After Phillip Schofield lied about an affair with a considerably younger male colleague on This Morning, ITV personnel were apparently ordered to make their friendships and relationships public.
The 61-year-old host famously departed the channel and walked away from the spotlight earlier this year after confessing to having an affair.
He described his contact with the runner, who has not been publicly identified, as ‘unwise but not unlawful,’ and subsequently vehemently refuted allegations that he ‘groomed’ the runner.
According to reports, the broadcaster has now modified its policy on coworker relationships, which had been in effect since October of last year.
According to the Sunday Times, the document reads: ‘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.’
Schofield’s departure from This Morning spurred further charges that the show was fostering a poisonous bullying culture, with people including Dr Ranj Singh and Eamonn Holmes speaking out.
Following his departure from the broadcaster, an external investigation into the facts was initiated in May, according to Dame Carolyn McCall’s letter to Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer, DCMS Committee chair Dame Caroline Dinenage, and Ofcom chief executive Dame Melanie Dawes.
In the letter, she wrote that ITV takes the matter ‘extremely seriously and have reviewed our own records … [which] show that when rumours of a relationship between Phillip Schofield and an employee of ITV first began to circulate in late 2019/early 2020 ITV investigated.’
Holly Willoughby, Schofield’s former co-star, recently announced that she will not be returning to host the show.
In a social media message, the 42-year-old broadcaster said it was a ‘sad farewell’ and thanked ‘faithful and supportive’ listeners.