Politics

Piers Morgan Defends ‘Distraught’ Holly Willoughby And Phillip Schofield Over This Morning Queue Row

Piers Morgan has said Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield have been subjected to a “ridiculously over-the-top campaign” amid controversy over their visit to the Queen’s lying in state.

The former Good Morning Britain host claimed Holly in particular has been left “distraught” after she and her This Morning co-presenter Phillip faced accusations of “queue jumping” following their visit to Westminster Hall to report on the event last week.

Despite insisting they “would never jump a queue” and were given permission to attend to film a piece for the ITV daytime show “like hundreds of accredited broadcasters and journalists”, the backlash against the presenters has rumbled on.

Their former ITV colleague Piers leapt to their defence on his TalkTV show Uncensored on Tuesday night.

Piers Morgan on his TalkTV show

He said: “Full disclosure, I am a good friend with Holly and I feel very sorry, she is absolutely distraught I think about the reaction.

“All hell broke loose about this, they have been subject to, I think, a ridiculously over-the-top campaign.

“20,000 people have signed a petition to have them fired. Of course they shouldn’t be fired, it’s ridiculous.”

However, Piers – who left Good Morning Britain last year after amid controversy over comments he made about Meghan Markle, added: “It may have been a misjudgement. I said myself on this show, I don’t think anyone should have been jumping the queue full stop, whoever you are, unless you are a world leader and there is a time issue.”

On Tuesday’s edition of This Morning, Holly insisted that she and Phillip had “respected” the rules in place but “realise that it may have looked like something else” and therefore “totally understand the reaction”.

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield inside Westminster Hall
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield inside Westminster Hall

Speaking in a pre-recorded voice-over, she explained: “Like hundreds of accredited broadcasters and journalists, we were given official permission to access the hall. It was for 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 past the Queen.”

Holly continued: “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.”

Holly and Phillip on Tuesday's edition of This Morning
Holly and Phillip on Tuesday’s edition of This Morning

Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

The presenters were also seen interviewing members of the public who had queued to pay their respects to the Queen whilst she was lying in state, as well as sharing their own reactions to visiting Westminster Hall.

Piers Morgan Uncensored airs weekdays at 8pm on TalkTV. This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.




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