The Loose Women team found themselves in a ‘difficult situation’ when they were unknowingly drawn into the drama surrounding Phillip Schofield’s affair.
Schofield’s young lover – a runner at ITV – worked alongside him on This Morning before being promoted to a new role where he moved on to Loose Women.
The ‘unprecedented’ move is said to have made several members of the Loose Women panel ‘uncomfortable’, with Dan Wootton noting that he spoke to several ladies at the time and that they believed the move was intended to make the young runner ‘their problem’.
During his explosive GB News interview with former This Morning presenter Eamonn Holmes on Monday, Wootton commented: “Many of the casual women I spoke to felt very uncomfortable about the fact that this young colleague – who was having an affair with Philip Schofield and was deeply disturbed at this point – had moved on to their show.
“Because it was almost like management saying, ‘This guy is your problem now. We’re taking him off This Morning. And he’s your problem.'”
Claims: The Loose Women team were left in a “difficult situation” when they were unwittingly swept up in the drama that engulfed Phillip Schofield’s affair (LR Stacey Solomon, Kelle Bryan, Penny Lancaster, Brenda Edwards, Denise Welch, Jane Moore, Nadia Sawalha, Saira Khan, Carol McGiffin, Kaye Adams, Andrea McLean, Ruth Langsford and Christine Lampard in 2019)
Holmes, 63 – who is married to Loose Woman star Ruth Langsford – echoed Wootton’s sentiments, saying: ‘I think that needs to be asked. Why was this unprecedented move approved? Who authorized it and why did they authorize it?
As for the Loose Women, in the year you’re talking about the panel that existed, I’d say there was probably a minority of someone who really loved Phillip Schofield and a Loose Woman who was 10 or 12 or whatever. ‘
Holmes also expressed doubts about the circumstances of the young runner’s promotion, claiming: “He didn’t seek promotion, didn’t ask for promotion… He was promoted against his will to another program – Loose Women.’
MailOnline has contacted ITV for comment.
Earlier in the chat, Holmes accused ITV of a ‘total cover up’ over the affair, claiming ‘the authorities had to know’ about the secret relationship as the man would be transported between Phil’s flat and studios in taxis ‘paid for by ITV’ .
The GB News presenter claimed that Schofield, 61, and that the young man would enjoy ‘playtime’ after work on Thursday and then stay at Phil’s house in London while he was married.
Schofield took to social media on Monday to defend himself and the show he’s hosted for more than 20 years, posting on Instagram: “Now that I’m no longer working on This Morning, I’m free to say this. I hope you’ve noticed that it’s the same handful of people with a grudge against me or the show that 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.’
Speaking out: Eamonn Holmes and Dan Wootton spoke about Phillip Schofield’s affair during an explosive Monday night interview on GB News
Holmes appeared on Mr Wootton’s show last night and responded to the statement. “(Schofield) was so rude,” he said.
“That bullshit he wrote today about toxicity, it’s a nice place and whatever… what planet is this guy living on?
“He created an atmosphere where people hated him, that people would avoid them in the hallway, he didn’t look at anyone, he didn’t know anyone’s names.
“Holly doesn’t know people’s names either. This is legendary within the production team, how far along they are and how they just don’t care.”
He added, “Not only does Phillip have to go, but (co-host) Holly (Willoughby) has to follow him out the door. I don’t think you’ll ever see Holly on the couch again.’
Holmes also claimed that Schofield would move his former lover back to his £1 million flat in an exclusive studio block in White City, west London.
The pair would enter through an adjoining hotel to avoid suspicions of their secret encounters, the newspaper reported.
On Friday, Schofield admitted he had lied about his relationship with the man, leaving ITV in trouble and losing millions of pounds in sponsorship deals in the aftermath.
He also shared how his wife Ruth Langsford is still in touch with Phil’s ex-lover, whom he described as a “lovely dude,” but “life is tough” for him.
Speaking of the scandal engulfing ITV, Holmes said: ‘It’s a total cover-up. The authorities 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 that all the time.
“All I’m doing here is speaking for people who don’t have a voice… I’m speaking on their behalf,” he added.
Holmes claimed Schofield and his young lover would go out and enjoy “playtime” on Thursdays, while the man would stay overnight at his £1million flat in London.
Moved: Schofield’s young lover – a runner at ITV – worked with him on This Morning before being promoted to a new position where he moved to Loose Women (Schofield pictured with his lover on the This Morning couch)
The following day, the pair would arrive at ITV Studios in separate cars from Schofield’s home, he added.
Holmes said, “Usually on Friday mornings, because Thursday was playtime when he and Phillip would go to town and then of course he would stay the night. There are records showing he was brought in separately the next day in cars paid for by ITV.’
On Monday, sources close to Schofield said of the interview, “Phillip is not in a great place right now. If Eamonn Holmes wants to be so cruel to someone in Phillip’s position, I think that says more about Eamonn than Phillip.”
ITV’s managing director of media and entertainment, Kevin Lygo, declined to answer questions about Schofield and allegations of a ‘cover-up’, stating: ‘We really have nothing more to say.’