Holly Willoughby may be 'part of Phillip Schofield's downfall' expert claims amid NTA snub

Former This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield hit the headlines a few months ago after it transpired that he had an affair with a much younger colleague.

While he apologised for the “unwise but not illegal” affair in a lengthy statement, his talent agency YMU dropped him, all his projects with ITV stopped and his former close friend Holly Willoughby distanced herself from him.

PR expert Edward Coram-James, from Go Up, has said that ITV and co-presenter Holly “threw Phillip under the bus” in explosive new claims to the Mirror.

Edward has also compared Phillip’s situation to Huw Edwards’ recent scandal and claimed that, because Huw received a lot more public support from those around him, the outcome for the BBC news anchor was very different.

The PR expert even claimed that Huw’s wife Vicky Flind’s response “saved” his career, while Phillip was left “deserted by his inner circle”.

He argued that neither scandal should have “resulted in permeant damage to their careers” and that a degree of homophobia with the public outcry was also at play.

However, he claimed Holly turning her back on Phil and denouncing him on national TV certainly didn’t help.

“You only have to look at the fallout from the Schofield saga and the double standards in terms of society’s response to, say, Huw Edwards, to see that Schofield had every reason to fear the potential for unfair and inflated scrutiny of his private life…” Edward said.

“He was also a well-loved and famous television personality, and thus even more open to unbalanced criticism.

“Most ordinary folk would have lied about having an affair, and he had much more to lose in his affair than most ordinary folk. He was abandoned and thrown under the bus by his protegee and friend, Willoughby, abandoned by his employers, fired by the talent agency that he had remained loyal to.

He continued: “Was the affair inappropriate? Yes. Affairs are always inappropriate. Aside from his wife, his younger colleague and himself, was it anyone else’s business? In my opinion, absolutely not.”

Speaking of the response from ITV, Ed claimed: “They panicked and released erratic and ill-considered statements that fanned the flames of confusion, allowing rumour and gossip to take hold and the media and social media to own the narrative. His inner circle deserted him, and indeed threw him under the bus.

“I don’t believe that, from a crisis comms point of view, there was any good reason for Willoughby not to close ranks around her old friend and mentor. Doing so would have had the same cooling effect as Flind’s statement had about Edwards.”

Edward’s claims come after Holly was snubbed in the best presenter category for the National Television Awards this year, despite This Morning still receiving a nomination.

Express.co.uk has contacted representatives for Holly Willoughby and ITV for comment.

In a statement, Mary Bekhait, chief executive of the YMU Group, previously explained how the agency “parted company” with Schofield “with immediate effect” following the fallout.

The statement added: “Honesty and integrity are core values for YMU’s whole business, defining everything we do. Talent management is a relationship based entirely on trust.

“This week, we have learned important new information about our client Phillip Schofield.

“These facts contradicted what Phillip had previously told YMU, as well as the external advisors we had brought in to support him.

“As a result, on Thursday we agreed to part company with Phillip, with immediate effect.”

Schofield also confirmed he would no longer be represented by the agency, saying: “It is with the most profound regret that after 35 years of being faultlessly managed by YMU I have agreed to step down from their representation with immediate effect.”

source: express.co.uk