Charlie Brooker returned to the BBC yesterday evening (May 14) in a special edition of his Screenwipe series.
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Antiviral Wipe saw Brooker host a special pandemic version of his show as the coronavirus crisis continues. In the episode, Brooker revisited Phillip Schofield’s coming out on ITV’s This Morning back in January. On the show, co-host Holly Willoughby read out a statement from Schofield.
Brooker said: “In a bizarre ventriloquist act Holly Willoughby temporarily identified as Phillip Schofield to announce that they were now identifying as a gay man, which is as 2020 as it gets.”
In the clip, Holly’s voice is echoed before the camera zooms onto Schofield’s face, making it look as though we were hearing the voice in his head.
During the parody, Brooker said: “Hang on, this is weird actually, because when she speaks and it cuts to him, it feels like you’re hearing his internal monologue, especially if you put some reverb over the top.
“Anyway with that, after 58 years the beloved silver-haired This Morning wingman had come out. Just in time for the government to tell him and the rest of us to go back in.”
Schofield wrote in an Instagram post about his coming out earlier this year: “You never know what’s going on in someone’s seemingly perfect life, what issues they are struggling with, or the state of their wellbeing – and so you won’t know what has been consuming me for the last few years.
“With the strength and support of my wife and my daughters, I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am gay.”
Speaking to NME about the ongoing coronavirus crisis, Brooker was asked if it was difficult to continue with comedy at such a time. Brooker replied: “That’s the constant, constant, constant question. We acknowledge that this is horrible, but equally, in any of the Wipe shows, there have been horrible things I’m having to talk about.
“I thought, at first, I’ll probably focus on things that people are watching, like Tiger King and Quiz and what have you. And actually, in the making of it, that stuff is hardly mentioned. It’s much more about the government response and what we’re all going through.”