This Morning boss Martin Frizell said “scores are being settled” when asked about claims of a toxic culture at the ITV show.
Phillip Schofield resigned from ITV last week and was dropped by his talent agency, YMU, after admitting having an “unwise, but not illegal” relationship with a man who he worked with on This Morning.
Schofield’s affair took place while the television star was still married to wife Stephanie Lowe, and before he came out publicly as gay in 2020.
He had denied having a relationship with a colleague when questioned by ITV about rumours in early 2020.
When asked about allegations of a toxic culture at This Morning by Sky News, Mr Frizell said: “To read between the lines, I think there’s some scores being settled.”
Dr Ranj Singh, who used to work on This Morning, claimed there had been a “toxic culture” at the show, adding when he brought up his concerns, he was “managed out”.
Mr Frizell also told Sky News he is not concerned about what the external review of the saga may reveal, saying: “We’re looking forward to speaking to the KC – she’s very, very learned.
“She’ll get to the bottom [of it]. If there are questions to be answered, I’m sure she will find those answers.
He also praised his staff, adding: “All I just want to say is… I’m working with a fantastic team of mainly women, many mums, all of them concerned for their job.
“But this is the 23rd day now of being on the front page, and it’s tiring. They worked all through COVID brilliantly, they’re all going through this, putting a programme up two-and-a-half hours a day, and I just think we just need a bit of respite now.”
Mr Frizell’s comments come after a tumultuous week for ITV, which culminated with Schofield giving tabloid and BBC interviews, in an effort to clear his name.
Speaking to the BBC’s Amol Rajan, he said his career was over, and “I have to talk about television in the past tense, which breaks my heart… I have lost everything”.
In an interview with The Sun, he said he felt “utterly broken and ashamed” but insisted he “did not” groom the man, as he told the paper he will “die sorry” and said his “greatest apology” over the fallout from the affair was to his former lover.
He also likened his situation to that faced by Caroline Flack before her death in 2020.
Speaking to the BBC’s Newsnight programme, Flack’s mother, Christine, said ITV “haven’t learned anything” since the death of her daughter.
She added she believed Schofield and his former lover were going through an “awful time”, and asked them not to do “anything silly”.
Ms Flack said Schofield “knew Caroline” and when she died, “he was very upset”.
“I think he’s now realising even more what she went through. But until it happens to you, you feel sad, but you don’t understand.”
Holly Willoughby is expected to return to the This Morning sofa on Monday, after taking a half-term break.
Meanwhile, veteran LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tatchell claimed on Saturday that “the trashing of Phillip Schofield has more than a whiff of homophobia. Anti-gay prejudice is explicit on social media and implicit in much of the national media.”
“The age gap between Schofield and the young man is cast as sordid and abusive,” he said.
“There was never such a massive hue and cry over relationships with much younger women by Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Pacino and Peter Stringfellow,” Mr Tatchell said.
He also pointed out the 23-year age difference between former prime minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie Symonds, adding: “there was no fuss over their relationship or accusations that Johnson had abused his power position”.
“It’s rank double standards about Schofield’s same-sex relationship.”
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