An online petition has been created asking This Morning to discipline hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby.
Jumping the Queue
Last Friday, the two were accused of cutting through the line to visit the Queen’s casket at Westminster Hall (16 September).
Thousands of people have flocked to mourn the late monarch since she passed away over two weeks ago (8 September).
Presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby of This Morning were seen in Westminster Hall on Friday as people waited in lines that extended up to 10 miles long and lasted more than 24 hours to view the Queen lying in state.
Following their introduction to the press gallery for a separate viewing, Schofield and Willoughby were harshly criticized for skipping the line.
ITV clarified that Phil and Holly were present to record a program for This Morning professionally. They did not receive VIP access to pay their respects to the Queen or to avoid the line, the spokeswoman noted.
Nevertheless, a petition has since been started by Laura Harrison titled: “Axe Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby from TV.”
The petition reads: “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 believe it causes more harm than good, without people noticing.
“For example, like turning 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.”
Since then, more than 15,400 people have signed the petition, with a target of 25,000.
This Morning addressed the speculations on the programme today, with Holly saying: “Like accredited broadcasters and journalists, we were given official permission to access the hall.
“It was strictly for the purpose of reporting on the event for millions of people in the UK who haven’t been able to visit Westminster in person.
“The rules were we would be quickly escorted around the edges to a platform at the back.
“In contrast, those paying respects walked along a carpeted area beside the coffin and were given time to pause.
“None of the broadcasters or journalists there took anyone’s place in the queue and no one filed past the Queen.
“We of course respected those rules, however, we realised that it may have looked like something else and therefore totally understand the reaction.”
The TV presenter concluded: “Please know that we would never jump the queue.”
This Morning also spoke out in favour of Schofield and Willoughby in an Instagram post that read: “They were there in a professional position as members of the world’s media to report on the ceremony — they did not jump the queue, get VIP access, or file past the Queen lying in state.”
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