ITV has confirmed the British Soap Awards will go ahead as planned after Phillip Schofield stepped down with just eight days’ notice amid his affair confession.
The broadcaster has not yet confirmed who will host next Saturday’s event instead of Phillip, 61, but bookies have tipped Joel Dommett as the favourite to take over.
It comes after Phillip, 61, quit ITV and was dropped by his talent agency YMU after admitting to an affair with a young male This Morning colleague.
He confessed to having the ‘unwise but not illegal’ relationship with a man during his marriage to Stephanie Lowe, and previously denied the affair when asked about it by his agent.
Phillip was due to host the British Soap Awards next weekend after quitting This Morning last week, but confirmed in Friday’s statement that he has stepped down from all his ITV jobs, including the ceremony.
Plans: ITV has confirmed that the British Soap Awards will go ahead as planned after Phillip Schofield (pictured in 2019) stepped down with eight days’ notice amid his affair confession
After his announcement, ITV said the British Soap Awards will still take place in Manchester on June 3, with a replacement host to be confirmed ‘in due course’.
An ITV spokesperson said: ‘The British Soap Awards will take place next Saturday as planned, and we will make further announcements in due course.’
Though an official replacement has not yet been confirmed, Joel Dommett is the bookies favourite to take over the hosting gig, followed by Dermot O’Leary.
Bookmakers Coral put The Masked Singer UK host Joel, 37, at 1/2 odds to host the Soap Awards, followed closely by This Morning’s Dermot, 50, at 5/2.
Other presenters in the running are the likes of Bradley Walsh, Alison Hammond and Vernon Kay, according to Coral.
Coral’s John Hill said: ‘Joel Dommett tops our betting to replace Philip Schofield as the host of the 2023 British Soap Awards. ITV are likely to see him as the perfect fit as he is now one of the channel’s most popular presenters.
‘Dermot O’Leary and Vernon Kay are both names which have been well backed, while Mo Giligan could be in the mix following his experience at the Brit Awards.’
After quitting This Morning, Phillip had still been set to host the Soap Awards for a 13th successive year, but he confirmed he was quitting ITV altogether on Friday.
Favourite: The broadcaster has not yet confirmed who will host next Saturday’s event instead of Phillip, 61, but bookies have tipped Joel Dommett as the favourite to take over
Host: After quitting This Morning, Phillip had still been set to host the Soap Awards for a 13th successive year, but he confirmed he was quitting ITV altogether on Friday
WHO WILL REPLACE PHILLIP SCHOFIELD AS HOST OF THE BRITISH SOAP AWARDS?
Bookmakers Coral have confirmed who they have tipped as favourites to replace Phillip at the British Soap Awards on June 3:
1/2 Joel Dommett
5/2 Dermot O’Leary
3/1 Bradley Walsh
4/1 Alison Hammond
6/1 Vernon Kay
8/1 Mo Gilligan
Phillip admitted to an affair with a younger male colleague, which he claimed was ‘unwise but not illegal’, in a lengthy statement released, in which he also apologised to his wife and family.
The ‘unwise’ relationship took place during his nearly 30-year marriage to his wife Stephanie, 59, and Phillip said he was ‘so very sorry’ for being unfaithful.
Stephanie, who shares two kids Ruby, 27, and Molly, 29, with Phillip, issued a statement when her husband came out as gay in a moving This Morning segment in 2020.
Phillip stepped down from his This Morning hosting duties last weekend after more than 20 years on the airwaves before confirming the affair in a statement to the Daily Mail on Friday.
He has also resigned from ITV and will not host the British Soap Awards. He has also been dropped by his agents at YMU ‘with immediate effect’.
In a statement, the former ITV presenter said: ‘I am making this statement via the Daily Mail, to whom I have already apologised personally for misleading, through my lawyer who I also misled, about a story [sic] which they wanted to write about me a few days ago.
‘The first thing I want to say is: I am deeply sorry for having lied to them, and to many others about a relationship that I had with someone working on This Morning.
Bombshell: It comes after Phillip, 61, quit ITV and was dropped by his talent agency YMU after admitting to an affair with a young male This Morning colleague
‘I did have a consensual on-off relationship with a younger male colleague at This Morning.
‘Contrary to speculation, whilst I met the man when he was a teenager and was asked to help him to get into television, it was only after he started to work on the show that it became more than a just a friendship.
‘That relationship was unwise, but not illegal. It is now over…
‘I am painfully conscious that 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. I am so very, very sorry, as I am for having been unfaithful to my wife…
‘I am resigning from ITV with immediate effect, expressing my immense gratitude to them for all the amazing opportunities that they have given me.
‘I will reflect on my very bad judgement in both participating in the relationship and then lying about it.’
After his statement, an ITV spokesman said: ‘We are deeply disappointed by the admissions of deceit made tonight by Phillip Schofield.
‘The relationships we have with those we work with are based on trust. Philip made assurances to us which he now acknowledges were untrue and we feel badly let down.
‘We accept his resignation from ITV and therefore can confirm that he will not be appearing on ITV as had previously been stated.’
Following his statement, Phillip has also parted company with his management team YMU after 35 years.
Mary Bekhait, the Group CEO of YMU Group, said: ‘Honesty and integrity are core values for YMU’s whole business, defining everything we do.
Admission: Phillip confessed to having the ‘unwise but not illegal’ romance with a man during his marriage to Stephanie Lowe, and previously denied the affair when asked by his agent
‘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.’