ITV enlists barrister for external review of Schofield’s affair handling

A barrister has been appointed by ITV to lead an external review into the network’s handling of a relationship between Phillip Schofield and a younger male colleague. The review was confirmed by ITV’s chief executive, Dame Carolyn McCall, in a letter seen by the PA news agency. Schofield, 61 years old, resigned from ITV last week after admitting to having an “unwise but not illegal” affair with the colleague.

Jane Mulcahy KC will be responsible for reviewing records and speaking to those involved in the case. Dame Carolyn’s letter, addressed to Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer, Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee chair Dame Caroline Dinenage, and Ofcom chief executive Dame Melanie Dawes, stated that the review would also consider relevant processes and policies and whether any changes or strengthening were necessary.

ITV had previously investigated rumours of a relationship between Schofield and the colleague in 2020 but found no evidence beyond hearsay and rumour. Both parties had also denied the relationship. However, in light of Schofield’s recent admission, the review will extend to cover any related issues that may emerge.

Dame Carolyn’s letter highlighted the “significant media coverage” surrounding the matter and the importance of offering support to the former employee involved in the affair. The individual had been 19 years old when he first did work experience at This Morning and 20 years old when he secured a job as a runner on the show.

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ITV bosses, including Dame Carolyn, are set to face MPs on the Commons DCMS Committee to discuss reforms to the laws governing public broadcasting. MP John Nicolson, a former BBC journalist who sits on the committee and is also the SNP’s culture spokesman, expressed his concern over recent events at ITV and his eagerness to get answers from the network’s executives.

Schofield’s departure from ITV followed reports of a rift with his co-star Holly Willoughby. The Prince’s Trust also dropped Schofield as an ambassador, stating that it was “no longer appropriate” for the charity to work with the presenter.

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Jamie Cartwright

Jamie is a keen traveler, writer, and (English) teacher. A few years after finishing school in the East Mids, UK, he went traveling around South America and Asia. Several teaching and writing jobs, he found himself at The Thaiger where he mostly covers international news and events.

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