There is still one question that remains from the fallout of the whole Dapper Laughs debacle. Namely: why on earth would ITV commission such a controversial comedian to make a blatantly sexist show? If you take Dapper out of the equation though, it suddenly starts to make a lot more sense…

And so Dapper Laughs has laughed his last. Two days ago, Daniel O’Reilly was forced onto Newsnight in a sombre turtleneck, first to have Emily Maitlis repeat his punchlines back at him (in the same humourless-yet-hilarious style she once delivered Frankie Boyle’s “I’m so old, my pussy is haunted” line) and then to ceremoniously slit the throat of his ‘creation’, Dapper Laughs.

A lot has been written about the whole Dapper Laughs imbroglio – pieces about free speech and censorship, pieces about comedy and classism, pieces about online bullying, rape culture and the place of satire in the 21st century. All of that has been scrutinised in minute detail by thousands of commentators and there is no reason for us to revisit or rehash it any further.

The only question that still seems to be plaguing people is this: why on earth would ITV commission Dapper Laughs in the first place?

Here’s one possible answer for you.

Dapper Laughs: On The Pull is listed as having been co-devised by two companies. One is Big Minded Limited is a production company headed up by Jolene Ellis and Chris Graves. The other is Proper Moist Limited is a company which lists Daniel O’Reilly as a boardmember. Both Graves and O’Reilly are also listed as executive producers of the show alongside one other man: Dan Baldwin.

Daniel Peter Baldwin is the man listed as the Managing Director of Hungry Bear Media – the company which actually produces the show. (They have since removed any mention of Dapper Laughs on their homepage, but this is still floating about on their domain.)

If you know his name, it won’t be as Managing Director of Hungry Bear Media. It’ll be for one of his other achievements. To people in the industry, he made his name at ITV as the producer of Ministry Of Mayhem – the Saturday morning successor to SM:TV. To the general public though, Daniel Baldwin is better known for something else.

Being the husband of Holly Willoughby.

Holly Willoughby, in case you’ve never had the pleasure, is one of ITV’s golden geese. She is the presenter of ITV’s flagship daytime magazine programme This Morning; the presenter of ITV’s primetime feel-good family show Surprise, Surprise; and, up until recently, a team captain on ITV’s specialist programming for the feeble-minded, Celebrity Juice.

How does all of this connect to Dapper Laughs? Very simply.

Willoughby and Baldwin don’t just enjoy a close personal relationship, they enjoy a close professional one too. In fact, their careers are almost atomically intertwined. Although Baldwin recently stood down as secretary of Peaches Productions Ltd (Willoughby’s personal production company), he has served as producer or executive producer on a number of her shows – including Ministry Of Mayhem, Holly and Stephen’s Saturday Showdown, Lemon La Vida Loca and Celebrity Juice.

That’s a pretty hefty bargaining chip, especially considering that ITV almost lost Willoughby to the BBC once (when she left Dancing On Ice to host The Voice). They couldn’t risk that happening again. Certainly not over some paltry little internet show that they could commission for a single six-part series, stick in the schedules on Monday at 10:30pm and then quietly shelf citing poor ratings.

The Baldwin-Willoughby alliance wouldn’t have been the only consideration though, obviously. But guess which pair of geniuses are also credited with having come up with the idea for Celebrity Juice? Jolene Ellis and Chris Graves – head honchos at Big Minded Ltd and fellow Dapper devisers.

Celebrity Juice is a massive vehicle for ITV2. It’s the most watched show they’ve ever broadcast – drawing in over 2 million viewers for a single episode at its peak. They do not want to piss off anyone involved in that. Not the people who devised the show, but particularly not producer/creator Dan Baldwin.

It’s easy to see why the commission was a no-brainer. The creative team behind On The Pull already had their feet lodged right in under the table at ITV, so ITV couldn’t very well bounce them out on the street. Dapper’s 500,000 strong Vine following and million fans on Facebook might have sweetened the pot, but this literally was an offer they couldn’t refuse. The potential repercussions were too great.

Even with all the furore and negative publicity the show has caused, it would probably still be worth ITV2 commissioning it if they had their time again, because the alternative could have been much worse for them. It might even be why they were championing the show right up until the bitter end. Sure, they have some temporary egg on their face right now, but the talent – both on-screen and off – remain relatively happy. And, more importantly, remain at ITV.

Of course, we are in no way suggesting that Holly Willoughby had anything to do with the commissioning of Dapper Laughs directly. Not at all. The extent of Holly Willoughby’s involvement probably goes no further than getting her mate (Mike Skinner from The Streets) the job of composing Dapper Laughs’ theme tune.

No, this appears to be Dan Baldwin’s burden to shoulder. And the weirdest part of it all is that Baldwin actually inadvertently prophesied this whole backlash months ago.

Back when the commission was announced, Baldwin stated – in all earnestness – that “I actually believe [Dapper Laughs] is the new Cilla Black.” Oh, how right he turned out to be. For the only person at ITV who is still, to this day, spoken about with greater disdain than Dapper Laughs?

Forever and always, Cilla Black.

PS: The company records for Hungry Bear Media also list the chairman as being one Peter David Jones. The same Peter David Jones who dishes out money on Dragons’ Den and has also appeared as a guest star on… Celebrity Juice.