ITV missed an open goal with its rightly-slammed CBB line-up - there was one man who could've saved it, analysis by Alex Davies

ITV missed an open goal with its rightly-slammed CBB line-up - there was one man who could've saved it, analysis by Alex Davies

WATCH HERE: AJ Odudu and Will Best unveil big change to Celebrity Big Brother format for 2024

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 01/03/2024

- 11:33

ITV's inability to bag Schofield a spot in the Big Brother house is a huge missed opportunity, says GB News' Entertainment Editor

This time next week, reality TV fans will have been treated to five days worth of D-list celebrity names bickering and gossiping within the confines of the Big Brother house.

That's because ITV is launching its first series of the rebooted Celebrity Big Brother on Monday night, months after lawyer Jordan Sangha bagged the £100,000 prize from its civilian series.

Rumours have been rife for months as to who'll be taking part in the Orwellian-inspired social experiment ever since ITV confirmed in October it would be running a celeb series.

And anyone would have thought that the inaugural celebrity series on ITV would've warranted some big names from the world of showbiz - especially given the fact Big Brother has been rolled out and dumped aside by UK TV networks more times than Alison Hammond when a high-profile presenter goes missing.

Instead, this year's CBB line-up promises to be less Nineteen Eighty-Four and more Nineteen Eighty-Bore - I know, sorry - with a line-up consisting of Cheshire housewives, anonymous soap stars, unknown Broadway actors and the bloke who created Reggae Reggae Sauce.

One man who reportedly won't be entering the famous house is Phillip Schofield - despite being heavily linked with a stint for months.

AJ Odudu and Will Best

AJ Odudu and Will Best will welcome a new crop of famous faces into the house on Monday


The former This Morning host was dropped from any commitments he had with ITV back in May 2023 - as well as being let go by his agent - after he admitted to an affair with a younger male colleague.

Schofield admitted he lied to bosses about the relationship, lost jobs across a catalogue of ITV programming, and told the BBC's Amol Rajan he expected his career to go "nowhere" as a result of the saga.

But since then, ITV has closed the door on a major chapter of the scandal after an independent investigation said it was "unable to uncover" evidence of a "toxic" work environment at This Morning or any evidence of the aforementioned affair.

Schofield's remained out of the public eye ever since but in the days ahead of CBB's launch, reports have emerged to suggest he's itching to return to the limelight.

A source told Closer magazine: "Phil is desperate to return to TV and is hoping to have meetings with producers over the coming months. He was concerned about things being rehashed, but now feels he can move forward. He wants to leave the past where it is.

"Phil thinks viewers will give him a second chance. He accepts he’s very unlikely to ever work on ITV again, but there are other channels out there and he believes he still has a huge amount to offer as a broadcaster.

"He may well do another TV interview before returning as a presenter, and he’s also writing another book. He wants to use that as a chance to tell his story. Everyone deserves a second chance, and Phil hopes he gets it."

So surely an eager Schofield combined with ITV bosses keen to make sure Celebrity Big Brother gets off to a flying start in the ratings war would be the perfect combination.

Plus, it's been widely reported ITV allocated a staggering £2million for the casting of the series and the highest-ticketed star is X Factor judge Louis Walsh.

Phillip Schofield

Phillip Schofield has been out of the spotlight since his ITV departure in May

Phillip Schofield snubbed from CBB

If ITV wanted a guaranteed ratings smash, they should've pulled out the stops to get Schofield


It's hard to imagine that a chunk of that change wouldn't have been able to lure Schofield back onto screens.

Whether you're a fan of Schofield or not, you cannot argue with the fact that his spot on CBB would've had even the most hardened of Willoughby sympathisers tuning in.

Instead, ITV has reportedly decided that the famous faces capable of sky-rocketing Celebrity Big Brother to the top of the ratings are:

  • Louis Walsh
  • Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu
  • Levi Roots
  • Gary Goldsmith
  • Lauren Simon
  • Fern Britton
  • Colson Smith
  • Marisha Wallace
  • Zeze Millz
  • Bradley Riches
  • David Potts
  • Nikita Kuzmin

Nope, me neither.

ITV's inability to bag Schofield a spot in the Big Brother house is a huge missed opportunity and unfortunately for them, the ratings will suffer.

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