of ITV first began to circulate in early 2020 ITV investigated,” a spokesperson for the broadcaster said.
“Both parties were questioned and both categorically and repeatedly denied the rumours as did Phillip’s then agency YMU.
“In addition, ITV spoke to a number of people who worked on This Morning and were not provided with, and did not find, any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour.
“Phillip’s statement yesterday reveals that he lied to people at ITV, from senior management to fellow presenters, to YMU, to the media and to others over this relationship.”
In an Instagram post earlier on Monday, Schofield hit back at the critics, saying that there was “no toxicity” on This Morning.
He added: “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.”
Referring to those comments, Holmes instead accused Schofield of “toxicity”.
“I think that Phillip is absolutely right about toxicity,” he said.
“But my friend, the toxicity is not with me, Dan Wootton, or anyone else, the toxicity is with you.”
He added that Schofield “created an atmosphere” on This Morning “where people hated him”.
He said: “This nonsense that he wrote today about toxicity, about how (This Morning) is a happy place or whatever, holy God, what planet does this man live on?
“He created an atmosphere where people hated him.
“People would avoid him in the corridor. He didn’t look at anybody, didn’t know anybody’s name.
“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.”
Asked after a trailer for the interview had aired but before it had been played out in full at around 10.30pm, a spokesman for Schofield said: “Phillip has no comment.”
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.
In a segment broadcast on Dan Wootton’s GB News show on Monday, producer Ben Leo tracked down ITV’s Kevin Lygo and asked him if there was a “cover-up” of Schofield’s affair with a young male colleague at the station.
He also asked Mr Lygo if he “protected” Schofield.
Mr Lygo walked away from the producer, telling him: “We really have no more to say.”
ITV has been approached for comment.