Phillip Schofield

Dail Mail and Mail on Sunday

It was a truly bombshell exclusive that got people talking like no other story this year.

During an epic saga that had captivated the country, Phillip Schofield, the presenter of Britain’s most-watched daytime programme, made an admission to the one journalist he knew had unearthed the truth.

He confessed: ‘Sorry, I lied to you over an affair with a much younger man when I was married.’

Along with an extraordinary 400-word mea culpa provided exclusively to Katie for publication in the Mail, Schofield also sent her a personal apology in which he described being ‘profoundly sorry’ for having misled her.

He resigned from ITV with immediate effect.

When Katie first wrote about Schofield’s relationship with a younger man, she was lied to - repeatedly. But she refused to give in despite intense pressure and escalation to IPSO. Outrageously, Schofield even complained to the regulator that Katie had no interest in the truth.

While rival newspapers swallowed the line that Schofield had been unjustly treated by ITV, Katie’s unerring scent for the truth had made it impossible for This Morning’s presenter to dissimulate any further, or for ITV bosses to ignore what was right under their noses.

Schofield could have gone to another paper in return for its favourable coverage but he clearly felt duty-bound to confess to the reporter he knew he had lied to.

Schofield admitted he had not been honest with his wife, daughters, bosses and the viewing public. His dishonesty was at the heart, too, of his fall-out with fellow presenter Holly Willoughby. The scoop not only brought to a climax one of the biggest stories of the year but led to ITV’s chief executive being summoned before MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee and triggered an external investigation into the ‘toxic working culture’ at the TV channel.

The reverberations from the story – which began in September 2022 when Katie first highlighted misgivings about Schofield – still rumble today with the reputation of ITV and of its star presenters badly scarred.

In sum, a scoop that means the country’s TV viewers are no longer being served up a false, manipulated image on their screens and also that those working in television got the opportunity to tell Britain’s law-makers about some of the toxic conditions in which they have to work.