ITV boss says they do not have 'anything to hide' as Schofield inquiry continues

Itv Boss Says They Do Not Have 'Anything To Hide' As Schofield Inquiry Continues
Jane Mulcahy KC is currently leading an external review of the facts after Schofield’s departure which is expected to be completed in September. Photo: PA Images
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Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment Reporter

An ITV boss has said the broadcaster does not have “anything to hide” as he confirmed they are co-operating with the independent inquiry being undertaken in relation to Phillip Schofield.

Schofield exited ITV’s This Morning programme and the broadcaster itself in May after admitting to having a relationship with a younger male former colleague.


His departure also sparked further allegations the programme was fostering a bullying culture that had been described as toxic.

Jane Mulcahy KC is currently leading an external review of the facts after Schofield’s departure which is expected to be completed in September.



Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, ITV’s managing director Kevin Lygo said: “She (Mulcahy) has been talking to everybody involved, they take your phone and look at every single text you’ve ever sent, email, WhatsApp.

“So, everything is available, lots of interviews, talking to everybody and I hope as soon as possible, but probably in September, she will make that public.”

ITV bosses have previously said both Schofield and his younger lover “repeatedly denied” allegations of a relationship until the former This Morning presenter departed from ITV and formally apologised.


ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall told MPs that “we were repeatedly told nothing was happening” and both men denied it “both formally and informally”.

Addressing how ITV handles duty of care, Lygo said: “We do, trust me, take it incredibly seriously.

“I don’t think we’ve got anything to hide and if we can adapt and change our processes to make it better, then we should do so on a continuing basis.”

Veteran BBC presenter Huw Edwards had been accused of paying a young person for sexually explicit photos.


The corporation came under fire for its handling of initial complaints against the newsreader and has launched a review into how it handles non-editorial complaints.

Asked whether he would consider a cross-broadcaster initiative to tackle these type of issues, Lygo said he feels these projects can become complicated and he thinks ITV is leading the way with duty-of-care policies due to having experience with it from shows like Love Island.

BBC presenter explicit photos allegations
Huw Edwards was suspended by the BBC following allegations he paid a teenager tens of thousands of pounds for sexually-explicit images (Chris Jackson/PA)


He said that recent instances with Schofield and Edwards had shown there needs to be a focus on “what’s going on behind the scenes” as well as on camera.

“Ten years ago this wasn’t even on the agenda, so I think it’s a good thing that we’re all assessing the right way to treat people and a lot of it is common sense and decency,” he added.

During the panel talk, Lygo also addressed how ITV would react if allegations were made against journalist Dan Wootton in relation to his time while working as a showbiz correspondent on ITV’s Lorraine.

The GB News presenter has been accused on using a pseudonym and offering colleagues money for sexual material which has prompted the publishers of MailOnline, where he has a column, and his previous employers at The Sun newspaper to look into the allegations.

Asked whether ITV would also launch an inquiry into Wootton, Lygo said: “He doesn’t work for us any more, so that makes it complicated. We haven’t had any complaints, to my knowledge, about it.

“If anything comes to light that was untoward whilst he was at Lorraine, which is quite a few years ago now, then, yes, we should have a look at it.”

Last month, TV presenter Wootton used his self-titled GB News programme to admit he had made “errors of judgment” in the past but branded the “criminal allegations” as “simply untrue”.

Elsewhere on the ITV panel, the controller of ITV2, ITVBe and CITV, Paul Mortimer, confirmed they have committed to two series of their Big Brother show but believes the run will be extended as he feels it will be a “hit” show.

The reality series will be back on screens later this year following its revival by ITV five years after it was axed by Channel 5.

He told the festival audience that they are currently building the house and have signed off on most of the casting.

“We have bought into Big Brother. A lot of us at ITV are Big Brother fans, a lot us worked at Channel 4 when Big Brother was conceived and it was there for 10 years,” Mortimer said.

“I can’t imagine that we’re in it just to do two six-week runs across 2023 and 2024. This is the start of it, so watch this space.”

During the opening debate on Wednesday at the festival – titled Who Holds The Power In TV? – a panel reflected on how a number of issues with high-profile presenters have arisen lately.

Jon Thoday, co-founding managing director of Avalon Entertainment, known for shows such as Taskmaster, Catastrophe and Starstruck, told the event: “If you run a business, and there’s something or somebody’s doing something wrong, it’s unusual not to know about it, and I think that, for me, it was odd, some of the ITV stuff.

“I’m surprised they didn’t (know about Schofield). Maybe it’s such a big business that they didn’t, but I think in the end it’s management’s job to know what is going on.”

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