Eamonn Holmes insists, 'I know the truth' over 'toxic culture' at ITV

Defiant Eamonn Holmes insists, ‘I know the truth’ over ‘toxic culture’ at ITV – after bosses insisted he never complained during his time on This Morning

Eamonn Holmes’ war of words with Phillip Schofield and ITV continued today as he hit back at claims he never spoke up about the alleged toxic culture at This Morning, raging: ‘I know the truth’.

The GB News presenter’s comments over the past month were criticised during yesterday’s Parliamentary hearing, in which ITV bosses Carolyn McCall and Kevin Lygo were quizzed by MPs.

In a jibe at Eamonn, Mr Lygo claimed that former presenters hitting out at the channel hadn’t made claims while they were at ITV. And, he added, it ‘wasn’t surprising’ to hear such comments.

Reacting to that for the first time, Eamonn said on GB News this morning: ‘There’s a scene in a Few Good Men where Jack Nicholson shouts “you can’t handle the truth”. Well, I know the truth and I know what the truth is.

‘I know what I know and they [ITV] don’t seem to know a lot. People take sides on these things whether it’s the Boris business or the Phillip Schofield business. But people can’t handle the truth.’

Managing director Kevin Lygo was among three broadcast bosses grilled by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee yesterday in the wake of Mr Schofield’s affair

Eamonn Holmes was targeted by ITV bosses during a committee hearing, after voicing criticism over the network’s handling of the Phillip Schofield scandal. Today he said: ‘I know the truth’

Schofield has apologised to Holly Willoughby, who presented This Morning with him for 14 years, for lying about his secret relationship with his colleague (centre) and for tainting her public image. But denied This Morning was a ‘toxic’ place to work

Eamonn also repeated his demand, which he made yesterday that ITV bosses make public the evidence for how their investigation into Schofield’s affair was carried out.

He added: ‘I’d just like to see the documentary evidence and see what the quiz was and what the questions were. I’m surprised that wasn’t asked for because my understanding of it was both parties were basically asked are you OK, are you OK. Yes? Yes? OK, Both happy? And that was it….’

ITV managing director Kevin Lygo was among three broadcast bosses grilled by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee in the wake of Schofield’s departure after admitting to an ‘unwise but not illegal’ affair with a younger male colleague.

Since the 61-year-old’s resignation, This Morning has been plagued with allegations of ‘toxicity’, including from the show’s former resident doctor Dr Ranj Singh, who raised concerns about ‘bullying and discrimination’ and afterwards felt like he was ‘managed out’ for whistleblowing.

Eamonn Holmes also took aim recently, when he tweeted in May: ‘Four high members of ITV management knew what sort of man he [Schofield] was and never once took action to prevent him controlling or taking advantage of his position over young people.’

The claims were categorically denied by the ITV chiefs and described as ‘defamatory’ yesterday, while Mr Lygo offered his own explosive response, accusing the GB News host of bitterness after he was axed from This Morning after 15 years on the sofa.

Confession: TV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall admitted she failed to investigate and told MPs the broadcaster is paying for the star’s counselling

He said: ‘It’s quite a few people, who’ve got a platform now with a show elsewhere or a newspaper column, or just on Twitter, having a big go.

‘It just occurred to me the other day that these people, they worked as presenters on ITV for very long times, some of them, over ten years.

‘There was never any complaint from them whilst they were there, if they wanted anything it was ‘more work please, we love it here, can we do more’.

‘Presenters of programmes often have a slight feeling of divine right to stay there forever.

‘ITV as a company and producers of programmes maybe have a different agenda, want to change and refresh, want to bring on new people and so forth.

‘It’s only really – and this is why I do have sympathy for them – when you have to have the difficult conversation of ‘Thank you very much, it’s been really good but actually we’d like you to do less’.

‘It’s not very nice and I get that because this is their life, they love it, they’ve never complained, they thoroughly enjoy it.

‘And their response is one of disappointment and ‘Oh can’t I stay and do anything?’

‘Which is why I tend almost never to just ‘cut’ but say ‘Thank you very much for all the work you’ve been doing, you’ve done a great job, but we want to try new things, we’re not jettisoning you, we’d just like you to do a bit less or something else for you’.

‘Because they have been, generally speaking, loyal servants to ITV and they deserve to be treated like that.

‘It’s not surprising that when they go, they’re suddenly like ‘Oh I hate ITV, it’s awful’, when for decade or more, they were there reaping the rewards and enjoying the job and everybody seemed to get on.’

Chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall also distanced herself from Holmes’ comments, adding: ‘It’s actually defamatory, never mind anything else.’

It came as Holmes himself once again his out at ITV and this morning demanded a transcript of its investigation into his former colleague – before the committee hearing got underway.

Speaking on GB News this morning, he said: ‘They didn’t ask [if he was having an affair], I know exactly what they asked.

‘They need a transcript of what actually took place that day because that was not a thorough investigation.’

This Morning has been plagued with allegations of ‘toxicity’, including from the show’s former resident doctor Dr Ranj Singh, who raised concerns about ‘bullying and discrimination’ and afterwards felt like he was ‘managed out’ for whistleblowing

Last month, Eamonn Holmes alleged that ITV had known about Phillip’s ‘unwise, but not illegal’ affair with a younger male colleague , accusing the broadcaster of a ‘total cover up’ 

Guest Andrew Pierce agreed with Holmes and backed up his statement, saying ITV ‘botched this inquiry.’

He added: ‘Carolyn McCall had a duty to get to the bottom of this. It was widely rumoured at ITV that this affair was going on. ITV botched this inquiry, it wasn’t even an inquiry.’

Last month, Holmes alleged that ITV had known about Phillip’s ‘unwise, but not illegal’ affair with a younger male colleague, accusing the broadcaster of a ‘total cover up.’

He also claimed that ‘those in authority had to know’ because the man was ferried between Phillip’s £1million home and the studios in taxis ‘paid for by ITV’.

He said: ‘Thursday was playtime when he and Phillip would hit the town and then he obviously stayed overnight. There are records to show that he was brought in the next day separately in cars paid for by ITV.’

Holmes has had a fraught relationship with ITV recently after he and his wife Ruth Langsford were controversially removed from This Morning in November 2021 after 15 years of a service. 

They were replaced by Friday hosts Dermot O’Leary and Alison Hammond.

Last month, he blasted ‘woke ITV’ and claims stars who do not agree with the bosses’ narrative are axed.

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