Phillip Schofield exit: ITV announce external review following presenter’s This Morning departure
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ITV has announced an external review following Phillip Schofield’s exit from This Morning. ITV has instructed a barrister to carry out the external review of the facts following Phillip’s statement and departure.
Chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall confirmed the news, stating in a letter seen by the PA news agency: “You will have seen the significant media coverage concerning Phillip Schofield. As you would expect we take the matter extremely seriously and have reviewed our own records over the weekend.
“Given the ongoing rumours, we continued to ask questions of both parties, who both continued to deny the rumours, including as recently as this month. There has been a lot of inaccuracy in the reporting so I thought it would be useful to set out some facts.”
The letter was sent to culture secretary Lucy Frazer, DCMS committee chair Dame Caroline Dinenage and Ofcom chief executive Dame Melanie Dawes. It goes on to claim that ITV has offered Phillip support “throughout this period” and they continue to do so.
Former This Morning host Phillip, 61, quit both his role as presenter on This Morning and departed from ITV after admitting an affair with a younger colleague on Friday (26 May). He presented his final episode on 18 May - after months of tabloid speculation about tensions in the team and allegations of a “toxic culture”.
The letter went on to say that the man who Phillip had an “unwise but not illegal” relationship with was 19 when he first completed work experience on This Morning in 2015. At 20, he secured a job as a runner and worked there until he was promoted to a role on Loose Women in 2019, before he left ITV in 2021.
Phillip was still married to Stephanie Lowe at the time of the relationship, which took place before he came out as gay. According to the letter, ITV has instructed Jane Mulcahy KC, of Blackstone Chambers, to carry out the review.
The letter reads: “She will review our records and talk to people involved. This work will also consider our relevant processes and policies and whether we need to change or strengthen any.”
Letter in full
The letter reads: “You will have seen the significant media coverage concerning Phillip Schofield. As you would expect we take the matter extremely seriously and have reviewed our own records over the weekend."
“Both parties were questioned then and both categorically and repeatedly denied the rumours, as did Phillip’s then agency YMU. In addition, ITV spoke to a number of people who worked on the This Morning and wider Daytime team and were not provided with, and did not find any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour.
"When rumours of a relationship between Phillip Schofield and an employee of ITV first began to circulate in late 2019/early 2020 ITV investigated. As you would imagine given the social media scrutiny of him, we have offered him our support throughout this period and indeed are still doing so.
"The employee has made it clear that he does not wish to be named or identified in connection with this matter. We would be grateful if you would be mindful of this. The relationships we have with those we work with are based on trust.
"Phillip made assurances to us and his agency which he now acknowledges were untrue and we feel badly let down. We consider our approach was reasonable and proportionate at the time and in the circumstances. We believe that we did not have any grounds to mount any other sort of investigation.
"I want to reassure you that as a producer and broadcaster, ITV takes its responsibilities around duty of care and speaking up seriously and has robust and well-established processes in place which allow anyone who works with us to raise concerns they may have anonymously.
“Given Phillip’s admission of the extent of his deception the work will extend to cover any related issues that may emerge. This work will be carried out as quickly as possible and we will be happy to share the outcome."