UK's ITV commissions review after presenter resignation row

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LONDON, May 31 (Reuters) -British broadcaster ITV ITV.L has commissioned an external review of presenter Phillip Schofield's resignation, the company said on Wednesday, after the 61-year-old admitted to lying about a relationship with a young worker.

The probe was first reported by PA Media on Wednesday.

ITV, Britain's biggest free-to-air commercial broadcaster, said in a statement on Saturday that it had investigated rumours of a relationship between the star and the young worker in 2020, but both parties had previously denied the allegations.

The affair, which Schofield revealed on Friday, has raised questions about abuse of power in the entertainment industry and the culture at the broadcaster, which is led by Chief Executive Carolyn McCall.

Schofield, a TV star in Britain for more than three decades, resigned from ITV on Friday, saying he had an "unwise but not illegal" relationship with his colleague, who was a teenager when the presenter first met him.

"As you would expect we take the matter extremely seriously and have reviewed our own records over the weekend," a letter sent by McCall to government said, PA Media reported.

"There has been a lot of inaccuracy in the reporting so I thought it would be useful to set out some facts."

The letter was sent to Ofcom, the broadcast regulator, and culture minister Lucy Frazer, PA Media reported. It said ITV had instructed a senior barrister to "carry out an external review to establish the facts".

Reporting by Paul Sandle, writing by William James; Editing by Aurora Ellis


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