Monday March 04, 2024

Phillip Schofield affair fallout: ITV releases independent investigation findings

The investigation was started in February 2022

December 07, 2023
Phillip Schofield affair fallout: ITV releases independent investigation findings
Phillip Schofield affair fallout: ITV releases independent investigation findings

Following an investigation into allegations of a relationship between former This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield and a younger colleague, ITV has finally released its findings.

The report, which was conducted by an independent law firm, found no evidence of a "toxic culture" at ITV but did recommend the creation of a "talent charter" to "set out key standards ITV expects to be upheld" for talent.

The investigation was launched in February 2022 after Schofield publicly admitted to having an affair with a former colleague, which he claimed had taken place "consensually and in private."

On Thursday, a report with the probe’s findings was published. “ITV’s management made considerable efforts to determine the truth about an alleged relationship between PS and PX following on from the publication of a story in The Sun newspaper in early December 2019,” wrote Jane Mulcahy, who led the investigation. “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.”

As a result, she highlighted “the importance of junior employees at ITV having the confidence to raise concerns to management in line with ITV’s ‘Speaking Up’ policy,” adding. “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.”

Among her other recommendations is “that ITV take the opportunity to set out clear guidelines for its talent going forward to ensure that good behaviors are observed even by those who are household names.” Mulcahy’s suggestion: “Publishing a talent ‘charter’ setting out key standards ITV expects to be upheld."

But she didn't discover any "toxic" ITV culture.

ITV in a first reaction also noted that the probe found “ITV’s Disciplinary, Grievance and Freelance Complaints procedures are fit for purpose and work well in practice,” adding: “She finds that ITV seeks – and succeeds in large part – in applying its policies and procedures appropriately to issues which are raised.”

ITV chairman Andy Cosslett concluded: “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 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.”