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22nd Sep 2022

ITV ‘supporting’ Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield over ‘serious concerns for wellbeing’

Steve Hopkins

A petition to see Holly and Phillip axed has gained over 56,000 signatures

There is reportedly “real and serious concern” for Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield as debate continues to rage over whether they skipped the queue to see the Queen lying in state.

The This Morning presenters have been skewered on social media after using their press access to gain entry to Westminster Hall, rather than taking part in the public line that saw Brits waiting up to 24-hours.  David Beckham waited 13 hours.

A petition to have the pair axed from the ITV show has now surpassed 56,000 signatures.

Both Holly and Phillip addressed the outrage in a statement on the programme, insisting they “respected” the rules set for the media but have appeared to be shaken up over the uproar. Fans expressed concerns earlier this week, believing Holly looked like she had been “up all night crying”.

According to television insiders, ITV channel bosses have raised “real” concerns about the duo’s welfare following the drama and they are supporting them.

“The abuse has been nothing short of disgusting, not least as they have done nothing wrong and were fully entitled to media accreditation so they could inform their viewers,’ a source told The Mirror.

“There is huge, real and serious concerns over their wellbeing and ITV are fully supporting them behind the scenes in the face of such relentless trolling. The channel backs them 110 per cent.”

The source said Holly and Phillip have felt reassured by the network’s stance, and dismissed rumours that circulated earlier this week suggesting Holly was set to quit the show, saying she “adores her job and would never quit”.

During Monday’s special episode reflecting on the days since the Queen’s death on September 8, Holly said in a voiceover: “Like hundreds of accredited broadcasters and journalists we were given official permission to access the hall.

“It was strictly 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.

“The rules were that we would be quickly escorted around the edges to a platform at the back.”

In contrast, those paying respect 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 past 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. Please know that we would never jump a queue.”

This Morning previously addressed the visit in a statement posted on Instagram, saying: “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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