Sacked S4C chief executive Sian Doyle taken to hospital after being found unresponsive

Huw John Cardiff
Former S4C chief executive Sian Doyle Credit: Huw John Cardiff

The husband of sacked S4C chief executive Sian Doyle says she has been taken to hospital after being found unresponsive.

The TV executive has come under intense scrutiny after last week being sacked from her role as chief executive at the Welsh-language broadcaster following accusations of bullying.

A report detailing allegations that she presided over a toxic culture was released by S4C's governing authority on Wednesday.

A report detailing allegations that she presided over a toxic culture was released by S4C's governing authority on Wednesday. Credit: S4C

More than 90 current or former S4C staff, or staff at organisations S4C works with, contributed to the report, which was released after Mrs Doyle's sacking.

The former S4C chief had previously criticised the chair of S4C's authority Rhodri Williams for the way her sacking had been handled and had described her dismissal as "an unprecedented lack of governance for a public body".

She has also called for the UK Government to step in amid turbulence at the channel.

Now, the former TV boss' husband Rob Doyle has issued a statement, saying the treatment she has been subjected to has been "appalling".

In a statement released by Sian Doyle's representatives, her husband Rob said: “This morning my wife, Sian Doyle, was rushed to hospital. She was unresponsive when I tried to wake her.

"The heavily biased and cruel framing of her by yesterday’s Capital Law report was the last straw.

“As her husband, I now have to speak up on her behalf.

“The last 24 hours have seen my wife torn apart in the media after an exceptional 30-year international career because of a one-sided report.

“Sian was so proud to have been asked to come out of retirement to lead an organisation that, as a young girl, she campaigned to set up. But that pride turned into frustration, and then to disappointment, fear, and finally despair.

“The person represented in yesterday’s supposedly ‘independent’ report was unrecognisable from the woman I’ve loved for the past 37 years, or the woman her friends and former colleagues know.

“I have watched in horror and disbelief as my wife has been hunted over the last seven months.

"The treatment she has been subjected to has been appalling, with confidential medical details about her leaked to the media and constant attacks on her character and reputation.

“This has to stop. No organisation should be run like this, let alone one that is funded with public money.

"Last week Sian called on Lucy Frazer, the Secretary of State for DCMS who is responsible for S4C, to instigate an independent investigation into the governance of the organisation. Sian has tried on multiple occasions to flag the issues to the Government in Westminster, but the Secretary of State has done nothing.

“Today, I sit by my wife’s bedside wondering how this appalling situation was ever allowed to happen.

“I am now insisting that the privacy of my wife and my family is respected so that she can, hopefully, recover and we can get on with our lives.

“We won’t be making any further comment.”

A spokesperson for S4C said: “The news about Sian Doyle is very worrying and we are thinking about her and the family.

“We have offered our support to the family during this difficult time. 

“Our hope is that she will recover quickly, and we wish her all the best for the future.”

S4C chair Rhodri Williams had been due to appear before the UK Government's Welsh Affairs Committee on Tuesday but this session has been cancelled as of Thursday evening.

Next Thursday, December 14, the chair and a member of S4C's board have been invited to give evidence to the Senedd to "bring clarity for the people of Wales".

A DCMS spokesperson said: 

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Ms Doyle and her family at this incredibly difficult time, and we wish her a speedy return to health.

“We expect the board of S4C to address the issues identified in the independent investigation by Capital Law as a matter of urgency. We have been in regular contact with S4C throughout this investigation and will remain so.

"Public service broadcasters, like every organisation, have a responsibility to uphold a duty of care to all employees."