There is “no toxicity” at This Morning, according to Phillip Schofield, and “it’s the same small group of people with a grudge against me or the show who seem to have the loudest voice.”
The 61-year-old veteran host quit the network on Friday and was sacked by his talent agency YMU after confessing on This Morning to a “unwise, but not illegal” affair with a young male colleague.
It happened following weeks of rumours regarding a dispute with former co-host Holly Willoughby.
Dr. Ranj Singh, a former resident physician on This Morning, has blasted the program’s “toxic” culture, claiming that he complained about “bullying and discrimination” two years ago while working there and was “managed out” as a result.
Shortly before Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond’s This Morning went live, Schofield released a statement on his Instagram story saying: “Now that I no longer work on @thismorning I am free to say this.
“I hope you have noticed that it’s the same handful of people with a grudge against me or the show who seem to have the loudest voice.
“This Morning is the best show to work on, with the best people.
“In all the years I worked there there was no toxicity.
“You can listen to those persistently loud voices if you like.
“But the thousands of guests over the years, thousands of staff and crew, hundreds of presenters and contributors all know, it is a family of wonderful, talented, kind, hard working people.”
In a statement on Sunday, Dr Ranj said the “issues” at This Morning go “far beyond” the host.
He said: “I was on the show for 10 years and I genuinely loved and valued working there.
“However, over time, I grew increasingly worried about how things were behind-the-scenes and how people, including myself, were being treated.
“I didn’t know the truth about what was going on with Phillip, but I do know the issues with TM (This Morning) go far beyond him.
“It takes more than one person to create a culture.”
Dr. Ranj claimed that because of his extensive involvement in “diversity, anti-bullying, and mental health projects” throughout the channel, he brought up his concerns with senior ITV management.
“I then found myself being used less and less,” he continued.
“I even took my concerns directly to the top of ITV: the culture at This Morning had become toxic, no longer aligned with ITV values, and I felt like because I whistle-blew I was managed out.
“But as history and experience have taught us, things like bullying and discrimination are very hard to prove, particularly in hindsight and when the ‘people in power’ control the narrative.
“As we’ve seen, no review or investigation is foolproof.”
The doctor said that, despite assurances that his complaints would be taken seriously and that modifications would be made, he has since stopped working on the program and said it “still hurts” two years after making his initial complaints.
An ITV spokesperson said: “We are sorry to read Dr Ranj’s post today.
“At ITV we are fully committed to providing every opportunity for anyone who works with us to raise any concern or comments they may have.
“Following a complaint made by Dr Ranj, we appointed an external and independent advisor to carry out a review.
“This external review found no evidence of bullying or discrimination.”
The younger ITV employee with whom Schofield later had an affair was initially introduced to Schofield when he was 15 years old, according to The Mail on Sunday.
The man’s attorneys have also stated that the encounter began when he started working at ITV. Schofield’s attorneys have verified that they first met when the youngster was 15 years old.
Schofield said in a statement on Friday that their relationship started when the younger man joined the program as an adult.
About three years ago, ITV claimed to have looked into “rumours of a relationship” involving Schofield and the ITV employee, but both parties “categorically and repeatedly denied” it.
A broadcaster spokeswoman claimed on Saturday that when ITV looked into the subject in 2020, it was “not provided with, and did not find, any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour.”