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ITV’s Managing Director Kevin Lygo Discusses Transparency and Duty of Care Amid Phillip Schofield Inquiry

ITV’s Managing Director, Kevin Lygo, has stated that the broadcaster is fully cooperating with an independent inquiry led by Jane Mulcahy KC, which is investigating the allegations surrounding Phillip Schofield’s departure from ITV’s This Morning program. Schofield exited the program in May after admitting to having an extramarital relationship with a younger male colleague, which sparked further allegations of a toxic bullying culture within the program.

Lygo emphasized that ITV is committed to transparency, stating, “We do, trust me, take it incredibly seriously. We don’t think we’ve got anything to hide, and if we can adapt and change our processes to make it better, then we should do so on a continuing basis.” The inquiry is expected to be completed in September and will likely make public its findings.

ITV Chief Executive Dame Carolyn McCall previously stated that Schofield and his younger lover “repeatedly denied” allegations of a relationship until Schofield’s departure from ITV and formal apology. Lygo acknowledged that the allegations against Schofield and other high-profile presenters, such as Huw Edwards, have brought attention to the importance of duty of care in the media industry.

Lygo expressed his confidence in ITV’s handling of duty of care, citing the experience gained from shows like Love Island. However, he acknowledged that recent instances have shown the need for a focus on what’s going on behind the scenes, as well as on camera. He emphasized the importance of common sense and decency in treating people, stating, “Ten years ago this wasn’t even on the agenda, so I think it’s a good thing that we’re all assessing the right way to treat people.”

ITV’s Managing Director, Kevin Lygo (Via Kevin Lygo/Twitter)

In response to the scandal surrounding Dan Wootton, a former showbiz correspondent for ITV’s Lorraine, Lygo stated that ITV would look into the allegations if anything came to light from Wootton’s time at Lorraine, which was years ago. Wootton has been accused of using a pseudonym and offering colleagues money for sexual material, allegations he has denied.

The panel discussion at the Edinburgh TV Festival also touched on the revival of Big Brother, which will return to screens later this year on ITV. The controller of ITV2, ITVBe, and CITV, Paul Mortimer, expressed confidence in the show’s potential for success, stating that he believes it will be a “hit” show.

The event’s opening debate, titled “Who Holds The Power In TV?”, reflected on the recent issues surrounding high-profile presenters, with Jon Thoday, co-founding managing director of Avalon Entertainment, questioning how ITV seemed unaware of Schofield’s allegations. This article highlights the importance of transparency and accountability in the media industry, particularly in the wake of recent scandals involving TV presenters.

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