ITV announces external review over Phillip Schofield’s departure from This Morning | Ents & Arts News

ITV has instructed a barrister to carry out an external review of the facts following Phillip Schofield’s statement and departure from This Morning, chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall has said.

In a letter seen by the PA news agency, ITV’s Dame Carolyn said: “You will have seen the significant media coverage concerning Phillip Schofield.

“As you would expect we take the matter extremely seriously and have reviewed our own records over the weekend.

“Given the ongoing rumours, we continued to ask questions of both parties, who both continued to deny the rumours, including as recently as this month.

“There has been a lot of inaccuracy in the reporting so I thought it would be useful to set out some facts.”

The letter was sent to Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer, Culture, Media and Sport Committee chair Dame Caroline Dinenage and Ofcom chief executive Dame Melanie Dawes.

Phillip Schofield: Timeline of ITV departure after colleague affair

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Phillip Schofield: ITV reacts

Last week Schofield admitted to an “unwise but not illegal” relationship with a younger male colleague.

The 61-year-old resigned from the broadcaster on Friday after admitting to both the affair and lying about it. He was also dropped by his talent agency, YMU.

Schofield had originally said he was leaving This Morning after more than two decades because he had “become the story” following rumours of a rift between him and co-presenter Holly Willoughby.

Reports of the rift came after his brother was jailed for 12 years over child sex offences.

Willoughby, 41, is due to return to the show on Monday 5 June, when she returns from holiday.

Read more:
Key extracts from ITV’s letter to culture sec on Schofield departure
Phillip Schofield dropped as ambassador for The Prince’s Trust
Eamonn Holmes claims there was ‘total cover-up’ over Schofield’s affair

The letter goes on to say that ITV has instructed Jane Mulcahy KC, of Blackstone Chambers, to “carry out an external review to establish the facts.”

Holly Willoughby (left) and Phillip Schofield in 2019

“She will review our records and talk to people involved. This work will also consider our relevant processes and policies and whether we need to change or strengthen any,” the letter said.

ITV bosses are set to be quizzed by MPs over their handling of the situation at This Morning next week.

The network’s executives will appear before the Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Tuesday.

They had been scheduled to appear before the committee anyway, to discuss the draft Media Bill, but have been told to expect an interrogation over the Schofield affair as well.

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