ITV releases “talent charter” for presenters, no “toxic culture” found on ‘This Morning’

ITV has decided to lay down the law with its high-profile presenters by publishing a talent “charter” that outlines the standards expected from them. This comes after the long-awaited Phillip Schofield review found no evidence of a “toxic culture” on This Morning, much to the disappointment of gossipmongers everywhere.

Led by Jane Mulcahy KC, the review made some recommendations following the Schofield scandal, but put to rest the idea of a “toxic culture” on the show. Schofield, who resigned from This Morning in disgrace after admitting to a years-long affair with a much younger colleague, was in the hot seat for quite some time. ITV instructed Mulcahy to review the facts around Schofield’s departure, but denied any knowledge of the affair or a “toxic culture” on the show.

After speaking to 48 people, Mulcahy found that only one person had any knowledge of the affair and that employee did not report their knowledge to anyone at the time. ITV Chairman Andy Cosslett stated that her review “makes it clear that ITV’s management made considerable efforts to determine the truth about an alleged relationship” between Schofield and the younger colleague, referred to as Person X.

Schofield declined to participate in the review, with Mulcahy stating that his “mental health has deteriorated” since she invited him for an interview in August. It seems like the drama just keeps piling on for poor Schofield.

Mulcahy’s recommendations included the creation of a talent “charter” that outlines the key standards ITV expects from its presenters. This is the first of its kind and it will be interesting to see how it will be enforced. Other recommendations included making increased efforts to ensure that This Morning and the daytime team embraces ITV’s Speaking Up policy, with managers ensuring that all staff know there is a safe space to complain or raise concerns.

After considering nine complaints since 2016 and eight concerns articulated in response to the review, Mulcahy concluded that ITV largely succeeds in applying policies and procedures, but stressed that these procedures would function better if “people were more confident to air their concerns in the first place.” It sounds like a classic case of needing to create a better open-door policy, doesn’t it?

Further recommendations included reviewing the structure of This Morning and daytime to ensure close and centralized control of both production and editorial, as well as revisiting its HR structures and centralizing employee information. ITV should also put in place “open and direct” routes for communication with freelancers and clarify the routes for handling complaints raised about or related to ITV talent. It seems like ITV has a lot of work to do behind the scenes.

It appears that ITV has accepted the recommendations in full, which is a step in the right direction. And to everyone’s disappointment, Mulcahy did not find any evidence of a “toxic culture” on This Morning. ITV Chairman Andy Cosslett stated that “our promise to those we work with is that where a complaint is made, or serious concerns raised, we will always investigate and if we find that something inappropriate has happened, we will take action.” It sounds like ITV is trying to do some damage control here.

The behavior of on-screen talent behind the camera has been the subject of much chatter this year, with scandals involving Huw Edwards and James Martin. It seems like the drama never ends in the world of television. But hopefully, with the publication of the talent “charter” and the implementation of Mulcahy’s recommendations, ITV can start to clean up its act and create a more respectful and professional environment for everyone involved. Only time will tell if these measures will be effective, but in the meantime, let’s grab some popcorn and watch the drama unfold.

Share this article: