ITV responds to claims Phil and Holly 'weren't on media list' to see Queen
| Last updated
ITV has issued a response to the claims that Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby 'weren't on the media list' to see the Queen lying in state, ahead of her funeral on Monday (19 September).
"Phillip and Holly had full accreditation which was organised by the This Morning production team. Any claims otherwise are untrue," a spokesperson for ITV told OK!.
Amid the backlash, the official This Morning Instagram account also posted a statement earlier this week defending Holly and Phil, beginning: "Hello everyone, we would like to clarify something."
It continued: "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."
Willoughby also addressed the backlash, saying: "Like 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 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 along a carpeted area beside the coffin, and were given time to pause.
"None of the broadcasters or journalists there took anyone's place 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 totally understand the reaction."
The TV presenter concluded: "Please know that we would never jump the queue."
A petition started by Laura Harrison titled 'Axe Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby from TV' is at nearly 73,000 signatures at the time of writing.
The petition reads: "Thousands of people are lining up overnight to pay respects to the Queen, where they will likely wait up to 24 hours.
"Yet Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield, two hosts of one of the most damaging to mental health day time TV show This Morning, were able to push past those thousands and get immediate access.
"ITV should be ashamed of exploiting the situation.
"I'd like to see This Morning axed for good as I do believe it causes more harm than good, without people noticing.
"For example, like turning cost of living anxiety into a game show.
"At the least though, these toxic presenters Holly and Philip should finally be removed from our TV screens. They monopolised way too long."
LADbible have also contacted ITV for additional comment.