The Week: Pressure mounts on Grade to act over ITV phone scandal

ITV will be forced to pay out £18 million following a seven-month investigation into abuse of premium phone-line competitions, and the broadcaster may still face criminal charges.

The report, compiled by the consultancy company Deloitte, found £7.8 million was wasted by viewers on calls to shows including The X Factor, Saturday Night Takeaway and Ant & Dec's Gameshow Marathon.

The £18 million will cover the reimbursement of viewers as well as pay an estimated £8 million in fines. However, Ofcom could still fine ITV as much as a further £70 million, the equivalent of 5 per cent of its qualifying revenue for the year.

Meanwhile, pressure is mounting on the ITV chairman, Michael Grade, to take action against the executives who have been implicated in the scandal. MPs have called for the regulator, Ofcom, to review the implementation of its licensing, while the Serious Fraud Office is considering a criminal investigation.

- Perspective, page 12.

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