Lucy Manning interview with Peter Fincham – 15 Nov 2012
LM: What’s your reaction to Ofcom deciding to investigate ITV? It’s very embarrassing isn’t it?
PF: The way that This Morning interviewed PM last Thursday… was misguided and on that day PS issued a statement apologising. We did the same. We launched an investigation straight away which has concluded today, less than a week from the interview… we’ve taken disciplinary action.
LM: You say disciplinary action but PS is still on air today so what sort of disciplinary action.
PF: I can’t discuss in detail what disciplinary action we’ve taken against those involved in the production. I’ve spoken to PS myself, he realises his mistake, he apologised extremely fully and extremely quickly… he is under no illusions that this is a lapse in ITV journalism.
LM: This is terribly embarrassing for ITV, how could this have happened, MPs are wanting to know?
PF: In live TV all sorts of things can happen, that doesn’t mean they should happen… I’m confident this sort of thing won’t happen again.
LM: No tougher punishments? No suspensions or anything like that?
PF: I can’t discuss the details of the disciplinary action… We think it’s appropriate and have taken this extremely seriously.
LM: Letter from Lord McAlpine
PF: We’ve had a letter from Lord McAlpine today and I will respond to that very quickly. I’ve also had a letter from John Whittingdale and I will respond to that quickly as well. As you say Ofcom have launched an investigation and we will cooperate fully in that investigation.
LM: And you’re happy that all the steps that should have been taken for that programme were taken? Where was the editor? Where was the production staff? Why was Philip Schofield thrusting this list at the PM?
PF: I’m not happy that this happened. We have editorial processes and checks in place and to be honest with you they weren’t followed so I’m not happy about that but I think that the way we’ve tackled this and responded has been quick and decisive and I’m happy we won’t see something like this again on This Morning or any other ITV programmes.
LM: And PS stays on air?
PF: PS stays on air, yes.