Grade blames 'cultural failure' for ITV phone-in blunders

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The Independent Online

A string of ITV phone-in blunders were caused by a "serious cultural failure" within the company, chairman Michael Grade said today.

A long-awaited review found "serious editorial issues" in shows including Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway.

He promised a comprehensive scheme to reimburse affected viewers.

He said he knew the report would make "deeply uncomfortable reading" and admitted: "My overall conclusion from the review is that there was a serious cultural failing within ITV."

But he added: "It is only by understanding how things went wrong in the past, and being open about them, that we can be sure that we get them right now and in the future.

"The purpose of the review wasn't limited to flushing out the problems and learning the lessons. We have used it to assess viewers' losses, so that we can reimburse them."

ITV will face accusations that it is trying to bury bad news by releasing the Deloitte report on the same day that BBC boss Mark Thompson announced job cuts.

The date of the BBC announcement has been known for several weeks.

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