Phillip Schofield attends the ITV Palooza 2022
It’s been six months since former This Morning host Philip Schofield left his long-term post on the show. Now it’s been revealed that the 61-year-old declined to take part in a review of ITV and his behaviour because of “the risk to his health”.
The review was announced by ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall around the time Schofield left the broadcaster in May this year, and was intended to review the facts following his highly publicised departure.
A report by Jane Mulcahy KC was published yesterday, which provides testimony from current and ex ITV staff regarding Schofield’s affair with an unnamed runner on the show. The ensuing scandal led to his dramatic resignation on 20th May 2023 after more than 20 years on the programme.
The report gives that Schofield sent a letter in August via his lawyer saying he “reluctantly declined” to participate in the review because of the “risk to his health”, adding that his “mental health has since deteriorated”.
Back in May, Schofield admitted to an “unwise but not illegal” relationship with a younger male colleague, who also refused to participate in the review, saying he “wanted to move on with his life,” according to Ms Mulcahy.
At the time, ITV responded to Schofield’s admission by saying it had investigated “rumours of a relationship” between Schofield and a younger employee, but the pair “repeatedly denied” the affair.
The newly published review has backed this, determining that the channel was “unable to uncover the relevant evidence” until Schofield’s own admission.
48 people were interviewed by Ms Mulcahy on a voluntarily basis, but since the review was not a statutory inquiry, no one could be forced to take part. Of these, only one interviewee said that they knew about Schofield’s relationship before May.
Ms Mulcahy did, however, find that despite senior ITV management being committed to an “open culture”, many junior employees were afraid to speak out, fearing that it would “have a detrimental impact on their careers”.
Her recommendations going forward include clear guidelines to ensure good behaviour “even by those who are household names”. She has also emphasised the “importance of junior employees at ITV having the confidence to raise concerns to management in line with ITV’s ‘Speaking Up’ policy”.
ITV chairman Andy Cosslett welcomed the findings and Ms Mulcahy’s recommendations.
“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,” said Mr Cosslett.