Belfast Telegraph

Marathon man Schofield wins cheers

Weary TV marathon man Phillip Schofield wound up his 24-hour broadcasting challenge today as he was cheered from the ITV studios after telling viewers: "It's been great fun."

The presenter has abseiled down 20-plus storeys, enjoyed a roofttop midnight feast and even chatted to the Prime Minister during his full day on air as part of a charity fundraiser.

Phillip, 52, finished his mammoth stint as he had begun by appearing on his regular show This Morning alongside co-host Amanda Holden.

He reached the end of his challenge as guests and production staff on the show counted down the last 10 seconds before forming a guard of honour who cheered and clapped as they lined his exit from the studio as he left with his wife Steph.

Phillip had been set the bleary-eyed task for this year's ITV Text Santa campaign, and during his hours on air he gave a weather forecast and took part in an I'm A Celebrity-style Bushtucker Trial in which he had to eat fish eyes.

Much of the marathon had been part of an ongoing ITV3 broadcast, but he also appeared on a number of ITV shows including Loose Women and preparing a fry-up on the Lorraine segment of the station's morning schedule.

Yesterday afternoon he braved a dizzying abseil down the 22-floor ITV studio building which overlooks the Thames and he had to remember a series of objects during his descent. His memory powers helped him to add £12,000 to the fundraising total.

During the broadcast today, Phillip spoke to David Cameron who announced that the Government would contribute up to £50,000 to the Text Santa appeal.

The presenter was handed a cup of coffee by Mr Cameron to help him through his 24-hour ordeal as they spoke in the first live interview from the Cabinet Room, with Schofield announcing he was "in a bit of a takeover mood" as he took in his surroundings.

But the Prime Minister told him: "I'm staying right here, I'm not moving."

As the challenge entered its final half-hour Schofield told viewers he was still thriving.

"I feel really good - it feels terrific," he said, before thanking the production team who had helped.

"Do you know, I'm more emotional that we've pulled together as a big old team," he added.

He finished by watching a montage of some of the highlights of his broadcast, which included his rooftop feast on top of the ITV building with Davina McCall, and brushing his teeth while being serenaded by a barbershop quartet.

As the countdown to the 24-hour end concluded, he signed off by simply telling viewers: "... and goodbye."

His co-host, Amanda Holden, said after his departure: "Oh goodness, I'm so emotional."

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