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This Morning: Dr Ranj says TV show’s culture was ‘not good for mental health’

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By Steven McIntosh

Entertainment reporter

TV personality Dr Ranj Singh has said the culture on This Morning “wasn’t good for people’s mental health”.

The ITV daytime programme has had a tumultuous year after losing both of its presenters – Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.

Dr Ranj left the show in 2021 and later said the “culture at This Morning had become toxic”.

ITV’s chief executive has previously said she “did not recognise” claims of a toxic culture on the programme.

Schofield left the series in May following reports of a rift with Willoughby. A week after his exit, he admitted having an affair with a younger colleague.

Willoughby returned to the show, but left in October. The programme is currently being hosted by guest presenters.

Willoughby and Schofield have both left the ITV daytime programme this year

At the time of Schofield’s affair, which dominated the headlines, some former staff including Dr Ranj raised wider concerns about a toxic work environment they claimed to have experienced on the show.

Speaking in a new BBC iPlayer documentary about imposter syndrome, Dr Ranj said while working on This Morning he “really invested myself into it”.

“Some days [I had] done a night shift and gone straight into the studio and done something because I loved it so much,” he said.

“And then I was doing stuff behind the scenes as well because I felt passionately about so many of the values that we were doing across the channel – diversity and pride stuff, you know, anti-bullying stuff.”

But Dr Ranj left the show two years ago. “When it went away it was really painful,” he said.

Imposter Syndrome: Dr Ranj Singh

He’s a TV personality and a kids doctor – but Dr Ranj has always had imposter syndrome.

‘I felt bullied’

“When you lose something you really care about, you grieve for it, right? So I think there’s always going to be that sense of grief there for a while.

“For me, it was the culture that had developed, in many ways about the way people were being treated and being made to feel, and it wasn’t good for people’s mental health.”

He added: “I felt bullied at times.

“And, you know, I was a mental health ambassador, anti-bullying ambassador on this channel, whose job it is to look after people. It’s my job to say something and say, ‘Look, things aren’t quite right and now we need to do something about this.'”

Internal investigation

Asked if he had spoken to Schofield or Willoughby, he said: “Not for a long time, we wouldn’t really have that kind of relationship.”

ITV has been contacted for comment about Dr Ranj’s latest remarks.

Speaking in June in response to claims of a “toxic” workplace, chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall said “we do not recognise that” in the programme, adding the “vast majority” of people working there are “extremely engaged and very motivated”.

Dame Carolyn told a House of Commons committee that when Dr Ranj complained, she “asked for internal investigation”, which happened and “was not able to be upheld”.

Meanwhile on Friday, the Sun newspaper reported that Ben Shephard and Cat Deeley are set to be hired as Schofield and Willoughby’s permanent replacements. ITV described that as “speculation”.

SOURCE: BBC NEWS