'Holly put dogshit in my hair': Inside the bullying culture of This Morning

YOU wouldn’t expect an ultra-bland daytime show like This Morning to have a ‘toxic culture’, but the allegations keep on coming. Here former researcher Carl (not his real name) reveals what went on.

‘Bogwash breaks’ 

Whenever we cut to adverts Phillip and Holly would decide who got a ‘bogwash’. Luckily when it came to my turn it was early morning and the ITV toilets were fairly clean, but I still had a strong gut feeling this shouldn’t be happening in a professional broadcasting setting.

Philip made us worship him like a god

When we arrived at the studio we had to worship a huge gold idol of Schofield. If Phil entered the room in person, in his robes, we had to kneel before him and ask his forgiveness for our many mortal weaknesses. ‘Ye shall worship no other god than me,’ he used to remind us before Spin to Win. Obviously this was a problem for one staff member who was a devout Catholic. Soon afterwards they took her away. I don’t know what happened to her, but I remember a distinct smell of burning all the way through Alice Beer’s consumer advice.

Physical bullying

As soon as Phil saw you he’d give you a wedgie. Not a jokey one either – one that went right up your bumcrack and lifted you off the ground. It got worse though – Holly got some dogshit on a ruler once and rubbed it in my hair. Things like this happened every day. When Olivia Colman was a guest she ran over and gave me a dead arm for no reason. That’s how ingrained the bullying was.

Verbal abuse

The name-calling was horrendous – all day I’d be called ‘poof’, ‘bender’, ‘batty boy’. Often Phil and Holly would ask you what team you supported, and if it wasn’t Stoke City who they supported one of their gang of producers would punch you in the bollocks. Believe me, it’s really difficult to check Jesy from Little Mix’s availability with Phil shouting ‘I’ve shagged your mum!’ in your ear. I don’t even think that really happened.

Facebook bullying

The internet has brought a new set of bullying issues. I’d get home from work, go on Facebook and there’d be dozens of messages: ‘u suck’, ‘do the world a favor and kill yureself (sic)’, ‘gonna f**k you up bad during [the] cookery segment’. My mum tried to get me moved to a different daytime TV show, but there weren’t any places at Homes Under the Hammer.

Holly would make you fight a wild animal

In TV, everyone falls over themselves to keep ‘the talent’ happy. Holly brought in millions for ITV, so they let her indulge her hobby of pitting members of staff against wild animals. It could be a bear, a stag, a pack of wolves, a lion if she could get one. I was forced to enter the arena armed only with a pointed stick to fight a bull. It was touch and go, and I got gored four times, but finally I managed to stab the beast in the throat. If you want a career in TV you have be flexible and committed though, so I suppose that was fair enough.

A code of silence

If you tried to complain, as I did, you were labelled a snitch. When I sat down in the canteen people moved to another table. One morning I woke up to find a severed gopher’s head in my bed. We all knew what that meant. Most disturbingly, throughout the day I’d get threatening texts saying ‘snitches get stitches’. I think it was just bravado, but I still don’t believe that’s an appropriate way for an HR department to behave.

Tomorrow: I thought things would improve when Phillip and Holly were separated. Then Dermot O’Leary pissed in my rucksack.

Sign up now to get
The Daily Mash
free Headlines email – every weekday

Princess, Chief, and other popular annoying nicknames for children

YOU gave your kid a perfectly good name, so why the unimaginative nickname that makes you sound like you’re off Eastenders? Here are some more to demean your child with.


The only respectable reason for calling your daughter ‘Princess’ is if you’re playing an unconvincing hard man in Eastenders. Unless that’s her actual name of course, in which case: poor kid. Actually it sounds like you got the idea from a Disney film, so your kid probably narrowly escaped being given the actual name Elsa. Or just ‘Frozen’.


Are you trying to instil self-confidence in all of your children by bestowing upon them a nickname that calls to mind a fearless leader? Or is the reality that you have a large brood and can’t confidently remember all their names so you’ve adopted this one-size-fits-all approach?


You spent the nine months leading up to the birth of your precious child making lists of names for this beautiful, unique soul. But now you just call them ‘Dude’. What was the point? Also it carries the risk of nominatively programming them to become a generic American frat bro teenager, so don’t be surprised if you find them attempting to have sex with a Mr Kipling bramley apple pie.


You start calling your child this when he’s a baby and you’re forever changing nappies. It’s funny and cute, in your sleep-deprived mind. However, fast forward 12 years and it just suggests he does actually smell. Also you just called him it when his new secondary school mates came over and you’ve just ruined his teenage years. Well done.


You think this is a sweet name. Wait till your child sees The Wizard of Oz and realises you associate them with a bunch of creepy, strange-haired, helium-voiced oddballs. At a young age they may even believe you’re their adoptive parents and they rightly belong in the land of Oz. Maybe should have just called him Gareth so he doesn’t need counselling in later life to ‘find out who he is’.