Phillip Schofield's friends say he is 'completely broken'

Phillip Schofield’s friends say he is ‘completely broken’ and ITV bosses showed him ‘zero respect’ after he was axed by This Morning – as presenter takes refuge in Cornwall with his mother

Former This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield’s friends have said he is ‘completely broken’ by his brutal ITV axing – as it is revealed he will receive a payoff of six months’ wages. 

Bosses at ITV decided his feud with co-host Holly Willoughby, 42, was costing the morning show too many viewers, after 200,000 switched off. 

Ms Willoughby, who has been a presenter on This Morning with Schofield for 13 years, will return to host the show on June 5 after taking a two-week break. 

Alison Hammond, 48, and Dermot O’Leary, 49, will appear on the sofa on Monday, ITV confirmed, with Hammond high on the list of potential replacements for the presenter, alongside Rylan Clark, 34, and Josie Gibson, 38.  

Phillip Schofield, 61, is said to have consulted his mother, ex-wife and daughters before making the shock decision to stand down. The announcement came in the wake of his brother’s conviction for sexual offences against a teenage boy. 

Former This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield’s friends have said he is ‘completely broken’ by his brutal ITV axing – as it is revealed he will receive a payoff of six months’ wages. Pictured: Phillip with his mother, Pat, on Sunday

The relationship between the two presenters, once feted as the closest on TV, had broken down, according to reports 

A source close to the TV presenter told The Sun that Schofield has been given six months’ pay – thought to be in the region of £300,000 – by ITV. 

But despite the golden goodbye, the presenter feels ‘let down’ by the channel.  

The source said: ‘Phil feels he has been shown zero respect and he is devastated by how this has played out.

READ MORE: The two weeks that sealed Phillip Schofield’s fate at This Morning: From a statement that left his co-host fuming to one of the most awkward on-screen kisses of all time – and even being mocked by politicians 

Body language expert Judi James called the moment ‘rather awkward’, adding that it was ‘instigated by Holly after a flurry of shyness signals that included stroking her hair and placing one hand over her mouth as she giggled’

‘He thinks the way he was forced to step down was so unjust and he feels completely broken by how this situation has been handled.’

The source added that Schofield feels that he has been ‘knifed without proper consultation’ and that he had spoken to his mother, Pat, and ex-wife Stephanie before he agreed to step back. 

He also spoke to daughters Molly, a talent agent at his management company YMU, and Ruby. 

‘Phil has dedicated over 20 years to that show and for it all to end this way has been incredibly upsetting for him,’ the source explained. 

But he has received messages of support from industry insiders, the source continued. 

‘He has privately been sent a number of messages of support from friends in the industry.

‘It means a great deal to him that people are taking the time to reach out.’

The former This Morning presenter was spotted with his mother Pat, 85, in Cornwall on Sunday, taking refuge from the media storm surrounding his exit. 

He was seen vaping and looking out to sea, onlookers said.  

After days of reports that Phil faced the axe at ITV, he took to Instagram on Saturday to reveal that he had ‘agreed to step down from This Morning with immediate effect’.

I’ve always been proud to cover fascinating stories on This Morning. But recently, This Morning itself has become the story,’ he wrote online. 

‘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, in the hope the show can move forward to a bright future. 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.’

Tension: The TV presenter, 61, has bowed out of the show following reports of a feud with his co-host Holly Willoughby

The relationship between the two presenters, once feted as the closest on TV, had broken down and reports suggest that Phil had not told Holly about his brother’s trial. 

The breakdown of the partnership is said to date from her split from Phil’s talent agency, YMU, three years ago. Holly later won a £1million payout from the agency.  

She posted: ‘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.’ 

Ms Willoughby is expected to spend her time off with her family. 

ITV is expected to announce a replacement for Phil over the next few weeks but that guest presenters will fill in with Holly until that point. 

Timothy Schofield was jailed for 12 years on Friday after being found guilty of sexual offences, including some involving a teenage boy. 

Phillip Schofield is expected to return to screens to present the British Soap Awards on June 3, alongside a new peak-time series.  

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