This Morning: Holly Willoughby addresses queue jumping claims
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Graham Norton, 59, has said Phillip Schofield, 60, and Holly Willoughby, 41, were “foolish” to think they wouldn’t receive backlash about skipping the regular queue to see the Queen’s coffin. The This Morning pair sparked uproar after they were seen being escorted to a different area past other mourners at Westminster Hall.
The presenters were given media accreditation to film for the show like other broadcasters, however their actions left many angry.
Graham Norton, 59, has now said he was offered to skip the regular queue by an MP, but refused to do so as he feared backlash.
The host explained that there was a two-tier system for the occasion and not just one queue for everybody.
He added: “You could queue jump! Yeah. Now I got offered a queue jump ticket by a friend of mine – he’s an MP and he said, ‘do you wanna come?’
“And I didn’t say yes – because I thought if anybody sees me I’ll get it in the neck.”
He went on to say that Phil and Holly may have assumed people “wouldn’t care” about their actions.
“I guess that that’s their crime,” he added to Nihal Arthanayak on Radio 5 Live on Monday.
“The actual queue jumping? They did nothing wrong. Absolutely nothing wrong. But foolish of them to not think that people would be annoyed.”
Following the backlash, This Morning stepped in to defend the pair on Instagram.
They told their followers that Phil and Holly didn’t receive any special treatment and didn’t skip the queue.
A spokesperson went on to say they were given press passes to film a segment for the show.
In Tuesday’s edition of the programme, Holly addressed the reaction.
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In a VT reflecting on the Queen’s funeral, she explained: “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 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.”
Holly continued: “We, of course, respected those rules, however, we realise it may have looked like something else and therefore totally understand the reaction.
“Please know, we would never jump a queue.”
Celebrities who were seen in the regular line included; Susanna Reid, David Beckham and Tilda Swinton.
The ex footballer told press he had been queueing since 2am and waited for almost 13 hours.
This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV.
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