Phillip Schofield: Presenter 'utterly broken' but denies grooming younger colleague

Phillip Schofield has said he is “utterly broken and ashamed” over the affair he had with a younger male colleague, but denies grooming the man.

He resigned from ITV last week and was dropped by his talent agency YMU after admitting to an “unwise but not illegal” relationship.

In his first interview since leaving the broadcaster and This Morning, the 61-year-old presenter told The Sun: “I did not, I did not (groom him).

“There are accusations of all sorts of things. It never came across that way because we’d become mates. I don’t know about that.

“But of course I understand that there will be a massive judgment, but bearing in mind, I have never exercised that anywhere else.”

Schofield also said that his “greatest apology” was to his former lover, who has been brought the “greatest misery into his totally innocent life”.

He added: “I am deeply sorry and I apologise to him because I should have known better…. I will die sorry. I am so deeply mortified.”

Schofield had reportedly first met the man when he was 15 years old, but said the affair did not begin until he was much older and had begun working at ITV.

He also said he thought it “looked shocking” when an old photograph, featuring both him and the man who would later become his lover, emerged online.

Schofield also told the newspaper he did not “lie to protect” his career, but the colleague “didn’t want his name in public”.

He said it began in 2017 after a “consensual moment” in his dressing room and it was “not a love affair, it was not a relationship, we were not boyfriends; we were mates”.

Schofield said his wife was “very, very angry” after he confessed to her, having previously denied the relationship.

He also said: “She got off a plane and I phoned her up and texted saying, ‘I need to talk to you’. She called back and I told her.”

Schofield clarified why his statement last week said the affair was “unwise”, and called it a “very, very grave error”.

He added: “It was consensual, but it was my fault.”

Read the full exclusive interview in tomorrow’s Sun and on