ITV defends Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby after backlash over Queen’s lying-in-state

ITV’s This Moring has denied presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield skipped the queue to see the Queen lying in state.

The pair faced backlash after they were spotted entering Westminster Hall via a fast-track route on Friday (16 September), with Willoughby wearing a mask.

This sparked criticism, as the pair were accused of cutting in line while members of the public queued for more than 12 hours at times.

In a social media statement – which now appears to have been deleted – ITV said: “Hello everyone, we would like to clarify something. We asked Phillip and Holly to be part of a film for this Tuesday’s programme.

“They did not jump the queue, 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.”

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield pose with an award at the National Television Awards 2020
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield pose with an award at the National Television Awards 2020. (Gareth Cattermole/Getty)

Twitter users have responded to the statement, and do not seem particularly pleased, with one person stating: “I have honestly lost respect for Holly and Phil as well as @ITV after reading this statement. @thismorning can you clarify were they just there for work or actually to show respect to #thequeen? Because your statement is just digging a bigger hole for the #queuejumpers.”

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Others made light of the row, with one user joking that during the reported filming, “Alison Hammond then popped up to tell one of the Beefeaters that he’d won a grand”.

Hundreds of thousands of members of the public queued to see the Queen’s lying-in-state in Westminster Hall.

Retired footballer David Beckham queued along with the rest of the public, as did Good Morning Britain host Susanna Reid, who waited for seven hours and 20 minutes to see the late Queen’s coffin.