ITV boss in fresh defence of Phillip and Holly ‘queue-jump’ row

This Morning: Holly Willoughby addresses queue jumping claims

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Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby were heavily criticised when it appeared they jumped the queue to pay respects to the Queen lying-in-state. After tens of thousands of viewers called for their exit from This Morning, the saga now continues with ITV boss Carolyn McCall issuing her staunch defence for the two presenters.

Phillip and Holly’s exit from This Morning is now even more unlikely following the latest defensive statements from the ITV chief.

Footage of the presenters allegedly jumping the queue to see Queen II’s coffin caused a huge backlash on social media.

Although ITV has dismissed accusations of queue-jumping, a petition for their removal from the popular breakfast show has now amassed over 75,000 signatures.

ITV CEO Carolyn has now revealed she has been texting Phillip and Holly, saying “they’re not feeling great, it’s been hard.”

As two of the biggest faces on UK screens, the backlash against the This Morning duo has dominated the headlines before and after the Queen’s funeral.

At the latest RTS London event, Carolyn reiterated ITV’s statement dispelling rumours of queue jumping which stated Phillip and Holly were attending the event as journalists.

She blamed “minority shrillness that became very very loud and became a story” for the continuing backlash against the presenters.

“This does show you how things spread and it’s really horrible for them,” she continued.

“They are highly relevant, popular and mean very well, and I’m hoping it will just pass.”

Carolyn’s statement seemingly confirms ITV won’t be making plans for Phillip and Holly’s removal from This Morning any time soon.

The presenters have also addressed the criticisms in the show’s video documenting the queue and the events leading up to the Queen’s funeral.

In voiceover, Holly said: “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 beside the coffin and were given time to pause.

“None of the broadcasters and journalists there took anyone’s place in the queue and no one filed passed the Queen.”

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

Holly insisted she and Phillip “would never jump a queue”, though their response to the controversy has also sparked a backlash from viewers.

The presenters will continue to host This Morning for the foreseeable future, with presenters Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary taking their place on Fridays.

This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV.

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