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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Susan Knox

Kerry Katona slams 'fake friendships' at This Morning as stars speak out on 'toxic' ITV

In recent weeks, ITV has come under fire amid claims This Morning bosses 'covered up' Phillip Schofield's affair with a much younger colleague after his secret relationship was exposed amid his fall from grace and his rumoured feud with co-star Holly Willoughby.

Former This Morning star Eamonn Holmes, 63, claimed that ITV had known about Phillip's affair 'all along' before he claimed that ITV daytime is full of 'toxicity'.

After Eamonn spoke out in a bombshell interview with Dan Wootton on GB News last month, several other stars, including former Loose Womens star Carol McGiffin and Kerry Katona have also shared their experiences of being in a 'toxic environment' while at ITV.

ITV chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall will appear in Parliament this week to discuss the network’s handling of Phillip's secret affair with a young showrunner, after Phillip, 61, insisted that nobody at ITV had known about his relationship with the This Morning employee - claiming that he lied to everyone.

However, Phillip's statement is in stark opposition to Eamonn's, who claims that ITV knew about and 'covered up' Phil’s affair.

Many other high-profile stars are now coming forward to talk about their experiences at ITV too, and here, we take a look.

Kerry Katona

Kerry has hit out at ITV (GB News)

Amid the drama surrounding Holly and Phil and This Morning as a whole, Kerry Katona has been incredibly vocal about her experiences with 'toxic behaviour' at ITV.

Last week, Kerry, 42, slammed Phillip Schofield for his treatment of her after her troubling 2008 appearance on the famous sofa.

Kerry claims that after the appearance, she thought about taking her own life as she became a 'national laughing stock' amid her bipolar battle as thousands of people believed she was under the influence while chatting with Phillip and Holly.

The mum-of-five also claimed that ITV failed to ask her if she 'needed a doctor or any help' after her appearance.

She then called for ITV bosses to change the show completely, and get rid of the 'fake friendships' between the presenters.

“They need to revamp the show. It’s tarnished and tainted and it’s sh*te. All these new relationships with Alison Hammond and Josie Gibson are just not believable," Kerry insisted.

She also didn't hold back when sharing her opinion on Holly Willoughby's opening statement about Phillip when she made her return to This Morning last Monday.

“I thought Holly’s speech about Phil on This Morning last week was an absolute load of sh*te. It was awful. I felt it was so staged, so rehearsed, so heartless, so soulless. People want realness. No one believes Holly any more. I’d have more respect for her if she left This Morning and Dancing On Ice and said, ‘Do you know what, it’s time for me to walk away.’

"I have nothing against her at all, but as a viewer, I just don’t think it’s working any more. If it was up to me, I’d like Amanda Holden and Rylan to present it.”

Dr Ranj Singh

Amid the ongoing controversy surrounding claims that ITV bosses 'covered up' Phillip's affair with a young showrunner while he was still married, Dr Ranj took to social media to blast the channel's 'toxic culture'.

He shared his experience on the show and explained why he made the decision to leave the broadcaster.

Ranj claimed that after making a complaint to ITV bosses about the toxic culture, he was pushed out of This Morning with no reasonable explanation as others were given more opportunities than him.

Following Ranj's statement, an ITV spokesperson told The Mirror: "We are sorry to read Dr Ranj’s post today. At ITV we are 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 advisor to carry out a review. This external review found no evidence of bullying or discrimination.

Carol McGiffin

Carol called Loose Women 'too woke' and slammed the 'toxicity' at ITV (Ken McKay/ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Former Loose Women star Carol McGiffin has branded the network as 'cut-throat, competitive and ruthless' in recent weeks.

Carol, who recently revealed she will never watch Loose Women again because it's become 'too woke', claimed that she had many encounters with Phillip Schofield were he was rude and claimed that 'nobody ever had a good word to say' about the This Morning host.

