ITV unveils new policy in hopes of avoiding another scandal like Phillip Schofield's

Phillip Schofield’s dramatic departure from This Morning in May 2023 has had an impact on the programme and now on the channel itself. A look at ITV’s new policy.

Phillip Schofield ITV This Morning scandal policy
© Karwai Tang & Nathan Stirk / GETTY IMAGES
Phillip Schofield ITV This Morning scandal policy

Phillip Schofield’s exit from This Morning after 20 years on the famous sofa has been a topic of conversation since it happened in May 2023. According to a statement he released at the time, his exit followed an ‘unwise but not illegal’ affair he had with a member of staff whom he met when he was underage.

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After his departure, This Morning struggled and the struggle culminated when in early October, Holly Willoughby announced that she was leaving. Willoughby’s exit was a logical turn of events as a plot against her life had been uncovered.

The difficult months ITV has experienced have motivated them to make some internal changes.

ITV reviews its policy

It came out on Sunday 22 October 2023 via The Sunday Times that ITV had made some significant changes to their policy when it comes to relationships between co-workers.

According to The Sunday Times, the updated documents says:

If a personal relationship exists between you and another colleague (whether it started prior to or during the course of your employment or engagement with ITV), both parties must disclose this to the company at the earliest opportunity

The Guardian explains that the Personal Relationships at Work Policy update was given to ITV staff earlier in October. It is understood that the relationships members of staff must ‘disclose’ aren’t just romantic or sexual. Indeed, The Guardian quotes the update and writes that ‘a person living in the same household’ or a ‘friendship’ must be shared with the channel.

The Sunday Times highlights that people who fail to abide by the update could face serious consequences including losing their jobs. Moreover, the update concerns all members of staff including ‘freelancers, consultants, contractors and those on work experience.’

The impact of Phillip Schofield

One cannot deny the impact of the Schofield scandal on this update. Indeed, the affair Schofield had with a member of staff has been the subject of both internal and external investigations.

In August 2023, at the Edinburgh TV Festival, ITV boss Kevin Lygo explained that the scandal had been taken seriously by ITV and that it could result in the channel changing ‘(their) process to make it better.

He had also explained that the investigation, led by mediator Jane Mulcahy, had required members of staff to hand over their phones in order to determine who knew about the affair.

With this change of policy, which an anonymous ITV employee told The Guardian was ‘properly mad’ and a ‘step too far’, the channel is clearly looking to avoid another Phillip Schofield scandal. However, it might be the first step in changing how major TV channels deal with the indiscretions of their star presenters after 2023 uncovered several.

Read more:

Huw Edwards and Phillip Schofield’s scandals trigger demand for change as TV bosses are under fire

Phillip Schofield: Richard Madeley calls out ITV’s ‘savage and brutal’ firing

Dan Wootton: Where has the presenter gone after dramatic exit from GB News?


The Sunday Times: ITV tells staff to declare friendships or face sack after Schofield scandal

Sky News: Phillip Schofield: ITV orders staff to disclose relationships with colleagues after presenter controversy

The Guardian: New ITV rules require staff to ‘declare relationships with colleagues’

Metro: ITV boss issues plea before Phillip Schofield investigation concludes

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