Media

ITV Phillip Schofield investigation ‘unable to uncover’ evidence of affair with PA


ITV’s review into Phillip Schofield’s behaviour on This Morning has been published after he quit the TV show over allegations surrounding his relationship with a younger colleague.

The 61-year-old sensationally stepped down from the daytime TV programme and later resigned from ITV after admitting a “consensual on-off relationship” that was “unwise, but not illegal”.

He apologised for the affair, which happened while he was married to his wife of 30 years, Stephanie Lowe. ITV subsequently launched a review into Mr Schofield’s behaviour on the popular morning show.

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.”

Mr Schofield “reluctantly declined” to take part in an external review into the circumstances surrounding his departure from ITV because of “the risk to his health”, the report said.

It added that his mental health has since deteriorated. The runner, who has not been named, also declined to participate in the review.

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.

‘This Morning’ presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield during a photocall at the ITV Studios in 2018

(PA)

“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.”

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

In the report recommendations, it is suggested that 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 said: “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.”

Phillip Schofield hosting ‘This Morning’ with Holly Willoughby after the 2016 National Television Awards

(ITV)

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.

“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.”

The daytime programme continued to face scrutiny following Mr Schofield‘s departure, with allegations of a “toxic” environment. Ms Mulcahy said that for the period under review, there was no finding of a “toxic” culture.

Mr Schofield‘s co-host Holly Willoughby left the show in October. The 42-year-old presenter said it was an “honour to just be part of its story” for 14 years and that she had made “this decision for me and my family”.

On the programme in June, she said the revelations about her on-screen colleague Mr Schofield had left her “shaken, troubled, let down and worried”.

Since the duo’s departure from the programme, Cat Deeley has joined This Morning and will be a part of a rota of presenters that include Rylan Clark, Craig Doyle and Alison Hammond.

Additional reporting by PA



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