With his boyish charm and sly grin, Philip Schofield was the king of TV for more than two decades.
But the last three years have seen chaos in his personal life and a series of scandals tarnished his clean image.
Now he’s lost his This Morning job, endured a messy split with “TV wife” Holly Willoughby and faced the consequences of his younger brother’s conviction for child sex crimes.
The upheaval in Phil’s life began in February 2020, when he bared his soul on the ITV show Couch to come out as gay.
His brave entrance, in a rare Friday appearance, was greeted with support and kindness by his bosses and his onlookers.
But Phil, now 61, had been struggling with his feelings for some time.
He admitted he went into therapy because he was so confused about his sexuality, having been married for almost 27 years.
The TV veteran revealed: “I went to seek professional help, I sat down and poured my heart out.”
The star’s decision to embrace his sexuality, after “several heartbreaking conversations at home”, was the celebrity blow of the year, with the stress causing Phil’s weight to drop to just nine stone.
His marriage to wife Steph, mother of his two eldest daughters Molly, 30, and Ruby, 27, was seen as a successful and stable showbiz unit.
The couple, who regularly went on holiday with Holly and her husband Daniel Baldwin, 48, live apart but are still married and remain close.
They spent the Covid lockdown together in Henley, Oxfordshire, although Phil has since moved into a £2million pad in Chiswick, West London.
But it is perhaps his break-up with on-screen partner Holly, 42, that has been the most shocking.
The news cycle has been dominated by rumors of their recent feud in recent weeks — but those in the know say it all started three years ago.
Sources say that a “fundamental shift” occurred when Holley went to war with his agents, the YMU group.
She set up her own agency, Roxy Management, and took action against YMU over a claim for 15 per cent of her earnings, winning £1 million in an out-of-court settlement.
Rumors of jealousy spread, as Holly’s career goes from strength to strength while Phil’s falters.
Holly has presented gigs on BBC shows such as Take Off With Bradley & Holly on BBC 1 until 2021, as well as Freeze The Fear with Wim Hof last year.
A source told This Morning: “There has been a rift between them for some time.
“They were always professional on camera but often didn’t say a word to each other until ‘the action.
“Phil likes to be in control. Things were good when Holly was a young talent he could mentor, but now she’s a superstar in her own right.
“He seemed very happy last month when Holly was working with Dadd and he was co-hosting with Rochelle, who is less experienced and clearly looks down on him.”
The pair’s strained relationship could not be mended by “cuegate” when he was accused of crossing the line to view the Queen’s coffin in September 2022.
Members of the public who waited all night to pay their respects to Her Majesty were angered to hear that TV stars had been taken straight to Westminster Hall.
The “queue-jumping” pair were then forced to issue a statement insisting that they had seen the coffin as broadcasters.
The uproar is said to have had costly consequences for Phil, whose £1 million We Buy Any car advert ended shortly after the play and was not renewed.
He remained the face of the car brand for five years, but was soon replaced by a series of idiosyncratic dances in their TV commercials.
Yet Holly appeared untouched, hanging on to seven-figure deals with the likes of Marks & Spencer.
While Holly’s success may have created tension, reports suggest that Phil’s failure to tell her about his brother’s trial ended the coupling.
Holly is said to have been “deeply upset” to learn of Timothy Schofield’s sex offense allegations after her co-star took time out during the court case this morning.
Corrupted Timothy, 54, was found guilty at Exeter Crown Court of 11 sex offenses involving a child and sentenced to 12 years in prison on Thursday – Phil was brought to trial in March after details of Tim’s confession Was.
The TV star wrote how he “screamed at Tim that he had to stop”.
With the many scandals that have surrounded Phil, it must have hurt him to receive little support from showbiz peers.
His former colleague Eamonn Holmes last week called Phil and Holly a “broken fit” with “no chemistry”.
And Amanda Holden celebrated her ITV departure with a strong emoji on Instagram.
As the once untouchable star faces an uncertain future, it’s clear 21 years since the face of daytime TV left Phil struggling to support.
phillip schoffield’s three years of hell
Holding hands he says ‘I’m gay’: Phillip and Holly held each other and broke down in tears after revealing they were gay in February 2020.
The Married star said: “I’ve made this decision based on what’s necessary for me and what’s in my head.”
Eamon Holmes and Ruth Langsford watched as he spoke.
Outrage over Queen ‘Q Jumping’: The two faced criticism in September when they were accused of jumping a queue to see the Queen lying down.
He was allowed into Westminster Hall to film a segment of his ITV show.
But some viewers accused him of being disrespectful.
Off air as brew in pado test: Phillippe took a break from the show because his brother, Timothy, faced a child sex offense trial in March.
After pleading guilty, Philip releases a statement exonerating Timothy.
He returned to air with Rochelle Humes, who had filled in due to Hawley being ill.
The rift started when he left the agency: The tension between Phillip and Holly was first revealed by The Sun earlier this month.
The rift – apparent in recent weeks, has been abandoned – began three years ago when Holly left her and Phil’s agent to start her own agency.
This made her a bigger star than Phil.