The former ITV star also described the network as 'deeply dysfunctional behind the scenes and at it's core.

"They go on about the ‘ITV Daytime Family’ being cosy best mates, all caring and kind, but in my opinion it’s about as dysfunctional as they come. It’s cut-throat, competitive and ruthless, and can be quite unpleasant, and as soon as your face doesn’t fit any more, or you disagree with their narrative, you’re out the door," she said on GB News.

Piers Morgan

Former Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan, 58, has been incredibly vocal throughout Phillip's fall from TV grace and the presenter has thrown his support behind Phil, reaching out to him publicly and letting him know that he's there.

Piers weighed in on the argument, saying the 'savages' at ITV knew about Phillip's affair with the young runner 'all along'.

“Everybody knew at ITV, right, let’s be crystal clear,” he claimed.

Rebecca Ferguson

Rebecca Ferguson sparked welfare concerns after being bullied (Ken McKay/Rex Features)
She appeared on the X Factor in 2010 (Getty Images)

After the news of Phillip's affair came to light, and as several stars started to speak out on ITV's alleged 'toxicity', former X Factor star Rebecca Ferguson called out the network for it's lack of duty of care following her stint on the talent show.

The singer, 39, who shot to fame on the ITV show back in 2010, spoke out about her 'traumatic experience' on the show, describing it as 'hellish' as she slammed all the ways in which she felt 'let down' by those in power who were supposed to protect her.

Rebecca also claimed that wrote to the channel two years ago and asked them to review their code of conduct, following the tragic deaths Love Island stars, including presenter Caroline Flack and former islander, Mike Thalassitis.

However, Rebecca claims she was informed by the broadcaster’s chief operating officer Sarah Clarke that an inquiry would not be going ahead.

Rebecca later claimed she spoke to a string of other ITV reality stars who raised concerns about their treatment and aftercare, however, they had been under 'several' non-disclosure agreements after appearing on ITV and could not speak out.

In response to Rebecca's, claims an ITV spokesperson said the broadcaster is “committed to having suitable processes to protect the mental health and welfare of programme participants”.

Kim Woodburn

Kim Woodburn has also slammed Phillip Schofield and ITV as a whole for their treatment of her down through the years.

The former Celebrity Big Brother star, 81, claims that she was left deeply hurt following her appearances on both This Morning and Loose Women in the past where she felt 'humiliated' and 'bullied.

“The recent talk of toxicity at ITV has definitely brought back those feelings for me. I’ve been saying it all along and now I feel like I’m finally being proven right. ITV needs a full investigation – some of their shows thrive on bullying and being unkind," she said recently.

“In my opinion, Phillip should have been let go a long time ago but ITV have allowed this kind of behaviour.”

As other stars have come forward to share their experiences at ITV, Kim claimed that when she appeared on Loose Women in 2018 she was 'fed lies' and reassured her the episode wouldn’t broach the subject of her and Coleen Nolan’s fallout on Celebrity Big Brother - however, the conversation soon turned sour with Kim walking off set upset.

Loose Women was found not guilty of humiliating the TV star by Ofcom, but Kim claims the regulator received nearly 8,000 complaints and she eager to tell her side of the story as it’s something she has 'never really got over'.

Kim said: Loose Women assured me they wanted an interview with me to put things right after Celebrity Big Brother. Looking back now, I should have known something was wrong.”

"ITV reassured me that it wouldn’t be a slagging match but that’s exactly what it was. Any time I’ve been on before there’s always been a live feed of the show in the dressing room - but this time there wasn’t.

“When I went out to the panel and was met with silence – no one asked me any questions to begin with – I realised I’d been set up. I was pulled to pieces and mocked. I can stand up for myself but not when you’re ganged up on. ITV should not have done it. The whole treatment of the show was hurtful and shocking.”

“ITV lied to me under false pretences for nastiness and TV ratings. I was disgusted with everything.”

The Mirror has contacted ITV for comment.

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