UK

This Morning to return today after Phillip Schofield controversy – as presenters announced

This Morning will return to TV screens today, in the wake of the Phillip Schofield controversy.

Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary will present the ITV daytime show from 10am – the first time it has aired since ex-presenter Mr Schofield’s admitted an affair with a younger male colleague.

It also comes after former This Morning TV doctor, Ranj Singh, hit out at the “toxic culture” at the show.

Last Saturday, Schofield announced he would be leaving This Morning after 20 years at the helm following reports his relationship with co-host Holly Willoughby had become strained.

Less than a week later, on Friday, Schofield released a statement admitting an “unwise, but not illegal” affair with a “much younger man” and announced he was stepping down from ITV completely.

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3:39

‘Toxic culture’ at ITV show

He also admitted he lied about the affair to ITV bosses, his agents and the media, resulting in the channel saying it was “deeply disappointed by the admissions of deceit” and his management company YMU Group dropping him.

ITV confirmed on Saturday they had investigated “rumours of a relationship” in 2020 but the pair repeatedly denied the affair.

Ms Willoughby said the admission was “very hurtful“.

On Sunday, Dr Ranj claimed he was managed out after taking his concerns about the “toxic culture” at This Morning to Emma Gormley, the head of ITV Daytime.

“I was on the show for 10 years and I genuinely loved and valued working there,” he said in a post on Twitter

“However, over time I grew increasingly worried about things 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 This Morning go far beyond him. It takes more than one person to create a culture.”

Dr Ranj said he “did what I thought was right” and made a complaint about This Morning editor Martin Frizzell’s behaviour, adding “especially given that my job is to look after people’s wellbeing and I had been heavily involved in diversity, anti-bullying and mental health projects across the channel”.

“I then found myself being used less and less,” he said.

“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.

“I haven’t worked on the show since… and I’m not the only one who has spoken up or experienced similar,” he added.

“That was two years ago and, frankly, it still hurts. The whole process was pretty heart-breaking and even affected my mental health. But I’m happy to say I’ve found my feet again, know my worth and have found my tribe.

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0:19

Dermot O’Leary on Phillip Schofield

Schofield controversy latest:
ITV says it has ‘no plans’ to axe This Morning

Timeline of departure and rumours of rift with co-host Holly
Admission should kill Schofield’s career – but will star pals stand by him?

He continued: “There are some good people in TV, but we need to be brave and stand up to those who aren’t. Even if it’s scary as hell, we have to do the right thing otherwise nothing will change. I sincerely hope something good comes from all this.”

He also added in the post’s caption that “there is so much more” he could say.

ITV’s director of television Kevin Lygo told Sky News on Sunday that “no mistakes” were made in the 2020 investigation while newspapers reported that the channel was considering axing the programme.

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0:13

‘No mistakes’ were made says ITV boss

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.”

Several television personalities including Denise van Outen, Laura Whitmore, Carol Vorderman and former Loose Women panellist Saira Khan left messages of support on his Instagram post with the same statement.

An ITV spokesperson earlier told Sky News they carried out an external review following a complaint made by Dr Ranj, and it “found no evidence to support the complaint of bullying”.

Dr Ranj starting working on This Morning in 2016 and now appears on BBC’s Morning Live.

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