Dr Ranj Singh blasts This Morning’s ‘toxic culture’ amid Phillip Schofield scandal
TV doctor and former This Morning star Dr Ranj Singh has spoken out about the show’s “toxic culture” amid the ongoing scandal plaguing ITV and the show’s former host, Phillip Schofield.
On Friday (26 May), Schofield, 61, admitted having an “unwise, but not illegal” affair with a much younger, male colleague while still married to his wife, Stephanie Lowe.
The TV presenter admitted in a statement to the Daily Mail that he had lied to his family, to his colleagues and employers at ITV, to his lawyers and to the press about the affair, which began after Schofield helped the young man to begin a career in television.
In the hours after his admission, Schofield’s co-presenter of nearly 14 years, Holly Willoughby, shared her response via a statement on Instagram. In it, she said that she had asked Schofield directly about the rumours of the affair, which began to surface in 2020, and said it was “very hurtful” to find out that she had been lied to.
Willoughby is currently taking a break from presenting duties until 5 June. Schofield has quit all upcoming ITV projects, including This Morning and Dancing on Ice.
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield. (Getty/Karwai Tang)
This Morning, famed for its family-friendly segments and light-hearted humour, has been thrown into chaos by Schofield’s admission.
Now, Dr Ranj Singh, who provided health advice on the ITV morning show for 10 years, has weighed into the Schofield debacle and scratched further below the show’s mellow exterior.
In a statement shared on Twitter, Dr Ranj said that while he “loved and valued” his time on the show, he became “increasingly worried” about how he and other employees were being treated behind the scenes.
“I didn’t know the truth about what was going on with Phillip, but I do know the issues with [This Morning] go far beyond him. It takes more than one person to create a culture,” he wrote.
After raising his concerns about the “behaviour” of This Morning editor Martin Frizell with Emma Gormley, the managing editor of ITV’s daytime shows, Dr Ranj alleged that he “then found myself being used less and less”.
Lots of journalists have been contacting me this weekend enquiring about this, so I think it’s only right that I clarify things.
There is so much more I could say, but for now I hope my concerns will finally be taken seriously, and something good comes from all this…
— Ranj Singh (@DrRanj) May 28, 2023
“I even took my concerns directly to the top of ITV: the culture at This Morning had become toxic, no longer aligned with ITV values, and I felt like because I whistle-blew I was managed out.
“But as history and experience have taught us, things like bullying and discrimination are very hard to prove, particularly in hindsight and when the ‘people in power’ control the narrative. As we’ve seen, no review or investigation is foolproof.”
On Saturday (27 May), ITV announced that it had previously investigated rumours of a relationship between Schofield and the younger man, though both parties denied that anything had happened between them.
Dr Ranj added that he was “assured” that changes would be made behind the scenes at This Morning, though he hasn’t worked at the show since said promises were made.
“That was two years ago and, frankly, it still hurts,” he said, rounding off his statement. “The whole process was pretty heartbreaking and even affected my mental health. But I’m happy to say l’ve found my feet again, know my worth and have found my tribe.”
Schofield has since refuted the claim that This Morning had turned “toxic”, writing on Instagram: “This Morning is the best show to work on, with the best people.”
#BREAKING Phillip Schofield issues new statement denying claims of toxicity at This Morning: pic.twitter.com/yQTclQcYAt
— Ellie Phillips
(@ElliePhillipsUK) May 29, 2023
“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 … You can listen to those persistently loud voices if you like.
“But the thousands of guests over the years, thousands of staff and crew, hundreds of presenters and contributors all know.”
ITV has also dismissed the idea that This Morning could be axed, and responded to Dr Ranj’s comments by stating the network is “fully committed to providing every opportunity for anyone who works with us to raise any concern or comments they may have”.
“Following a complaint made by Dr Ranj, we appointed an external and independent adviser to carry out a review. This external review found no evidence of bullying or discrimination.”