After ex-employee Phillip Schofield left This Morning, ITV CEO Dame Carolyn McCall will testify before a parliamentary committee to address concerns raised about the broadcaster’s complaint and safeguarding policies.
At a meeting of the Culture, Media, and Sport Committee on Wednesday morning, the chief executive will field questions from MPs over the This Morning controversy.
After confessing to a “unwise but not illegal” romance with a younger male colleague, TV presenter Schofield, 61, resigned from the network and was dropped by his talent agency YMU.
In a letter addressed to Lucy Frazer, chair of the DCMS Committee, Dame Caroline Dinenage, and Dame Melanie Dawes, CEO of Ofcom, Dame Carolyn confirmed that ITV had asked barrister Jane Mulcahy KC of Blackstone Chambers to conduct an independent investigation into the facts following Schofield’s departure.
Before coming out as gay in the public eye, Schofield had a relationship while still married to wife Stephanie Lowe.
The letter said ITV records show that “when rumours of a relationship between Phillip Schofield and an employee of ITV first began to circulate” both parties “denied” it and this was reiterated “as recently as this month”.
Since Schofield’s departure, This Morning has been dogged by “toxicity” claims.
Dr. Ranj Singh, a former resident physician on the program, blasted the “toxic” environment, claiming that he complained about “bullying and discrimination” two years ago when employed there and afterwards felt “managed out” for speaking up.
In response to a complaint from Dr. Ranj, an external review was carried out, and according to Dame Carolyn’s letter, “no evidence of bullying or discrimination” was discovered.
While this was going on, Eamonn Holmes, who until 2020 co-hosted This Morning with Ruth Langsford, accused Schofield of “toxicity” in an interview with Dan Wootton on GB News.
At a hearing about the proposed Media Bill last week, Magnus Brooke, group director of strategy, policy, and regulation at ITV, was questioned about This Morning.
Dame Carolyn would appear in a separate session on Wednesday morning to answer questions about the broadcaster’s approach to safeguarding and complaint handling, committee chairwoman Dame Caroline said earlier in the session. MPs would not be discussing the issues surrounding former presenter Schofield leaving the show.