ITV faces ultimatum as prospect of ‘heads rolling’ looms over show amid Schofield row

Charlotte Griffiths (left), Phillip Schofield (right)

Charlotte Griffiths says heads could roll at This Morning

GB News / PA
Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 30/05/2023

- 17:17

The channel's flagship programme, This Morning, has been plunged into chaos

This Morning faces the prospect of advertisers pulling out unless “heads roll” according to a showbiz reporter.

It comes as ITV finds itself in turmoil as furore surrounding Phillip Schofield admitting to an affair with a much younger male continues to plague the broadcaster.

Questions have been raised about whether key individuals at the company were aware of the matter in question, and could have acted earlier as a result.

Schofield resigned from ITV on Friday and was dropped by his talent agency YMU after making the admission.

Phillip SchofieldPhillip Schofield has quit ITVPA

Holly Willoughby, Schofield’s long term co-host is among the names to have said in recent days that they raised concerns with bosses in previous years.

Mail on Sunday reporter Charlotte Griffiths says doubt is beginning to creep into the minds of advertisers, with many weighing up whether they should sever ties with ITV.

She told GB News that we may see “heads roll” in days and weeks to come as the broadcaster desperately seeks to hold on to key backers.

Speaking to Dawn Neesom and Andrew Pierce, Griffiths said: “ITV are going to have to answer some questions over this.

“I would be very surprised if there weren’t any more announcements as this goes on.

“They might get rid of a few more people at the top to get ahead of that and show that they are actually doing something because they can’t afford to lose many more advertisers.

“This will be the week where we see advertisers either start saying they’re not going to renew their contracts in their droves, or we’re going to see heads roll.”

According to The Mail On Sunday, Schofield first met the younger ITV colleague whom he later had an affair with when he was aged 15.

Lawyers representing Schofield have confirmed they met when the boy was 15, but said the affair began after he started working at ITV, and the man’s lawyers have also said that it started after he joined the broadcaster.

In a statement on Friday, Schofield said it was when the younger man joined the show as an adult that their affair began.

ITV said it investigated “rumours of a relationship” between Schofield and the ITV employee about three years ago but both parties “categorically and repeatedly denied” it.

A spokesperson for the broadcaster said on Saturday that ITV was “not provided with, and did not find, any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour” when it looked into the matter in 2020.

In the wake of his resignation, Schofield has hit out at suggestions the show was becoming “toxic” before his departure.

In a post on Instagram, he said there was “no toxicity” on the show.

He added: “I hope you have noticed that it’s the same handful of people with a grudge against me or the show who seem to have the loudest voice.”

GB News’ Eamonn Holmes responded to Schofield’s claim, saying the “toxicity” laid firmly at his door.

In an exclusive interview with Dan Wootton, he said: “I think that Phillip is absolutely right about toxicity,” he said.

“But my friend, the toxicity is not with me, Dan Wootton, or anyone else, the toxicity is with you.”

Holmes previously presented This Morning on Fridays with wife Ruth Langsford.

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