Why Phillip Schofield's admission should kill off his career

In 2017 it was widely reported Phillip Schofield renewed his "golden handshake" contract with ITV for somewhere in the region of £650,000.

It was a deal to create multiple programmes with the channel.

As one of the most popular faces on British television, ITV wanted to keep their man.

After all, what would This Morning be without Phil and Holly?

The pair - along with Ant and Dec - have always been the channel's golden children.

Latest as questions mount:
ITV investigated affair but pair 'repeatedly denied' it
Eamonn Holmes says Schofield 'took us for fools'

Regularly winning awards, the country's most popular presenters can be a tight bunch.

Tales of post-National Television Award hangovers were told live on air each January on This Morning.

This made them real and their easy, relatable style was part of why viewers enjoyed watching.

But no amount of quaffed champagne could match the headache Phil is waking up to this weekend.

Dropped by his agent. Ditched by ITV. It's likely his lucrative advertising partnerships will be next.

His career - his success - has always been built on his openness and warmth.

The presenter's admissions of deceiving his bosses, and secretly having a relationship with someone much younger and his professional junior, were shocking.

They are an open admission of the secrets and lies he was willing to tell in order to get away with what was clearly inappropriate behaviour.

Will this kill off his career? It should.

In any workplace, there are, these days, strict rules to prevent people in senior roles from taking advantage.

Rules designed to protect.

Regardless of whether it was "consensual" and "unwise, but not illegal" - as Schofield puts it - it is about the balance of power.

For that reason, it's not only Schofield but ITV who now need to do some soul searching.

Who knew what? Were they more willing to turn a blind eye because he was their star turn?

Read more:
Schofield admits affair and steps down from ITV

Presenter and agent's statements in full
New This Morning presenters announced after exit
Timeline of how rift with Willoughby unfolded

For those of us who grew up loving watching him in the BBC's Broom Cupboard while consuming chocolate biscuits after school, for members of the LGBTQ community who were proud to have such a leading figure in television openly come out as gay, for all those who just thought on This Morning he was a pleasant distraction as you ate your toast - it is all depressingly seedy to read.

Will celebrity pals like Ant and Dec stand by him?

He has gone from being one of the most famous faces on British television, known and loved by millions, to standing alone.

The presenter is probably hoping an apology and lying low for a time will be enough to keep viewers on side.

But right now it's hard to see how he comes back from this.