Calls for ITV to sack Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield amid Queen queue jumping row

Willoughby and Phillip Schofield to be axed from This Morning

A petition to remove This Morning presenters Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield from their jobs after they were accused of queue-jumping at the late Queen’s lying-in-state has been signed by more than 65,000 people.

The petition, posted on Change.org, is now one of the top-signed petitions on the site, according to its page.

“Thousands of people are lining up overnight to pay respects to the Queen, where they will likely wait up to 24 hours,” its description reads.

“Yet Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield, two hosts of one of the most damaging to mental health daytime TV shows This Morning, were able to push past those thousands and get immediate access.”

ITV and both Holly and Phil have denied accusations of queue-jumping, saying they were there in a professional capacity to cover the Queen’s death for the broadcaster.

Holly and Phil were seen on the Westminster live stream entering Westminster Hall through a fast-track queue. (ITV News)

The petition claims This Morning “causes more harm than good” and criticises the morning show for “turning cost of living anxiety into a game show”, when they offered to pay the energy bills of viewers in a recent competition.

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Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield: ‘We would never jump a queue’

The two presenters denied using their media accreditation to skip the line, which some people queued in for up to an entire day. An ‘apology video’ was released with a gloomy sounding Holly narrating their experience over visuals of the lying-in-state:

“We of course respected [the] rules, however we realise it may have looked like something else and therefore totally understand the reaction.

“Please know, we would never jump a queue.”

This Morning's presenters, Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, pose for photographers at the ITV Palooza event
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield ‘totally understand’ the backlash around the claims that they jumped the queue to see the Queen lying-in-state. (Getty Images/Lia Toby)

The poster of the original petition has criticised their ‘apology’.

“They are still lacking self-awareness as to why people want them removed from television,” they wrote on Change.org.

“The TV show and their hosts don’t seem to understand why they’re out of favour with the public.”

Multiple angles of the pair entering Westminster Hall have been posted on social media sites.

https://twitter.com/DaveAtherton20/status/1572843657002385408

ITV has defended the two presenters.

In a social media statement – which now appears to have been deleted – it wrote: “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.”

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