Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

ITV was ‘unable to uncover’ truth of Schofield affair, external review finds

Phillip Schofield (Ian West/PA)
Phillip Schofield (Ian West/PA)

ITV made “considerable efforts” to find out the truth about an alleged relationship between Phillip Schofield and a runner on This Morning in 2019 but was “unable to uncover the relevant evidence” until the presenter’s own admission in late May 2023, an external review has found.

The TV star, 61, left the popular daytime show in May after he admitted to a past relationship with a younger male former colleague.

ITV bosses have said both Schofield and his former lover “repeatedly denied” allegations of a relationship until the star quit ITV and formally apologised.

MPs have urged the broadcaster to make sure staff feel “it’s safe” at ITV.

Dancing On Ice 2023
Phillip Schofield left This Morning in May after admitting to an affair (Jonathan Brady/PA)

A report by Jane Mulcahy KC said: “ITV’s management made considerable efforts to determine the truth about an alleged relationship between PS (Schofield) and PX (the runner) following on from the publication of a story in The Sun newspaper in early December 2019.

“However, in the face of the denials of the individuals involved, ITV was unable to uncover the relevant evidence until PS’s admission in late May 2023.”

Ms Mulcahy interviewed 48 people for the review but Schofield “reluctantly declined” to take part because of “the risk to his health”, the report says.

“I am informed that PS’s mental health has since deteriorated,” the report said.

The runner, who has not been named, also declined to participate.

The review also found that Schofield’s patronage of the runner assisted him in the early days of his career at ITV but beyond this the man “seems to have made his way on his own.”

The report adds: “I am satisfied that PX’s promotion to a role of production secretary on another daytime programme had nothing to do with PS.

“Further, the only agreement between ITV and PX under which he was paid any settlement sum was a standard agreement ending the employment relationship dated 31 July 2021.

“After the story broke in 2019, ITV tried to do everything it could to help PX and provided significant additional support to him, even in May 2023 despite his employment having ended.”

The daytime programme has continued to face scrutiny following Schofield’s departure, with allegations of a “toxic” environment.

When presenting her report to the board, Ms Mulcahy said that for the period under review there was no finding of a “toxic” culture.

Only one person interviewed had any knowledge of the affair prior to May 2023, the report said. The former junior employee did not report it.

In the report recommendations, it is suggested ITV sets out “clear guidelines for its talent going forward to ensure that good behaviours are observed even by those who are household names.”

It also emphasises the importance of junior employees at ITV having the confidence to raise concerns to management in line with ITV’s Speaking Up policy.

The report says: “I have no doubt that senior management are absolutely wedded to the importance of an open culture. But this culture is still not filtering down to junior employees, many of whom remain convinced that to speak out will have a detrimental impact on their careers.”

Andy Cosslett, chairman of ITV plc, said in response to the report: “We welcome her recommendations and are already acting on them.

“We are completely committed to creating an environment where everyone is treated with respect and feels able to give of their best.

“Our promise to those we work with is that where a complaint is made, or serious concerns raised, we will always investigate and if we find that something inappropriate has happened, we will take action.

“We will continue to develop our efforts to give junior colleagues the confidence to speak up if they have something to raise.

National Television Awards 2023 – London
Holly Willoughby left This Morning in October (Lucy North/PA)

“I hope that the completion of this review allows the team at This Morning to get back to what they do so well – making a brilliant show that entertains and informs millions of viewers every week.”

Chairwoman of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee Dame Caroline Dinenage, who grilled the broadcaster over Schofield’s admission earlier this year, said: “There is a need for ITV to do much more to encourage people to speak out, and to support junior staff”.

The MP added: “It is not enough to have policies and procedures in place – staff, especially junior ones, need to know it’s safe to use them. I look forward to hearing more from ITV as it works to build this open culture throughout the organisation.

“New initiatives such as the recommended talent charter are a step in the right direction for tackling power imbalance.”

She also said a new creative industry body, called Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority (CIISA), that has previously suggested it wants to recommend sanctions for harmful behaviour in the industry, will help ITV and the media change the industry.

Schofield’s co-host Holly Willoughby left the show in October after 14 years on the sofa.

Since the long-time presenting duo departed, there has been a rotation of presenters taking the helm including Alison Hammond, Dermot O’Leary, Josie Gibson and Craig Doyle, with Rylan Clark and Emma Willis the latest duo to front the show.