Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Ofcom ponders Schofield list probe

Phillip Schofield came under fire after he handed David Cameron a list of alleged paedophiles

TV regulator Ofcom has received around 100 complaints about This Morning after presenter Phillip Schofield confronted David Cameron with a list of alleged paedophiles, and is considering whether to launch an investigation.

On Thursday, Phillip handed the Prime Minister a list of names - understood to be Conservative Party figures - during the live daytime show, put together from internet rumours.

The "outrageous stunt" was widely criticised by politicians and the presenter was later forced to apologise after the list was briefly exposed on screen.

Rob Wilson, a Conservative MP, reported the ITV1 programme to Ofcom and urged it to investigate whether ITV breached its duty to give individuals a chance to respond before subjecting them to serious allegations on-screen.

The broadcasting regulator is understood to have had around 100 complaints and it will make a decision about whether it should look into the matter within 15 working days.

A spokesman said: "We can confirm that we have received complaints about this issue, which we are assessing. No decision has been made at this stage to investigate."

After being handed the list, the Prime Minister warned that internet discussions of an alleged paedophile ring could degenerate into a "witch-hunt" against people who are gay. Policing and criminal justice minister Damian Green said on BBC One's Question Time that Phillip's actions were "tasteless and silly".

Phillip was absent from Friday's show as he and co-host Holly Willoughby hand over presenting duties to Eamonn Holmes and his wife Ruth Langsford each Friday.

But the programme team emphasised they weren't pointing the finger at anyone in particular.

Ruth reiterated to viewers Phillip's point about a "misjudged camera angle" and added: "The programme was not accusing anyone of anything."

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