Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield ‘ushered wheelchair user out the way to skip queue to see the Queen’: Disabled woman’s family say she waited for 13 HOURS before being moved aside to make way for presenters who were ‘left off official guest list’
- Family of a woman in a wheelchair claimed she was moved aside to make way for Holly and Phillip
- Source involved in media list told TMOS the pair created a ‘hoo-ha’ when they turned up to Westminster Hall
- Holly and Phillip’s names were not on the list as ITV had given the details of the production team instead
- More than 70,500 have signed a petition calling from them to be axed from This Morning after skipping queue
- The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage
A family has slammed Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby for allegedly ushering a woman in a wheelchair out of the way during their controversial visit to see the Queen lying in state.
Mia Froggatt took to Twitter to share her anger at her disabled mother being moved out of the way by the This Morning presenters who were trying to make it in time for the 10am slot.
Posting a picture taken of the pair, she wrote: ‘This is a photo taken by my sister’s husband yesterday after he had queued with my sister, their 10-year-old daughter and my disabled mum for 13+ hours.
Ms Froggatt claims her mother was ‘ushered out of the way’ so Mr Schofield and Ms Willoughby could jump the queue. She alleges they didn’t even thank the family, who waited more the 13 hours, for moving.
‘My mum was ushered out of @hollywills and @schofe way so they could #queuejumpers without even a thanks #schofieldgate #queuejumping.’
Another witness said: ‘There was no film crew at the time they walked past us. They were headed towards a side entrance. The lad in front of us started a conversation with them as they went past. Holly removed her mask for a picture.’
The ITV stars’ names were not on the accreditation list when they went to pay their respects to Her Majesty, The Mail on Sunday revealed. However, a network spokesperson has alleged the pair ‘had full accreditation’ organised by the This Morning team and that ‘claims otherwise are untrue.’
Mia Froggatt took to Twitter to share her anger at her disabled mother being moved out of the way for Mr Schofield and Miss Willoughby to make it in time for the 10am slot
Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby’s names were not even on the accreditation list when they made their controversial visit to see the Queen lying in state, The Mail on Sunday can reveal
ITV insisted it would not give out the personal contact details of on-screen talent to the Palace of Westminster authorities – and so the email addresses of programme editor Martin Frizell and another member of the production staff, who accompanied them, had been used instead
The furore began on Friday September 16 when the presenters’ approach was contrasted with that of football legend David Beckham (pictured) the same day. The former England captain waited in line for almost 14 hours to pay his respects to the Queen – despite being offered a pass by an MP to jump the queue
The TV presenters created a ‘hoo-ha’ when they turned up nine days ago with two colleagues at Westminster Hall for what they say was to report for This Morning, said a source involved in processing the media list.
The week-long fallout over the incident – which has spawned hundreds of jokes online at their expense – has sparked rival briefing wars, with the presenters’ relationship now said to be under strain.
Miss Willoughby is also believed to be unhappy that ITV did not step in sooner to back her, and there has been speculation – since denied – that she may leave the show.
In what is the latest twist in an astonishing queue-jumping row, the names of their production team were instead used to help them gain access.
Since The Mail on Sunday broke details of the social media backlash against the pair last week, more than 70,500 members of the public have signed a petition calling on them to be axed from This Morning.
ITV insisted it would not give out the personal contact details of on-screen talent to the Palace of Westminster authorities – and so the email addresses of programme editor Martin Frizell and another member of the production staff, who accompanied them, had been used instead.
The source involved in the media list told The Mail on Sunday: ‘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. The whole thing caused a bit of a hoo-ha.’
An ITV spokesman told Mail Online: ‘Phillip and Holly had full accreditation which was organised by the This Morning production team. Any claims otherwise are untrue.’
Neither Frizell nor the other man accompanied the pair into Westminster Hall, where they stood in the press pen for 25 minutes.
The furore began on Friday September 16 when the presenters’ approach was contrasted with that of football legend David Beckham the same day. The former England captain waited in line for almost 14 hours to pay his respects to the Queen – despite being offered a pass by an MP to jump the queue. Good Morning presenter Susanna Reid also won plaudits for waiting for seven hours with her mother to file past the coffin.
Social media has mercilessly ridiculed Miss Willoughby and Mr Schofield, leaving both in tears, it is understood. Sources say they ‘wished they hadn’t gone there’ as the episode appears to have tarnished their once squeaky clean reputations
… and now the butt of social media mockery
If Holly and Phil thought the furore over their queue jumping would soon die down, they hadn’t counted on social media.
Hundreds of memes have appeared on sites such as Twitter lambasting the pair for pushing in line to see the Queen lying in state.
And although many express their fury at the presenters, others – such as the ones here – make them a figure of fun, which may sting more.
After being seen on the official camera feed inside the venue, the pair said they were there to make a segment for This Morning’s show which would air four days later.
No TV crews other than the official feed were allowed inside.
Social media has mercilessly ridiculed Miss Willoughby and Mr Schofield, leaving both in tears, it is understood. Sources say they ‘wished they hadn’t gone there’ as the episode appears to have tarnished their once squeaky clean reputations.
Senior figures at ITV are also seething. Michael Jermey, the channel’s director of news and current affairs, and his team meticulously planned their coverage for the Queen’s death and subsequent funeral for years.
Some are furious their hard work has been overshadowed by Mr Schofield, 60, and Miss Willoughby, 41.
One well-placed journalist said: ‘People aren’t talking about our fantastic news output. They’re talking about Phil and Holly, who decided at the last minute that they’d quite like to join in.’
Their anger is echoed by the pair’s bosses over at the entertainment arm of ITV. One source said: ‘They didn’t have to be there for the segment they ran on the television. They did not have to be inside the building for what they ended up showing on the television.’
The reference is to an 11-minute clip aired at the beginning of the programme last Tuesday. In a round-up of events, Miss Willoughby showed pictures of her three children laying flowers at Buckingham Palace, as well as a letter her daughter Belle wrote to the late monarch. It has been described by some colleagues as ‘self-indulgent’.
The pre-recorded segment ended with the pair on Westminster Bridge discussing the visit. ‘It was one of the most profound moments of my life,’ Mr Schofield said.
The footage inside Westminster Hall was taken from the official feed because media outlets were not allowed to film inside. Miss Willoughby, who did the voiceover for the clip, ended by saying that they were there ‘for the purpose of reporting on the event for millions of people who haven’t been able to get to Westminster’. Many at ITV questioned the strategy but sources close to Miss Willoughby said she ‘fought all of the way to say her piece and set the record straight’.
Last week, it took almost 24 hours before ITV jumped to the presenters’ defence, with a statement saying that they were there to report, along with journalists and broadcasters. But Miss Willoughby had already had enough of waiting.
Her lawyer Stephen Shotnes from Fitzrovia law firm Simons Muirhead Burton reminded journalists that suggesting his client had been doing anything but working would be misleading and defamatory.
There are some at ITV who are suspicious of the broadcaster’s tardiness. One said: ‘We were very surprised that nobody upstairs got involved to shut it down fast.’
Staff at the channel are said to be ‘finding the whole thing absolutely hilarious’. Some presenters who have worked with Mr Schofield –and not got along with him – are also revelling in his difficulties.
Some ITV chiefs are also wondering whether the gloss has come off the pair as they reach their 13th year as a duo.
They are aware that their popularity is on the decline. Miss Willoughby is seen as ‘too perfect’ and ‘unrelatable’, while Mr Schofield is seen as ‘smug’.
In response to the issue of the passes, ITV said last night: ‘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 onscreen talent and so the email addresses of the production members accompanying Phillip and Holly on the day were instead given.’
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