75,000 viewers want Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield SACKED
75,000 viewers want Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield SACKED: Petition to axe ‘queue-jumping’ This Morning stars continues to grow… as pair are yet to apologise 11 days after their visit to see the Queen’s coffin
- More than 75,000 have signed an online petition to remove the ITV hosts
- Holly and Phil were accused of queue jumping to see Queen lying in state
- The morning show hosts both strongly denied skipping ahead in the line
- They said they were in the media queue and there to work as broadcasters
- Viewers are also calling for an outright apology from This Morning duo
- The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage
More than 75,000 people have signed a petition calling for TV hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby to be sacked following allegations that the pair skipped the queue to see the Queen lying in state.
The ITV stars have acknowledged the backlash and said they ‘understand the reaction’ but insist they were at Westminster Hall to work as broadcasters and did not push ahead of the public.
The online petition – called ‘Axe Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby from TV’ – alleges the This Morning hosts were ‘given privileges that deprived others’ as thousands waited in the queue for up to 24 hours to pay their respects.
The campaign also accuses the pair of ‘exploiting the situation’ and using their positions in media to ’cause more harm than good, without people noticing.’
Viewers have been calling for an outright apology and for the This Morning duo to be axed, after many other celebrities spent hours waiting in line to see the Queen.
Among those who waited their turn in the queue, dubbed the ‘Elizabeth Line’ were David Beckham and even Holly and Phil’s ITV colleague Susanna Reid, from GMB.
Now, eleven days after the alleged queue-jumping, the pair have yet to express regret over the situation. Instead, Holly insists ‘we were given official permission to access the hall.’
More than 75,000 people have signed a petition calling for TV hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby (pictured on Monday) to be sacked following allegations that the pair skipped the queue to see the Queen lying in state
The This Morning hosts were widely criticised for queue jumping but they clarified that they were in the media queue and didn’t take the place of any member of public (pictured in media queue)
The online petition (pictured Tuesday morning) alleges the This Morning hosts were ‘given privileges that deprived others’ as thousands waited in the queue for up to 24 hours to pay their respects. It has received more than 75,000 signatures
Birdseye view: This graphic of Westminster Abbey shows the areas permitted for the public and media, and the spot where the presenters were seen
Video showed Holly and Phil walking through Westminster Hall as around 250,000 people waited to bid a final farewell to the Queen – many waiting up to 24 hours for the opportunity.
Last week Holly said: ‘Like hundreds of accredited broadcasters and journalists, we were given official permission to access the hall.
‘It was strictly for the purposes 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 we would be quickly escorted around the edges to a platform at the back.
‘In contrast, those paying respects walked around a carpeted area beside the coffin and were given time to pause.
‘None of the journalists or broadcasters there took anyone’s place in the queue and no one passed by the Queen.
‘We, of course, respected those rules, however, we realise it may have looked like something else.
‘Therefore, (we) totally understand the reaction. Please know, that we would never jump a queue.’
Despite their public acknowledgement of the incident, fans still remain unhappy with the explanation given.
A photo of Westminster Abbey – highlighting where the media box is, where the public queue is and where Holly and Phil appeared to be walking
The furore began on Friday September 16 when the presenters’ approach was contrasted with that of David Beckham, who waited 14 hours in line that same day
This Morning bosses denied show hosts Holly and Phillip had ‘VIP access’ and filed ‘past the Queen lying in state’
ITV bosses are reportedly concerned Holly and Phil (pictured last Wednesday) could be booed when they attend the National Television Awards next month following the backlash
The creator of the online petition, Laura Harrison, has continued to post updates and is eager to get the TV hosts off our screens.
She boasted that with the number of signatures the petition has gained they could nearly fill Wembley stadium.
She said on Monday: ‘In most industries one or two complaints made against staff or their employer, would be enough for their managers to raise concerns and check what happened, for apologies to be made, and in some cases, grievances.
‘In precarious gig economy roles, those one or two complaints can cost people their jobs, and if three hundred complained about one or two members of staff, I’m sure it wouldn’t go unnoticed by their managerial board.
‘So how is it that in the entertainment industry they can avoid so many people asking for change?
‘It didn’t need to get this far, and I really honestly hoped it wouldn’t.’
She continued: ‘70,000+ signatures later and I can’t believe it got this far.
‘I have expressed my reasons for being concerned, and the harm that I believe these shows recurrently do. I’m so sick of ITV inquiries, and masses of Ofcom reports, but here we are with a different example.
‘I have done everything I can to voice the concerns of those that have signed, including writing to Ofcom, and sending a letter to the Board of Directors at ITV. I have also stressed the significant psychological burden these shows place on their viewers and their presenters, and how mentally draining they’ve become.
‘This isn’t just a petition about a queue-jump. It’s about the need for change, for hope, for something else than daytime TV and questionable journalism. Daytime TV shows are designed to keep people incarcerated. But people deserve better than that.’
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