Dr Ranj Singh, former star of This Morning, has spoken out about the “toxic culture” at the ITV daytime show. He claimed that he was “managed out” after taking his concerns to Emma Gormley, the head of ITV Daytime. In a post on Twitter, Dr Ranj stated that he was on the show for ten years and genuinely loved and valued working there. However, over time, he grew increasingly worried about things happening behind the scenes and how people, including himself, were being treated. He did not know the truth about what was going on with Philip Schofield, but he knew that the issues with This Morning go far beyond him.
Dr Ranj stated that it takes more than one person to create a culture. He did what he thought was right and made a complaint about This Morning editor Martin Frizell’s behaviour, especially given that his job was to look after people’s wellbeing, and he had been heavily involved in diversity, anti-bullying, and mental health projects across the channel. However, he then found himself being used less and less. He even took his concerns directly to the top of ITV, stating that the culture at This Morning had become toxic, was no longer aligned with ITV values, and, because he whistle-blew, he was managed out.
Dr Ranj acknowledged that bullying and discrimination are very hard to prove, particularly in hindsight when “people in power” control the narrative. He stated that no review or investigation is foolproof, as history and experience have taught us. He has not worked on the show since and was not the only one who has spoken up or experienced something similar. Dr Ranj claimed that the whole process was pretty heart-breaking and even affected his mental health. However, he was happy to say that he had found his feet again, knew his worth, and had found his tribe.
ITV Carried Out External Review and Found No Evidence to Support Dr Ranj’s Complaint of Bullying
An ITV spokesperson told Sky News that the channel carried out an external review following a complaint made by Dr Ranj and found no evidence to support the complaint of bullying. Dr Ranj started working on This Morning in 2016 and now appears on BBC’s Morning Live.
Dr Ranj’s statement comes as ITV confirmed that Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary would present the show after days of revelations about ex-presenter Phillip Schofield’s behavior and the culture on set. Last Saturday, Schofield announced that he would be leaving This Morning after 20 years at the helm following reports that his relationship with co-host Holly Willoughby had become strained.
Less than a week later, Schofield released a statement admitting to an “unwise, but not illegal” affair with a “much younger man” and announced he was stepping down from ITV completely. He also admitted that he lied about the affair to ITV bosses, his agents, and the media, resulting in the channel saying it was “deeply disappointed by the admissions of deceit,” and his management company YMU Group dropping him. ITV confirmed on Saturday that they had investigated “rumors of a relationship” in 2020, but the pair repeatedly denied the affair.
Ms. Willoughby said the admission was “very hurtful,” while other TV personalities, including Eamonn Holmes and Andrea Catherwood, hit out at ITV executives. ITV’s Director of Television Kevin Lygo told Sky News on Sunday that “no mistakes” were made in the 2020 investigation, while newspapers reported that the channel was considering axing the program.
Dr Ranj’s statement highlights the importance of standing up to toxic cultures and bullying, even if it is scary and difficult. It is crucial to do the right thing, or nothing will change. The recent events at This Morning are a wake-up call for the entertainment industry to address these issues and create safer and healthier work environments.