Following his 24-hour TV marathon last year in aid of Text Santa, Phillip Schofield takes on another telly challenge on December 1 – ahead of this year’s main event on December 18 – as he dons his favourite festive knitwear to kick start this year’s campaign. Here, he tells us how he’ll be ‘doing his bit in a Christmas knit’…
For last year’s Text Santa, you took on the almighty challenge of appearing on programmes across the ITV network for an entire 24 hours. What are you doing this year?
“This year’s Text Santa campaign revolves around people wearing their Christmas Jumpers, something we’re calling: ‘Do Your Bit In A Christmas Knit’. So between 6am and 10pm on launch Day, I’ll be appearing in every ITV show wearing a different Christmas jumper!”
So you’ll be appearing in all of ITV’s live and pre-recorded shows during that time?
“Yes! We’ve done the pre-recorded stuff already, shows that you need in the can for transmission. For instance, a few weeks ago I had to sneak up to the set of Emmerdale to film my appearance there.”
Does that mean we’ll see you having a drink in The Woolpack?
“I can’t say. I did visit the Woolpack, though, and have a proper look around – it was fascinating!”
What other shows will you feature in on December 1?
“You’ll see me on all of ITV’s major live broadcasts of the day, such as Good Morning Britain, This Morning and Loose Women. Then there’s the news… and I might also make an appearance in the ad breaks!”
Will you be easy to spot?
“All of these appearances are quite small and subtle so, unlike the challenge last year, where you couldn’t avoid me on TV, this time it’ll be harder to find me. People will have to see if they can spot me – it’s a bit like Where’s Wally?!”
You scaled London’s impressive Shard building for your challenge last year. Can we expect any major stunts this year?
“Not this time. Once you’ve done something like that you’ve got to pause before you do it again because that was such a monster – I can never look at that building again without thinking about that. That said, I’m always up for anything.”
As you’re wearing a different Christmas jumper in each show, do you have a favourite?
“Well, I’ll tell you one disappointing thing that happened… I was sitting on a tractor recording a little piece for the opening titles for Countrywise and it was only after we’d finished filming that I thought: ‘Oh, there’s still a security tag in this jumper’ – I pressed it, and it played bloody Jingle Bells! I was gutted that I hadn’t spotted it sooner.”
Do you hope people will be inspired by you to get involved in Text Santa’s official Christmas Jumper Day on Friday December 18, ahead of ITV’s three-hour fundraiser in the evening?
“Absolutely! What we’d love is for everybody to take part by wearing their own Christmas jumpers, take photos and post them online, using the hashtag #PipKnit. Then hopefully we can start raising some serious money for Text Santa.”
Watch Phillip Schofield as he launches Text Santa on Tuesday December 1 from 6am on ITV. To join in the fundraising, visit ITV.com/textsanta.