Phillip Schofield and Holly pay their respects to the Queen
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ITV has since stepped in to defend the duo, stating they were there to film a segment for This Morning. However, fans who witnessed Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield arriving at Westminister Abbey, believed they had “queue jumped” rather than waiting with the members of the public, who had been standing in the queue for hours.
On Saturday, ITV released a statement on social media where they explained why the pair were there.
The statement read: “Hello everyone, we would like to clarifiy something.
“We asked Phillip and Holly to be part of a film for Tuesday’s programme.
“They did not jump the queue, or have VIP access or file past the Queen lying in state.
“But instead were there in a professional capacity as part of the world’s media to report on the event.”
An ITV spokesperson also confirmed to Express.co.uk: “This Morning had press accreditation and like other media, Phillip and Holly were escorted to work from the press gallery by government staff. They did not file past The Queen’s coffin. They were there alongside a host of other broadcasters and national press outlets for an item that will be broadcast on Tuesday’s show. Any allegations of improper behaviour are categorically untrue.”
Despite ITV’s statement, fans have been left outraged and many took to social media to share their thoughts.
Some This Morning fans have called for the presenters to be sacked, while others have threatened to “boycott” the programme.
One fan called Laura Harrison has taken it one step further and has set up a petition to have Holly and Phillip removed from screens permanently.
The Change.org petition, which has had 303 signatures at the time of writing, read: “Thousands of people are lining up overnight to pay respects to the Queen, where they will likely wait up to 24 hours.
“Yet Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield, two hosts of one of the most damaging to mental health daytime TV show This Morning, were able to push past those thousands and get immediate access.
“ITV should be ashamed of exploiting the situation. I’d like to see This Morning axed for good as I do believe it causes more harm than good, without people noticing.
“For example, like turning the cost of living anxiety into a game show.
“At the least though, these toxic presenters Holly and Philip should finally be removed from our TV screens. They monopolised way too long.
If you agree please sign. If enough people sign we can show ITV that the public do matter. And these two idiots don’t deserve our time. Thank you, Laura.”
On Saturday, angry fans took to Twitter to share their thoughts, with Paul Brace saying: “@thismorning SACK THEM!!!! @Schofe @hollywills they think they are better than their viewers. TIME TO GO #ThisMorning.”
Ann Thewlis tweeted: “ITV just own the mistake, you’ll be thought of all the more for it.#ThisMorning.”
Hitting back at ITV’s statement, Teena wrote: “REALLY…Do ITV think we are stupid… Issuing this statement. “Filming for Tuesday’s programme!!
“Come on, all you are doing is making the situation worse! The statement changes nothing.” (sic)
However, some fans have stepped in to defend Holly and Phillip, with Laura Bill tweeting: “All this queue jumping abuse towards Holly and Phil is ridiculous!!!!!
“When working, reporters get asked to do all kinds of things. Give them a break!!!!!!”
This Morning returns on Tuesday at 10am on ITV.
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