ITV hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby have been the subject of UK media articles in which they were accused of queue-jumping when they visited Westminster Hall on Friday to see the Queen’s coffin.
This Morning released a statement defending the pair:
“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.”
An ITV spokesperson further told MailOnline: “This Morning had press accreditation and like other media, Phillip and Holly were escorted to work from the press gallery by government staff.
“They did not file past The Queen’s coffin. They were there alongside a host of other broadcasters and national press outlets for an item that will be broadcast on Tuesday’s show. Any allegations of improper behaviour are categorically untrue.”
Other famous figures, including David Beckham, Sharon Osbourne, Tilda Swinton and journalist Peter Hitchens (brother of Christopher) all queued up.
A Current Affair presenter Tracy Grimshaw was also given an 11pm media viewing, tearfully telling viewers how guilty she felt given the queues by the masses.
“We scouted this position yesterday and it was taking them four hours to get here. Now it’s taking them eight hours to get here and they’ve got about another six hours to go. They’re marching pretty much all of the way, they stop every so often, I think probably because of the changing of the guard at the other end, which slows everything down. I was planning to do this queue in this walk, so I can share with you what it was like in there. But literally, we don’t have 14 hours to spare while we’re working. And then yesterday, I found out in one of the many privileges of this job that I’d scored one of the few media appointments to go in. And it was pretty special.”
She added, “I didn’t know what I was expecting. I spent half an hour in there. These people that have queued, I feel so guilty, these people have queued for about eight-and-a-half hours and they get about 10 minutes in there unless they’re lucky enough to get the Changing of the Guard and they they get an extra four minutes and they are the lucky ones,” she said.
“And as they walk past they only have a moment to stop. And they dip their heads and some of the women curtsey, some of them cross themselves. That’s what they have.
“We had half-an-hour to watch. I’m watching people on walkers, people with crutches, people in wheelchairs, people pushing their babies in prams. Four soldiers in khakis all stopped and saluted her.”
Tonight, the heart-warming moment Tracy Grimshaw was left in tears after leaving Westminster Hall.
— A Current Affair (@ACurrentAffair9) September 16, 2022
BBC notes accredited journalists and photographers are thenallowed to take photographs and gather reporting material from specific positions in the hall for a set time period, under the guidance from the media centre.
During that time slot, they are escorted to the reporting position, which is on a raised platform on a scaffold at the back of the hall.
In order to get to that area, they stay on the edges of the hall and move quickly round the side of members of the public who are filing past the coffin.
In contrast, members of the public walk along a carpeted area on either side of the coffin and are given time to pause and pay their respects.