Phillip Schofield was absent from This Morning for the fourth day in a row, with comedian Joel Dommett stepping in to replace him.
The presenter, 60, typically fronts the programme from Monday to Thursday with longtime co-host Holly Willoughby, but this week has taken an unexpected break from the show.
On Monday and Tuesday, Phillip was replaced by usual Friday presenter Holly Willoughby, and on Wednesday and Thursday Joel has stepped in.
It’s understood that Phillip will return to his This Morning presenting duties on Monday, April 3.
So why has Phillip taken a break from This Morning? Here is everything you need to know…
Why wasn’t Phillip Schofield on This Morning? The presenter was absent from the ITV series for the fourth day in a row
Why isn’t Phillip Schofield on This Morning?
This Morning haven’t confirmed the reason for Phillip’s sudden absence, though it comes after his brother Timothy Schofield, 54, went on trial this week accused of sexually abusing a schoolboy,
His trial heard that when he told his TV personality sibling that he and the boy performed a sex act together, Phillip responded: ‘What did you say?’ And after the defendant described the ‘time’ he and his alleged victim had together, the celebrity hit back: ‘What the hell is [that]?’
The TV presenter told his brother it ‘should never happen again’ and later gave a statement to police which forms part of the case against his younger sibling, the court was told.
Timothy Schofield faces 11 charges of sexual offences allegedly committed against the boy over three years from October 2016. He denies them all.
He is accused of causing him to watch sex acts and engage in sex acts. He also allegedly performed sex acts in front of the accuser.
Opening the case, prosecutor Robin Shellard said: ‘This is a case about the obsessive sexual interest of Timothy Schofield in [his alleged victim] and the subsequent sexual abuse of that teenage boy.’
The jury heard how the abuse progressed until the alleged victim confronted Schofield in August 2021 and said ‘things’ need to stop.
New face: Comedian Joel Dommett has stepped in to replace the presenter on Wednesday and Thursday this week
Dynamic duo: On Monday and Tuesday, Alison Hammond stepped in to present the programme with Holly Willoughby
The defendant, who was working for the police in a civilian role at the time, then visited his elder brother the next month, the court heard.
Shellard said the ‘perverted relationship’ was clearly ‘affecting’ the defendant as well as his alleged victim.
He said: ‘On the 12th of September 2021 he phoned his brother Phillip saying that his head was in a mess and could he come and see him.
‘The defendant is seven years younger than Phillip and they had not been particularly close growing up, however in December 2019 the defendant told his brother he was gay.
‘According to Phillip, the defendant travelled up that day and he was extremely agitated. His brother described him as very angry and distressed.
‘The defendant also told his brother that he was impotent. The defendant then said his brother would hate him for what he was about to say, but Phillip said that he wouldn’t. Then the defendant said … that last year [he and the boy] had watched porn and w***** together.
‘Phillip Schofield then said, ”What did you just say?” and the defendant repeated it was last year and just once. Phillip said it should never happen again.’
Schofield then went on to describe the boy’s body in a sexual way and said he had a name for the ‘time’ they spent together, the court heard. The TV presenter responded, ‘What the hell is [that]?’ and was ‘shocked’, the court was told.
Shellard said the defendant then ‘left for home’ and ‘it was not spoken of again’. The alleged victim had started counselling and told a therapist about the claims of abuse in November 2021. They alerted the police and Schofield was arrested days later.
Judge Justice Johannah Cutts revealed to the jury that the defendant’s sibling was a celebrity and asked them to ignore any possible distractions stemming from his fame.
She said: ‘His brother is Phillip Schofield, and he happens to be the well-known television personality. I say ”happens to be” as that fact has no relevance at all in this case.
She added: ‘The fact that he is the defendant’s brother changes nothing in this trial, the defendant will be tried in the same fair way as every other defendant.’
In a police interview played out to the court, the alleged victim described the first time he was abused. ‘It was horrible, like truly,’ he said. He said Schofield bought a projector for them to watch adult movies together. Some films included ‘violent’ acts and animals, the court heard.
He said he realised the defendant ‘had this whole fantasy to be sexually active with me’ and accused him of developing the ‘scheme’ over several years.
The accuser was afraid to go to the police because of the ‘evil and vile’ defendant’s ‘terrible temper’ and was ‘very scared of the repercussions’.
Police arrested Schofield, of Bath, Somerset, on December 3, 2021, and raided his home.
They seized his electronic devices where browsing history showed searches for ‘young teen box set’ and ‘gay teen porn torrents’ and he also had ‘a number of images’ of ‘teenage boys in sexualised poses’ among 30 indecent images of children, the court was told.
Timothy allegedly ’emotionally blackmailed’ the boy into performing sex acts while porn was projected on a wall and became became ‘moody, quicker to anger, somewhat more unpredictable’ after the victim confronted him.
The teenager claimed Timothy made him feel like he couldn’t ‘escape’ from the abuse and was ‘forced’ into having a ‘secret sexual life’ with him that felt ‘really, really wrong’.
The boy denied suggestions from the defendant’s lawyer he was ‘exaggerating’ the claims and the sexual activity was only for ’18 months’ when he was an older teenager.
The schoolboy agreed that Schofield became ‘moody, quicker to anger, somewhat more unpredictable’ after he confronted him over the sex acts.
Drama: It comes after his brother Timothy Schofield, 54, went on trial this week accused of sexually abusing a schoolboy having allegedly made a confession to his famous sibling
He also claimed that the defendant once plied him with drink to make him ‘more malleable’ to sexual advances.
He said it was ‘part of a plan’ to get him drunk so that ‘some form of sexual thing could happen’.
Peter Binder, defending, put it to the alleged victim that this was an ‘exaggeration’.
He also said he was ‘exaggerating’ over how many years there was sexual activity between them, suggesting it was only for ’18 months’ when he was an older teenager.
Binder said: ‘You knew what you and the defendant were doing was wrong, but you went along with it without any reluctance.’