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TV presenter Alison Hammond using 'Bible as Sat Nav' to deal with Philip Schofield fallout

by Donna Birrell

This Morning presenter Alison Hammond (pictured above, right) says she's using "the Bible as a Sat Nav" as she works out how to deal with the fallout following colleague Philip Schofield's revelations of an affair and his resignation from the show..

She was speaking after Schofield gave two interviews in which he said he was "utterly broken and ashamed" after he admitted lying about an affair with a younger male colleague. The 61-year-old insists he didn't engage in any "grooming", but admitted his career was over.

ITV is now facing questions about its own handling of the matter and has ordered external review of the facts. 

Speaking on the ITV programme which Schofield had presented for 21 years, stand-in presenter Alison Hammond broke down in tears and said she was finding it really painful because she still loved him and that "as a family" she was one of many struggling to process everything that has happened. She went on to say that her mother had always told her to "use the Bible as your Sat Nav in life". She then quoted John 8:7 saying, "let he without sin cast the first stone".  Sitting alongside fellow presenter Dermot O’Leary, who's a Catholic, she said she didn’t want to "say anything bad because obviously I’m in conflict".

Speaking to Premier about the story, chair of Christians in Media Steve Cox we should always remember that verse when there are high-profile falls.

“I find it incredibly sad that this has all happened," he said. "It’s interesting that as human beings we tend to put people on pedestals and when they fall off those pedestals, we are fairly quick to say, well we told you, they're wrong. But we're all flawed human beings. As Christians we were in sin before Jesus died on a cross and rose again and at that point, we were forgiven for our sins."

During the interviews with the BBC and The Sun newspaper, Schofield said he was "desperately sorry" – something which Steve Cox said should inform a Christian response.

“I was actually encouraged by what Philip Schofield said - by being repentant and acknowledging his responsibility. We should be forgiving people. So I think it's very dangerous for us to jump in and just criticise from our emotional response.”

Schofield said the fallout from the affair had been "relentless" and had a "catastrophic effect" on his mind. And he told the BBC that his two grown up daughters hadn't dared leave him alone.

Steve Cox said: “My concern would be the impact on Philip Schofield’s life and all around him and his family and his friends. And the impact of the news items on his soul and on his spirit.

“As Christians working in media, I think our voice should be raised to bring Jesus into any situation and bring an element of generosity and kindness and support into any news story.

“We should strongly talk about forgiveness. They need people around them to take them through on this journey, because they are human beings. They're flawed human beings, just because they are personalities on TV doesn't take away from the fact that they are simply human beings. And my prayer is that they might be able to turn to Jesus and find Jesus in their life.

Asked if he saw any future for the embattled presenter, Steve Cox said, "Jesus has given us a future and hope. There is hope for all of us, so I would pray that for Phillip Schofield and this other person as well.”

 

 

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