ITV director of television Peter Fincham has confirmed This Morning’s Phillip Schofield will stay on air despite the show being probed by Ofcom over a blunder that saw the presenter disclose a list of alleged paedophiles to Prime Minister David Cameron.
Fincham also confirmed that ITV had received a letter from Lord McAlpine’s solicitors, shortly before it was announced the BBC had paid the peer £185,000 for falsely linking him to child abuse claims at a North Wales care home.
Speaking to ITV news last night, Fincham said Schofield’s behaviour “was wrong, was misguided”.
“On that day Phillip Schofield issued a statement apologising,” he said. “We did the same. We launched an investigation straight away.”
Fincham refused to discuss the details of disciplinary action taken against the presenter, however, commenting only that: “He apologised for it extremely fully and extremely quickly and I discussed that with him and I think he’s under no illusions that this was a lapse in ITV journalism; this is something we shouldn’t have done.”
He added: “I can’t discuss the details of the disciplinary action but I can assure you that we think it’s appropriate and we have taken this extremely seriously.”
Fincham was later asked: “Where was the editor? Where were the production staff? Why was Phillip thrusting this list at the Prime Minister?”
He replied: “I’m not happy that this happened. We have editorial processes and checks in place and to be honest with you they weren’t followed so I’m not happy about that but I think the way we have tackled this and responded to this has been quick and decisive.
“I’m happy we won’t see something like this happen again on This Morning or any other ITV programme.”