Holly Willoughby And Phillip Schofield Break Silence On ‘Queue Jumping’ Claims Amid Backlash

Holly and Phil have addressed the 'queue jumping' claims they've faced on This Morning.
Credit: ITV & BBC

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield have broken their silence on This Morning to address accusations that they ‘jumped the queue’ to see Queen Elizabeth II lying in state. 

The award-winning presenters said they ‘understood’ the furore after they used media passes to access Westminster Hall as other famous faces queued for up to 14 hours with members of the public.

However, Willoughby, 42, explained that they had not jumped the queue, saying: “Like hundreds of accredited broadcasters and journalists, we were given official permission to access the hall.

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“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 that we would be quickly escorted around the edges to a platform at the back. In contrast, those paying respects walked along a carpeted area inside the coffin and were given time to pause.

“None of the broadcasters and journalists took anyone’s places 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 we totally understand the reaction.

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

Tuesday’s This Morning show opened with a montage from the Queen’s 10-day mourning period, including footage from her lying in state. Footage of Willoughby and Schofield inside the hall was not shown.

Reflecting on the visit, Schofield said: “That’s got to be one of the most profound moments of my life.”

Part of the montage showed This Morning hosts Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary visiting floral displays at Buckingham Palace.

David Beckham and Susanna Reid were among the celebrities who queued with the public around London in order to walk past the Queen’s coffin on Friday.

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ITV said in a statement that Willoughby and Schofield ‘did not file past the Queen’s coffin’, instead being escorted to carry out work duties from the press gallery by government officials.

Despite being within their rights to enter Westminster Hall without joining the queue, viewers demanded to hear an explanation for their actions on This Morning.

A number of high-profile broadcasters, including the BBC’s Huw Edwards, made subtle jibes at the duo over the weekend.

A petition for Willoughby and Schofield to be axed from their jobs over the accusations has amassed more than 17,000 signatures since Friday.

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