The This Morning presenters have found themselves at the middle of a scandal – dubbed “queuegate” – after they were accused of “jumping the queue” to see the Queen’s coffin lying-in-state before her funeral.
Willoughby and Schofield denied the accusations, saying that they would “never jump a queue”. Despite this, more than 71,000 people have signed a petition calling on ITV to “axe” the presenters over the alleged queue-jumping.
However, according to new reports, Willoughby and Schofield’s names were not on the accreditation list in the first place, causing a “hoo-ha” at the lying-in-state.
Speaking to The Mail on Sunday, a source involved in processing the media list claimed that members of the production team’s names were used instead.
“When they got there, their names weren’t on the list so there were some discussions and – after some back and forth – Phil and Holly were given access and they were ushered through,” they said.
“The whole thing caused a bit of a hoo-ha.”
In a statement of response, ITV told the publication that they would not give out the personal contact details of on-screen talent to the Palace of Westminster authorities.
As a result, the email addresses of programme editor Martin Frizell and another member of the production staff, who accompanied them, were used instead.
“The accreditation was organised for Phillip and Holly by This Morning’s production team and so while it was absolutely clear at the time of booking that Phillip and Holly would be attending to report for This Morning, we would never share personal contact details for any of our on-screen talent and so the email addresses of the production members accompanying Phillip and Holly on the day were instead given,” they said.
Presenting This Morning on Tuesday (20 September), Willougby explained that as members of the media, they had been given “official permission” to see the coffin “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”.
“We realise that it may have looked like something else and therefore totally understand the reaction,” she said. “Please know that we would never jump a queue.”