PHILLIP Schofield has been branded an “arch manipulator” amid his feud with Amanda Holden.
The This Morning presenter, 57, is currently embroiled in a bitter row with the Britain’s Got Talent judge, 48, for blocking the decision to have her stand in for Holly Willoughby on the show last year.
And now Fern Britton’s former agent, Jon Roseman has weighed in on their spat after accusing Phil of manipulating ITV bosses.
Phil co-hosted This Morning with Fern from 2002 to 2009 but their relationship soon turned sour.
Mr Roseman told the The Daily Mail: “From day one he began to interfere with the editorial content of the show. Fern always left it to the editor, a mistake she attempted to rectify, but too late.
“His stranglehold was too tight by the time she recognised what he was up to. Their ability to work together was up there with the Eamonn Holmes/Anthea Turner friction.
“He befriended Simon Shaps, the then boss of the network centre. After this friendship, all bets were off … he just got what he wanted.”
His claims that the host has a reputation as an “arch manipulator” come after Amanda revealed Phil ignored her attempt to patch things up with an “olive branch coffee” last year.
The mother-of-two was hoping to go for a coffee with the host, only for him to ignore her message.
Talking to her radio co-host Jamie Theakston, Amanda said: “I’ve moved on from it, Jamie, you need to move on from it.”
He replied: “You might have moved on but I just wanted to know, is there any more to the story?”
The TV favourite explained: “I did offer to meet him for a coffee months ago, he didn’t reply to my text.
“What can I say?”
Jamie pushed: “The olive branch had been extended.”
To which she replied: “Oh, yes.”
Phil took to his Twitter page on Sunday to say that he’d had “another sad weekend” after The Sun On Sunday revealed details of his feud with Amanda.
He added that he had tried to be “the easiest, most fun person to work with” throughout his 35-year career – concluding that he will “take it on the chin”.
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On Sunday, we revealed that Amanda raised concerns to a top ITV boss after she was blocked from a job as Phil’s co-host last year while Holly was in Australia filming I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.
A former daytime TV executive told us: “Phillip actively campaigned for Rochelle Humes to get the job despite Amanda being more experienced — and having been told privately she’d got the gig.