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28th Sep 2022

ITV boss defends Phil and Holly once more

Sarah McKenna Barry

The pair received a massive amount of backlash for allegedly “skipping” the queue.

ITV’s chief executive has defended Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby from claims that they “skipped” the queue to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth II.

The pair, who host This Morning, were spotted near where the Queen was lying in state, but have said that they were there on purely professional business as part of the media.

During an appearance at the RTS London Convention, ITV’s chief executive Carolyn McCall said that the pair have been “misrepresented” by the backlash to their attendance.

She said: “They did have accreditation. Lots of people saying they didn’t. They were sent by This Morning to do a piece for September 20, which ran.

“They were to interview people inside and outside. They didn’t displace anyone in the queue. And they’ve been very misrepresented, actually.

“And that’s why we made a statement. Unusually, we made a statement to say all of those things. But it does show you how things spread and how misinformation just spreads. And it is really horrible for them.”

A petition calling for Holly and Phillip to be axed from the show circulated after the scandal, but McCall reiterated that their jobs are safe, and said that they remain “highly relevant” and “topical”.

The woman who originally set up the campaign has since distanced herself from it.

Updating the online petition, she claimed that being involved with it has been “destroying” her, and that she doesn’t want any hostility or negativity.

She said: “I’ve asked ITV to deliver any responses relating to this to the public and not to me, as I won’t be following the news, or watching the programme, or sharing anything online, or through social media.

“I want nothing more than for this topic to end.”