Alison Hammond becomes latest star to show support for scandal-hit presenter Phillip Schofield

Former This Morning colleague Alison Hammond seems to have quietly sent out a message of support for shamed presenter Phillip Schofield.

Schofield’s career became blanketed by scandal after he admitted he lied about an affair with a younger colleague who also worked on the show. He left This Morning in May 2023 after 20 years of hosting the daytime entertainment programme.

The presenter, who is gay and came out on Instagram in February 2020, admitted that he covered up the relationship with the man in question.

The affair occurred while he was married to his former partner Stephanie Lowe, with Schofield describing the affair as “unwise but not illegal” while an ITV boss claimed it was a “deeply inappropriate” affair. 

Hammond, the 49-year-old much-loved presenter and host of For The Love Of Dogs, seemed to indicate her support for Schofield as she liked his recent Instagram post.

Hammond liked the 62-year-old’s post of his chocolate cockapoo, Alfie, wearing a life jacket on a kayak that was posted on Saturday (8 June).

Schofield returned to social media last month, after a year-long break, and rumours of his TV comeback have begun to emerge. 

The possibility of Schofield returning to TV comes as reports state This Morning’s viewership has plummeted, causing crisis talks. 

Furthermore, Schofield was pictured with I’m A Celebrity presenter Declan Donnelly, prompting further whispers he may return to ITV. 

A PR and crisis management specialist told The Mirror: “Schofield has always proven himself to be popular. He’s now proven himself to be flexible and disciplined.

“Attributes that will be absolutely crucial for the likes of ITV in the years ahead, and attributes that ITV showed a total lack of in the way that they handled the initial scandal. To put it simply: ITV needs Schofield a whole lot more than Schofield needs ITV.”

Alison Hammond has liked one of Phillip Schofield’s posts. (Mike Marsland/WireImage/BBC)

However, recent reports have indicated the opposite: ITV is not on board with Schofield’s desire to return to the show

One senior staffer allegedly told The Daily Mail: “We don’t want him, why would we want him back? The place is much nicer without him.”

When Schofield left the popular morning TV show, Hammond was on the This Morning sofa as the topic of his affair was discussed for the first time.

Hammond tearfully said: “I’m finding it really painful, I loved Phillip Schofield.

“It’s weird because I still love Phillip Schofield, however, what he’s done is wrong. He’s admitted it, he’s said sorry.

“As a family, we’re all really struggling to process everything, I never know what to say.”

Schofield’s departure came after he confirmed that he met the man “when he was a teenager and was asked to help him get into television”. After he began to work on This Morning, “it became more than a friendship.”

He stated that the man was 15 when they first met but emphasised the fact that the relationship did not begin until many years later after the man turned 20.

It is reported that Schofield struck a deal with the crew member that also came with a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), including a payment of a six-figure sum.

In an interview with the BBC in June 2023, Schofield rejected accusations that he was a “groomer” and said that the scandal had a “catastrophic effect” on him and that he’d “lost everything.” 

Schofield suggested that the intense coverage of the affair had led to him feeling suicidal. He also seemed to note that the reaction might not have been so fervent had it not been a homosexual relationship.

Celebrities from across the entertainment world broke their silence about Schofield. 

His former co-presenter Holly Willoughby said she’s been left “shaken, troubled, let down” in the wake of the Schofield scandal.

Willoughby shared with her 8 million followers that she had asked Schofield “directly” about the relationship and was “hurt” to find out that he had not told her the truth. 

Fellow ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly has admitted that she still “misses” Schofield and actor Rupert Everett slammed coverage as “homophobic” and “outrageous.”

Elton John also criticised the reaction to the former host: “I don’t know if it’s around Britain because I haven’t been here that much. But I feel that the Phillip Schofield thing has been totally homophobic.”

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