Google the words “Phillip Schofield Sad”, and this is the second image that turns up.
That is not a sad man.
Truth is, it’s near impossible to find a picture of Philly SchoFo looking upset. Comically bemused? Sure. Dramatically concerned while digesting a sensitive topic? Definitely. But you always feel like he’s only one Gino Di Campo double entendre away from becoming the most delighted man on Earth once again.
That’s not so true for the rest of us. Even our selfies reveal Albert Camus SparkNotes-levels of existential despair. Which begs the question: where did the silver fox on-the-box find his infinite supply of happiness? And how can we wrangle some for ourselves?
Well it goes without saying that before we can live like Phillip Schofield, we must first understand Phillip Schofield. So let’s try.
Popular presenters usually trade off of a shtick, but what is Phil’s? Apart from being an affable, well-balanced guy? He’s not a cheeky chappy (Ant & Dec, Stephen Mulhern), a national eccentric (Chris Evans, Ainsley Harriot) or a bad-shirted Head Boy (Jeremy Clarkson, Paul Hollywood).
The closest equivalent is Dermot O’Leary, and he can’t even be bothered to suit up twice a week anymore. Imagine Phillip Schofield, rejecting a single job offer that came his way. It’s inconceivable.
And that’s because Schofield understands the importance of hard work – especially when it comes to the daily grind.
The pastel perfect This Morning set might look like a nice place to spend your working day, but there’s a much darker side to sofa lyfe. Speaking to FHM in December, Rick Edwards revealed the behind-the-scenes struggles of his ill-fated breakfast show RI:SE : “The hours were awful and I had no social life. I’d wake up at 2am and nod off at 8pm […] I saw someone cry on that team every single day.”
Schofield probably wakes up later than that – he starts at 10:30am, after all - but the pressure’s still there. To be chipper and entertaining at all times. To rouse a nation of bleary-eyed pessimists into a good mood day in, day out, like a flailing holiday rep around a morning-after Zante poolside.
Yet we’ve seen him jump from show to show, seemingly more excited with each landing. It’s fair to say that the man hasn’t gone grey from stress - he loves his work.
You’d think that fatigue would have set in by now. That he would have lost that Schostfaced Philler spark. After all, that’s what happens to a lot of seasoned TV presenters.
On the last series of the National Lottery: In It To Win It, Dale Winton was a dead ringer for the “sadness in his eyes” dog. Handing out forty grand cheques with zero emotion, his banana-boat smile always threatening to 180°.
But that’s understandable. He’s been on TV for 23 years. It’s impossible to maintain that level of Dale Winton for that long. It’s only a matter of time before he’s found performing an unsanctioned 3am supermarket sweep in his underpants, and is finally set free from his terrestrial prison for good.
And yet he’s still here, 30 years later, giggling away with his co-workers and turning up to work drunk, like a half-arsed stock room assistant. Can you say that you find the same happiness in your work? Or any aspect of your life? You cannot.
The reason he hasn’t run out of gas is simply because he’s always been 100% Schofield. The most invigorating thing a human being can do is be completely at one with themselves every day of their lives.
We’re not seriously suggesting that Phillip Schofield is happy 24/7. We’ve never met the man, and could never hope to understand the emotional complexity of a person purely based off their rapport with Holly Willoughby.
That would be ridiculous. But what we are saying is that Phillip Schofield is clearly the modern day incarnation of the holy Buddha, and that we should all worship him as a prophet.
The similarities are endless. Buddha was born in olden days, and Phil was born in Oldham. Buddha was “wise in the knowledge of other worlds”, and Phil knows quite a lot about wine. Buddha went on a spiritual quest to spread enlightenment to the masses, and Phil hosted a show called ‘Schofield’s Quest’, which looked into the fates of Britain’s seaside piers. It’s as clear as day.
But even if he’s not Buddha, and even if he’s not genuinely the happiest man on Earth, he still puts the nation in a good mood - spending his days chatting to the jobless, the disabled and the elderly when nobody else can or will.
Perhaps, judging by that, the true secret to happiness is providing it to other people? It’s worth a try, anyway.
So thank you Phillip Schofield. Namaste.