THE MAN at the centre of the Phillip Schofield affair was working in a pub in a village in Cumbria until two weeks ago, Politicalite can exclusively reveal.
The former This Morning runner was just 15-years-old when he asked Phillip Schofield for a job on the hit-daytime show after meeting the ITV star at the two-faced theatre academy in Holmfirth.
The man in question, named Mathew McGreevy had gone to ground for over three years when Politicalite first broke the scandal and he quit all social media and deleted his Facebook account after a suspected gagging order from multi-millionaire Phillip’s legal team.
Three years later Politicalite tracked him down to a village in the Lake District where he was working in a pub called the Hope and Anchor in Flookburgh until he quit a few weeks ago ahead of the scandal hitting the headlines.
ITV has said it investigated claims of an affair between Phillip Schofield and a younger male colleague in 2020, but both denied it.
The network claims that after rumours emerged about the relationship in 2020, it launched an investigation but could find no evidence to support the speculation.
An ITV spokesperson told Politicalite on Saturday: “Further to our statement last night, ITV can confirm that when rumours of a relationship between Phillip Schofield and an employee of ITV first began to circulate in early 2020 ITV investigated.”
Both parties were questioned and both categorically and repeatedly denied the rumours as did Phillip’s then agency YMU.
“In addition, ITV spoke to a number of people who worked on ‘This Morning‘ and were not provided with, and did not find, any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour.
In 2014, before he landed the plush runner job on the show Mr McGreevy, then 18, ‘got a taste for television’ spending the day with Phil and his co-host Holly Willoughby after being invited for an ‘access all areas’ tour at ITV’s then-London Studios.
He was also a member of The 2 Faced Theatre Academy in Holmfirth, were Phillip, 57, is a patron.
The revelations and alleged affair left many wondering what age the lad was when the pair first met and have also brought suggestions of Mr Schofield abusing his position of power.
Matthew told The Manchester Evening News at the time: “I couldn’t believe how everything was done so quickly and I learnt a lot from Phillip Schofield.
“I am very new to TV, and I am always learning. I have learnt a lot from The 2 faced Theatre Academy and they have opened many doors for me.”
Schofield is alleged to have been having the affair with the runner who was said to have been “furious” that Schofe had apparently ‘fucked him over’, and he was reportedly going to the press.
McGreevy was said to have had a ‘close working relationship’ with Schofe, but after they had a ‘bust up’ with McGreevy left This Morning to work on rival show Loose Women.
Rumours went into over-drive on the set of the hit daytime show with Ruth Langsford lodging an official complaint.
ITV said that the runner was ‘promoted’ but other staff were said to be ‘confused’ about the move.
“It was odd because they were so close and then he up and went to Loose Women and they didn’t seem to be talking much anymore,” one source told the Sun in 2019.
At the time ITV said: “”It’s deeply disappointing and unfair for Phillip to be the target of this sort of malicious gossip.”
A show insider told The Daily Star Sunday: “Lots of people who work at This Morning have known Phillip is gay for a few years.”
“It was an open secret among the team but none of them would have ever said anything about it publicly,” and according to one source, he often took younger gay guys “under his wing” and became a mentor to them.
They said: “Phillip is a very caring guy. Over the years he has supported others who are gay and made sure they feel comfortable to be themselves.
“There was one runner who was struggling to deal with his sexuality and Phillip was quick to offer support and become a mentor for him.”
Responding with a statement, Phillip Schofield said on Friday: “First thing I want to say is: I am deeply sorry for having lied to them, and to many others about a relationship.”
“I did have a consensual on-off relationship with a younger male colleague.”
“That relationship was unwise, but not illegal. It is now over.”
And he said: “‘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 have therefore decided to step down from the British Soap Awards, my last public commitment, and 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.”
In a statement through his agency as he was dropped, Schofield added: “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.”