Phillip Schofield on This Morning’s bondage-gate, Zoella and avoiding TV flops

The presenter of ITV's You're Back in the Room isn't averse to talking dirty, or eating dog food with a glass of red...

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THIS MORNING
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Pictured: Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby
'This Morning' TV show, London, UK - 16 Apr 2018

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What’s your earliest TV memory?

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Watching Fawlty Towers – my mum didn’t really get the humour but my dad and I would scream with laughter. The first time I realised I wanted to be on TV was watching Multi-Coloured Swap Shop. The unpredictability, the noise and the messiness of it really appealed to me.

You and Holly Willoughby both came through children’s TV. Where will the new generation of presenters come from?

We had a couple of hours on mainstream TV to learn our trade, but now they have whole children’s channels. And there’s an entire new generation of “vloggers”, some of whom are really good presenters. I think Alfie [Deyes] and Zoella [Zoe Sugg] are great.

In your new show, You’re Back in the Room, the contestants are hypnotised. Did you try it?

No! Thankfully there wasn’t time. But I’d try anything, nothing worries me. I was cynical before we shot the pilot, but afterwards I truly believed it and wouldn’t have done the series if I didn’t.

Is it unusual to find a successful new entertainment format?

Very much so. It’s lovely to find a show that hasn’t been done before. Anyone who works with me will tell you I like to be in control – but this is anarchic. It’s quite nice occasionally to let things happen.

Is there an old format you’d like to bring back?

I once did a show called It’s Now or Never, which basically invented the flashmob, but about five years too early. It was a shame because it was a great format. But I think that it would be too expensive to make it now.

Was that your only flop?

We’ve all had blips. But I think I’ve got quite a good eye and ear for an idea. I’ve been offered things where I’ve said no and they tried to talk me into it, but when I watched it later I was right, it didn’t work.

Are you ever tempted to do a non-family-friendly show?

I love going on Celebrity Juice because that’s a licence to be rude, which is terrific. But anyone who watches This Morning knows we push the boundaries quite a bit – we’re not squeaky clean!

This Morning got in hot water for testing S&M products. Are you deliberately controversial?

It’s always been the same, going back to Richard and Judy. Let’s not forget the Viagra! The hilarious thing about bondage-gate was that all the items we featured sold out straight afterwards. It just shows what goes on behind closed doors!

Is there a producer in your ear egging you on – to try eating dog food, for example?

They might have said, “Give it a go,” but I was up for it anyway. And it didn’t taste too bad. With a bit of salt and pepper and a glass of merlot, it would have been all right.

How long will you stay on This Morning?

For ever! I originally planned to do only Fridays, and that was back in 1820. I’ve no plans to go anywhere. My plan is to beat Richard and Judy and become the longest-standing presenter.

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You’re Back in the Room is on Saturday nights at 8:20pm on ITV