Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield were ‘heckled’ by mourners
This Morning hosts Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield have faced a raft of criticism following their visit to Westminster Hall and the lying in state.
Today (September 23), it’s been claimed the pair were ‘heckled’ by mourners who were under the impression they had jumped the 13-hour queue to view the Queen‘s coffin at Westminster Hall.
Since video footage appearing to show them “jumping the queue” was released last week, the popular TV presenters have been blasted on social media.
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield ‘heckled’
Joe Tompkins – a 41-year old builder from Nottingham – is among those who have spoken out against the hosts.
He claimed to The Sun: “We were in the zig-zag line right at the end of the queue when we saw Phil and Holly. They walked straight past us all and a few people started shouting.
People were saying: ‘Oi, Phil, Holly, get to the back of the queue!’ Phil looked around and smiled as if to say: ‘We can do what we want,’” he speculated.
“It angered a lot of people. People were saying: ‘How can they do this?’ There was a real hatred for them, it wasn’t right.”
Joe emphasised the public outcry, stating that he had “queued for 14 hours right next to the Thames in freezing temperatures”.
He added that to see Holly and Phil allegedly “sail past without a care in the world really angered us”.
He also sang the praises of former footballer David Beckham.
Beckham chose to queue for 13 hours with the public instead of using his celebrity status to skip the line.
Holly and Philip’s response
Responding to the backlash, the hosts have vehemently defended themselves, stating they used the VIP entrance “for the purpose of reporting on the event for millions of people in the UK who have not been able to visit Westminster in person”.
A spokesperson for ITV has also spoken out – denying the claims made by the public:
“This account is not a fair and accurate representation of what happened or of the timings of that day. Philip and Holly did not file past the Queen’s coffin.
“They were alongside a host of other broadcasters to cover the death of the Queen.”
Despite this, the pair have faced calls to be sacked, with a petition calling for them to be fired reaching 50,0000 signatures.
Facing the backlash
The backlash has been so aggressive that TV insiders are reportedly concerned for the hosts’ wellbeing.
Fans voiced their concerns for Holly after Tuesday’s show. They noted she looked ‘on the verge of tears’ and had ‘never been so quiet’.
ITV continues to back the pair, insisting that the presenters did not file past the Queen’s coffin. A spokeswomen stated: “This Morning has press accreditation and like other media, Philip 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 was broadcast on Tuesday’s show. Any allegations of improper behaviour are categorically untrue.”
Read more: Holly Willoughby breaks social media silence following ‘queue-jumping’ scandal
This Morning airs on weekdays from 10am on ITV and ITV Hub.
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