Richard Madeley has revealed he got in touch with Phillip Schofield following his ITV exit to offer a message of support.

The former This Morning host called Phillip’s sacking from the show “brutal” and said he felt “very sorry” for the presenter, after he left the show after admitting an “unwise but not illegal” affair with a younger colleague.

Phillip had been a regular presenter on the show for over 20 years and it is still being decided who will replace him following his departure.

Richard, meanwhile, was a presenter on This Morning between 1988 and 2001 and returned for a shorter stint between 2019 and 2020.

He revealed he had spoken to Phillip after he left the show and called the outcome “pretty savage”.

He said: “I feel very sorry for Phillip – it seemed a pretty savage outcome after 21 years (in the job)”.

Continuing to The Sun, he added: “‘I took a paternal interest in it – I kept in touch, told him to take it easy and that it’ll be all right. He agreed. All things pass in the end.”

Since Phillip’s exit earlier this year, producers have been looking for his replacement to work alongside Holly Willoughby on the sofa.

It’s been rumoured that fan favourite and Good Morning Britain star Ben Shephard is set to join the magazine show.

The presenter is no stranger to This Morning having previously stood in on a number of occasions.

Ben reportedly "impressed" directors years ago when he covered for Phil between 2005 and 2011. A source said that he is a "frontrunner" to officially take over the role and become Holly's permanent co-host.

"Ben did really well and the bosses loved his partnership with Holly and there was great feedback from many avenues," insiders told MailOnline.

"Ben is known throughout ITV as being very popular with the audiences of whatever shows he hosts.

"He is also trusted by the public and is much loved within ITV. He has hosted so many shows for the channel. He and Holly go back years too – he presented on This Morning some years ago and they have a great rapport."

It has been a tumultuous year for This Morning after it was rocked by Phillip’s affair scandal. He was axed by station bosses after lying about the affair during an internal investigation and the show was also hit by claims of bullying by former resident doctor Ranj Singh.

After Phillip admitted to the affair earlier this year, he was dropped by his talent agency YMU – who he had worked with for two decades – while his portfolio of brand deals also took a hit.

The presenter was recently spotted out with his wife Stephanie and two daughters in a rare public appearance following his This Morning departure.

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