Petition to axe Holly Willoughby and Phil Schofield nears 75,000

Petition to axe Holly Willoughby and Phil Schofield nears 75,000: Calls for ITV bosses to sack This Morning presenters continues to grow

  • The TV hosts were accused of queue jumping to see Queen lying in state
  • Holly Willoughby and Phil Schofield both strongly denied skipping ahead
  • They said they were in the media queue and there to work as broadcasters
  • An online petition to remove them from TV has now hit 75,000 signatures

A petition to kick Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby off TV has nearly hit 75,000 signatures, following accusations the presenters skipped the queue to see the Queen lying in state.

The TV stars have acknowledged the backlash and said they ‘understand the reaction’ but insist they were at the venue to work as broadcasters and did not push ahead of the public.

However 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.

Clips 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.

An online petition called ‘Axe Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby from TV’ has today almost been signed by 75,000 people.

A petition to kick Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby off TV has nearly hit 75,000 signatures, after claims they 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 petition, which has now been signed by almost 75,000 people, calls for Phillip and Holly to be removed from TV not just their daytime show

Birdseye view: This graphic of Westminster Abbey shows the areas permitted for the public and media, and the spot where the presenters were seen

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 could be booed when they attend the National Television Awards next month following the backlash

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 apology, fans watching on Tuesday were still 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

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: ‘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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