Phillip Schofield: This Morning star’s bachelor years revealed
Phillip Schofield came out to the nation in an Instagram post back in early February after more than 27 years married to Stephanie Lowe. The This Morning star and his wife later stated they would stay together for now but what their future holds is yet to be known. Phillip has been a household name on British TV for nearly three decades, fronting some of ITV and the BBC’s top shows. Unearthed accounts from the presenter’s early years reveal at one point he was lusted over by “mothers and daughters” all over the country. Before his relationship with Stephanie was made public, he was believed to have been a much sought after “ladies’ man”. The “hunky” host was linked to a number of women during that time and even gave a tell-all tale to the press about his dalliances.
His love life revelations were published in Robin McGibbon’s 1992 biography ‘Phillip Schofield: The Whole Amazing Story’.
There the rising star was described as doing “his best to muddy that squeaky clean image” he had built in previous years.
In what was considered an uncharacteristic move, Phillip had told an unnamed national newspaper about his fling with former flame Fenella Bathfield.
There he described his “most bizarre relationship” with the New Zealand DJ after a trip to see her.
They had been an item while Phillip lived in New Zealand but broke up when he moved back to the UK after his father Brian had a heart attack.
Following their split, he went on a three-week-trip to see her, claiming to have had a “fun time that felt naughty”.
Ms Bathfield was outraged by the claims, announcing her plans to “tell him to stop making these remarks” because they were “getting very boring”.
She added: “Certainly I was very close to Phillip, but now I’ve met someone else, he is a thing of the past.”
Prior to this revelation, he was also linked to Caron Keating, the daughter of BBC Radio 2 presenter Gloria Hunniford.
Biographer Mr McGibbon claimed: “Talk of her affair with Phillip was buzzing round the BBC.
“Just how deep the love affair was, only Phillip and Caron can say. Certainly they were not rushing into print on the subject.
“Phillip simply refused to confirm or deny they were lovers.”
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Around that time, he was starting to appeal to an older fanbase, as well as the younger generation who had eagerly watched his rise to fame.
This was solidified when he was voted ‘Britain’s Most Eligible Bachelor’ in a magazine poll.
Biographer Mr McGibbon claimed that his success had left him “not lacking in offers for romance – or blatant lust”.
He had just started the travel show ‘Schofield’s Europe’, which aired in the evenings and meant adults were able to watch him too.
During the filming of one episode in Istanbul, the star flashed his “bare bottom” during a sauna scene, which he described as a “good giggle”.
Mr McGibbon wrote: “He was getting around 2,000 letters a week, but now, mothers were writing to him as well as their daughters.
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“And when it came to sexy suggestions, Phillip had to admit the mums had the more creative imaginations.”
Whenever he was questioned about his love life, he maintained that he was too busy for a significant other.
Phillip would go on to candidly reveal his fear that he had forgotten how to fall in love, during an interview in Spring 1991.
He added: “When the time comes for someone to open the door to my heart, the lock hasn’t rusted.”
Despite claiming not to have a “steady girlfriend” in his life at that point, it was around this time that he first met Stephanie Lowe.
Then 24 years old, Phillip was introduced to her at a party by Andy Crane, a fellow children’s TV presenter.
It was claimed that the pair “hit it off immediately” and “were seeing more and more of each other”.
Biographer Mr McGibbon wrote: “Whether Stephanie Lowe was trying to open the door to his heart, he was not publicly admitting.
“But it does seem certain, in view of what was to emerge later, that she was.”
The pair were believed to have kept their initial courtship a secret after Phillip vowed to himself to keep his “private life, just that” during younger years.
But the rumours about their relationship were confirmed a matter of months after, when she moved into his Chiswick home.
Phillip and Stephanie got married in 1993 and have two daughters Molly and Ruby together.
Following the star’s announcement that he is gay, an insider told the Daily Mirror that the pair will stuck together for now.
An insider told the paper that they will not get a divorce “until he’s settled and happy in a new relationship”.
They wrote: “Steph isn’t bitter over Phil’s coming out. She isn’t the type to be spiteful by dragging him into court.”
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