Piers Morgan has reacted to Phillip Schofield’s “brutal” dethroning from ITV’s This Morning in a scathing, no holds barred column.
On Saturday (20 May), Schofield announced he was quitting his presenting role on the ITV show.
His departure came amid reports of a rift between him and fellow presenter Holly Willoughby, and after his brother, Timothy Schofield, was sentenced to 12 years in jail on Friday (19 May), following his conviction on child sex offences.
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Days after his farewell, Morgan penned an op-ed for The Sun, admitting he found the aftermath of Schofield’s exit “brutal to watch” and yet “entirely unsurprising”.
“One minute Schofield was the undisputed king of morning TV and fast heading to bona fide national treasure status – the next he’s a dethroned, shamed, vilified, national disgrace and social media laughing stock,” he wrote.
“Phillip’s not the evil monster he’s being painted as, nor is he the angel his previously halo-clad reputation suggested.
“One thing’s for sure, what’s happened to him is further evidence that the abyss-like depths of ruthless backstabbing in the world of daytime television makes even the seething cesspit of Westminster politics seem like an oasis of loyalty by comparison.”
While Piers admitted that he didn’t “know the full story behind Phillip Schofield’s downfall”, he said he felt “personal empathy with him” over the manner of his departure.
“For ITV to not even give him the chance to say a proper goodbye to his large, loyal audience after 21 years struck me as needlessly churlish, and I know he’s utterly heartbroken about it because he told me himself,” he continued.
The former Good Morning Britain presenter compared Schofield’s “sacking” – terminology ITV has since argued against – to his own unceremonious exit from the broadcaster’s morning show in 2021.
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“These two-faced wastrels would billow constant adoring smoke up my a** to my face and bask in the reflected glory of the soaring ratings and awards that I brought in,” Morgan said, “but behind my back many of the same smiley, happy, nicey-nicey people were pouring toxic buckets of foul-mouthed manure over me.
“You can always tell the real weasels by the way they gleefully trash every other presenter in your presence – but deludedly assume you won’t think they’re doing it [to] you too,” he added, before acknowledging that “not everyone in daytime TV is like that”.
“I met a lot of good, decent people when I worked in that environment, and took some of them with me when I joined TalkTV.”
The Independent has contacted ITV for comment.