‘ITV stopped working with me because I didn’t comply with their rules,’ says Kerry Katona

Phillip Schofield broke his silence last week after admitting to an affair with a younger colleague, revealing he is “utterly broken and ashamed” that his “career is over” and he has “lost everything”.

In bombshell interviews, the disgraced TV star, 61, addressed the scandal that has left This Morning in crisis, and our columnist Kerry Katona has hit out at the “toxic” culture behind the scenes of the ITV1 show.

Speaking exclusively to new, Kerry – who was accused by Phil of “slurring” during an infamous 2008 interview – has emotionally claimed she was left feeling suicidal due to a lack of aftercare.

“I have since kissed and made up with Phil – I’m not here to slag him off,” she tells us. “The thing that bothers me and angers me the most is that ITV didn’t protect Caroline Flack, but have protected Phil for so long. It feels like one rule for one, and one rule for someone else.

“After my interview, no one at ITV reached out to me and asked me if I was OK. It seemed like they just couldn’t wait to see the headlines and the ratings. Nobody asked me if I needed a doctor or any help.”

At the time, Phil questioned Kerry’s speech live on air and told her she didn’t seem “right”. Kerry has always insisted her speech was affected by her bipolar medication.

“I remember getting in the lift after coming off the sofa and thinking, ‘What the f**k just happened?’” the former Atomic Kitten singer explains. “I drove home and, when I pulled up, I couldn’t believe it… There was a swarm of camera crews, reporters, and photographers.

“I can’t begin to tell you how awful and upsetting the whole thing was. I don’t know how I got through it. I feel so passionate about how Caroline [who died by suicide in 2020] was treated by ITV because that could have so easily been me. If I didn’t have my children, I wouldn’t be here.”

Mum-of-five Kerry, 42, has regularly appeared on a number of ITV shows, and even guest presented This Morning with ex-husband Brian McFadden
in 2001. But she feels there’s “snobbery” at the channel.

“They don’t really work with me any more, and I don’t know why,” she says. “I was always an ITV girl. I did my reality show with them. Every show I did was with ITV.

“I think that if you don’t comply with their rules, they don’t want you. I’m a very open and honest person, and that’s what people want to see. [Viewers] don’t want perfect people living so-called perfect lives.

“When I’m at ITV, I feel like people judge me. I always felt on edge. During one interview, I felt like I was being belittled and condemned.”

Now, Kerry is calling for ITV to refresh the long-running morning show, which celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. “I think they need to stop and restart This Morning with fresh presenters,” she says. “I’m not saying I want to see people lose their jobs, but it all seems fake now.”

Speaking on GB News last week, Kerry broke down in tears as she admitted the interview with Phil still makes her feel “ashamed” and “hard done by”.

“For 10 years I’ve had to justify myself. I’ve got no reason to lie,” she said. “I’m 43 this year and now, even today, I still have to justify myself for that interview.”

In a tell-all newspaper interview, Phil, 61, detailed his relationship with a much younger This Morning colleague, which began when the runner was 20. He insists it started as a friendship after first communicating when the boy was just 15.

“I did not, I did not [groom him],” he said. “There are accusations of all
sorts of things. It never came across that way [an abuse of power] because we’d become mates. But I understand that there will be a massive judgment.”

Phil told how things first started in his dressing room after a show in 2017, a moment he now regrets “so deeply”.

He admitted he owes the younger man his “greatest apology”, saying, “It has brought the greatest misery into his totally innocent life, his totally innocent family, his totally innocent friends.

“I am deeply sorry and I apologise to him. I should have known better. I should have acted the way I have always acted. I should not have done it. I’m sorry. I will forever be sorry. I will die sorry. I am so deeply mortified.”

During a sit-down chat with the BBC, Phil said that if it wasn’t for the support of his daughters, Molly, 30, and Ruby, 27, he “wouldn’t be here”.

“They’ve been by my side every moment because they’re scared to let me out of their sight,” he said.

Phil, who came out publicly as gay in 2020 but has never divorced, added that his marriage to Stephanie Lowe, 59, was “not brilliant right now”, before saying she’s “incredibly supportive”.

Phil spoke out after a string of former employees have sensationally given their views on his affair, with Eamonn Holmes accusing ITV of a “total cover-up” after Phil came clean about what happened.

Eamonn, 63, who presented the Friday show with wife Ruth Langsford until December 2021, claims that “those in authority” knew about the relationship.

Speaking to GB News, he also branded Phil as “rude”, explaining, “He created an atmosphere where people hated him, that people would avoid him in the corridor. He didn’t look at anybody, he didn’t know anyone’s names.”

Carol McGiffin, 63, who quit sister show Loose Women last month, added, “I don’t know anybody who’s actually ever said out loud that they like Phillip.”

And former resident doctor Dr Ranj Singh, 43, revealed he “grew increasingly worried about how things were behind the scenes”, saying it had “become toxic”.

Phil resigned from the show on 20 May and admitted a week later that he had an “unwise but not illegal” relationship with his colleague. He was dropped by his agents, YMU, and announced he has formally cut ties with ITV.

He confessed, “I’m painfully conscious I have lied to my employers at ITV, to my colleagues and friends, to my agents, to the media and therefore the public and most importantly of all to my family.”

In 2020, the runner was pictured approaching Phil’s former co-host Holly Willoughby and her husband Dan Baldwin as they left the NTAs. At the ceremony, he reportedly “declared his love” for Phil, leaving colleagues “stunned”.

ITV said it investigated rumours of a relationship in 2020 but that both parties “repeatedly denied” the claims and that the broadcaster wasn’t able to find “any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour”.

Chief Executive Dame Carolyn McCall confirmed last week that ITV has now started an external investigation, saying that a barrister will “review our records and talk to people involved”. She has also been called to give evidence to a parliamentary committee next week to answer questions about the broadcaster’s handling of the scandal.

Phil’s former co-host and close friend Holly, 42, who admitted it was “very hurtful” he had lied to her, was away in Portugal last week with her family. Phil admitted they are no longer speaking, but he apologised profusely for misleading her over his relationship.

“Holly did not know,” he said. “And she was one of the first texts that I sent, to say, ‘I am so, so sorry that I lied to you.’”

As new went to press, Holly was due to return to the This Morning sofa on Monday 5 June. While many – including Eamonn and Kerry – have called for
her to also leave the show, she is said to have no intention of quitting.

“Holly has made it clear she was one of the people Phil lied to and she has nothing to hide,” a source said.


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