Calls for This Morning to axe Phil and Holly over Queen's funeral after petition reaches 35,000 signatures
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Thousands of people have signed a petition to remove Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield as hosts of This Morning.
The TV presenters were widely criticised after they appeared to skip the huge queue to visit the Queen's coffin which was lying in state at Westminster Hall on Friday (16 September) - though they have since denied that this is what actually happened.
People were particularly angry with the pair after David Beckham joined thousands of members of public from 2am the same morning to move slowly through the streets of London to pay their respects the same day.
Both presenters addressed the backlash in a voiceover segment recorded by Holly which was aired during Tuesday's (20 September) episode. Watch the video below:
Holly explained: "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."
She continued: "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."
Producers also came to Holly and Phillip's defense with a statement shared on Instagram. The post - which was uploaded as an Instagram Story on Sunday, 18 September - read: "Hello everyone, we would like to clarify something.
"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."
It appears people are still furious with the pair, with the petition to remove them as presenters of This Morning reaching more than 35,500 signatures at the time of writing.
By Tuesday (20 September), the petition had already accumulated more than 15,000 signatures.
Tyla has contacted ITV for comment.
The presenters have paid tribute to the Queen on air and during the episode aired on 12 September, mum-of-three Holly discussed a trip to the gates of Buckingham Palace with Harry, 13, Belle, 11 and Chester, seven, to pay their respects.
In a conversation with her co-host Phillip Schofield, Holly said how ‘emotional’ she was after hearing about the monarch’s passing and revealed her children had written letters to express their grief.
You can read more about it here.
Topics: This Morning, ITV, Phillip Schofield, Holly Willoughby