In May 2023, ITV’s star presenter Phillip Schofield stepped down from This Morning and the channel altogether. Soon after, it was revealed that Schofield had an affair with a member of staff who he had met while he was underage.
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This led to Schofield being accused of grooming which he vehemently denied in a BBC interview in June. Following these revelations, the channel had to start an internal investigation in order 'to establish the facts.' Indeed, it appeared that the affair had been reported prior to this year’s scandal and that ITV first investigation had concluded that no ‘evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour’ had been found.
When the investigation was launched in May 2023, the channel led the public to believe that it would be thorough but now it appears that one key person has not been interrogated…
ITV’s staff to surrender their phones
On 23 August 2023, ITV’s President of Television, Kevin Lygo spoke at the Edinburgh TV Festival. In his interview he shared that the investigator hired by the channel, Jane Mulcahy KC, was ‘talking to everyone involved.’
[She has] taken out phones and looking at every text we’ve sent, including emails and WhatsApps.
He also encouraged the public to exercise patience as ‘the most important thing is to get facts and truth, not a hasty judgement.’ His as well as ITV's statements lead to believe that the 3-month investigation, which is coming to an end, has been thorough and without any blindspots.
New revelations seem to reveal otherwise.
Eamonn Holmes has not been interrogated yet
Just days after Kevin Lygo’s interview, it appears that two key people have been left out of the investigation: Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford. The couple hosted This Morning on Fridays between 2006 and 2021, therefore possibly having significant information on the culture of the show, its environment as well as possible knowledge about Phillip Schofield’s affair.
The fact that Holmes and Langsford have yet to be questioned when the investigation is coming to an end is even stranger when considering the fact that Holmes made a strong statement when the scandal first started. The now GB News presenter said that ITV bosses had ‘covered up’ the affair and that Langsford had ‘looked after’ Schofield’s lover.
An unnamed source told The Sun:
Eamonn has extensive knowledge of the atmosphere at This Morning and has said before he thought Phil's affair was "covered up".
The fact he's not been approached is leading to confusion as he could be key in helping engender change at ITV
Indeed, as British TV is currently going through a wave of scandals about the behaviour of its presenters, the Schofield investigation was perceived as a tipping point where the public would get answers and where TV bosses could implement change. The channel itself had implied that in their original statement saying:
She will review our records and talk to people involved. This work will also consider our relevant processes and policies and whether we need to change or strengthen any
Only the published report of the investigation believed to be coming out in September 2023 will attest of the thoroughness of the investigation.
ITV News: ITV 'found no evidence' when investigating Phillip Schofield affair claims
ITV News: ITV instructs lawyer to review Phillip Schofield and This Morning controversy
Mail Online: Eamonn Holmes 'has not been questioned in Phillip Schofield inquiry' despite findings set to be published 'very soon' - after the GB News star accused ITV of a 'cover up'
Metro: ITV boss issues plea before Phillip Schofield investigation concludes