This Morning producer Martin Frizell delivered a sarcastic retort when faced with questions about alleged toxicity behind the scenes of the ITV daytime show.
Since Phillip Schofield’s departure towards the end of last month, former contributor Dr Ranj Singh hit out at This Morning’s supposed “toxic” work culture, while ex-host Eamonn Holmes has also criticised the show on a number of occasions.
Following this, ITV issued a statement responding to the allegations, while Phillip himself also maintained: “This Morning is the best show to work on, with the best people. In all the years I worked there was no toxicity.
“You can listen to those persistently loud voices if you like. But the thousands of guests over the years, thousands of staff and crew, hundreds of presenters and contributors all know, it is a family of wonderful, talented, kind, hard working people.”
On Monday morning – which also marked Holly Willoughby’s return to This Morning after a two-week absence – a reporter for Sky News approached the show’s editor Martin Frizell about the supposed “toxic” environment.
However, he refused to give a direct answer.
“I tell you what’s toxic, and I’ve always found toxic is aubergine,” Martin responded, before questioning the reporter about whether they are a fan of the divisive fruit themself.
He added: “I don’t like aubergine. It’s just a personal thing.”
This Morning has been dominating the headlines in recent weeks after Phillip Schofield’s departure, which preceded his public admission that he had an affair with a younger colleague on the show.
ITV previously said in a statement: “ITV can confirm that when rumours of a relationship between Phillip Schofield and an employee of ITV first began to circulate in early 2020 ITV investigated.
“Both parties were questioned and both categorically and repeatedly denied the rumours as did Phillip’s then agency YMU.
“In addition, ITV spoke to a number of people who worked on This Morning and were not provided with, and did not find, any evidence of a relationship beyond hearsay and rumour.
“Phillip’s statement [...] reveals that he lied to people at ITV, from senior management to fellow presenters, to YMU, to the media and to others over this relationship.”