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Philip Schofield has proclaimed that “nothing illegal happened” when he first met his lover, who was a teenager at the time. The former This Morning presenter says he and the man began a relationship which was more than a friendship.

In a statement issued today he described the relationship as “unwise, but not illegal.”

He said: “I did have a consensual on-off relationship with a younger male colleague at This Morning.

“Contrary to speculation, whilst I met the man when he was a teenager and was asked to help him to get into television, it was only after he started to work on the show that it became more than just a friendship.

“That relationship was unwise, but not illegal. It is now over.”

The relationship with the much younger man took place while Phillip was still married to his wife of 30 years, Stephanie Lowe, who is also mother to his two daughters, Molly and Ruby.

His statement also said: “I am making this statement via the Daily Mail to whom I have already apologised personally for misleading, through my lawyer who I also misled, about a story which they wanted to write about me a few days ago.

“The first thing I want to say is: I am deeply sorry for having lied to them, and to many others about a relationship that I had with someone working on This Morning. I did have a consensual on-off relationship with a younger male colleague at This Morning.”

Daily Express has approached ITV for comment.

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The statement comes just over a week after his last appearance on the This Morning sofa.

His departure from the show came after reports of a very strained relationship between him and his co-star Holly Willoughby.

Back then it was announced that he would continue to work with ITV but tonight he said: “I 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.”

And he has announced that he is stepping down from the British Soap Awards, which would have been his last public commitment.

He began hosting the awards ceremony in 2006, first with Fern Britton, and then on his own since 2008.