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Phillip Schofield ‘encouraged to make TV return’ as he giggles with Dec Donnelly during four-hour dinner-Joel Harley-Entertainment – Metro

The former ITV colleagues hit the town.

Phillip Schofield ‘encouraged to make TV return’ as he giggles with Dec Donnelly during four-hour dinner-Joel Harley-Entertainment – Metro

Phillip Schofield and Declan Donnelly were spotted on a dinner date this week (Picture: REX)

Declan Donnelly has reportedly been trying to convince former This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield to make a TV comeback, following a four-hour dinner date together.

Schofield, 62, left the popular ITV breakfast television programme after admitting to lying about an affair with a younger colleague on the show, and amid an alleged feud with co-host Holly Willoughby, 43.

Things have been quiet for Schofield since leaving the show, with the presenter apparently putting a pause on his TV career amid the noise around his ‘unwise but not illegal’ affair.

However, he is thought to be considering a comeback – reportedly egged on by Declan Donnelly, 48, of Ant and Dec fame.

Pictures obtained by The Sun revealed that the pair spent four hours together on a dinner date near their homes in London.

Schofield’s career took an unexpected hiatus last year (Picture: WireImage)

The pair were joined by Donnelly’s wife Ali Astall and Schofield’s pet dog, also pictured as they walk side-by-side, laughing and joking.

An onlooker told the tabloid: ‘Phil and Dec were as thick as thieves and had clearly had a great night together.

‘Phil said something to Dec that really tickled him and he was laughing loudly.

‘They looked like any other friends would after having a fun night out together. Phil seemed totally at ease.”

Schofield has a long history of working with Ant, Dec and ITV (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

Sources close to Schofield have revealed that he still has support from his former television colleagues, many of whom are believed to be pushing for him to return to work.

‘Since he left This Morning, Phil has been held up by the support of friends like Ant, Dec and Alison Hammond,’ said one source.

‘They have all been rallying around him and their support, especially from Dec who is such a good friend, has really helped Phil.

Schofield has appeared on Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (Credits: Ken McKay/REX/Shutterstock)

‘Some TV executives have been in touch with Phil about a possible return and his friends have told him he should consider it.

‘Phil is still shell-shocked by everything that happened last year and is happy at the moment to focus on rebuilding his life with the support of his friends and family.

‘Whether he will make a comeback — whether it’s on TV or radio — is still undecided but the offers are there if he wants to pursue them,’ this source added.

Sources believe that Schofield’s friends are encouraging him to think about a comeback (Picture: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

The former Dancing On Ice presenter left the limelight in May 2023, shortly after allegations about his affair came to light.

He previously separated from his wife, Stephanie, in 2020, after coming out as gay. However,he remains close to his wife and two grown-up daughters.

Since leaving This Morning, he has remained close with former colleagues at ITV, including Ant and Dec, and Stephen Mulhern.

Meanwhile, This Morning guest presenter Alison Hammond previously refused to speak on the situation, saying she didn’t want to ‘fuel salacious gossip’ by commenting.

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