ITV presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby have been the subject of British media articles accusing them of queuing when they visited Westminster Hall to see the Queen’s coffin on Friday.
This morning released a statement in defense of the couple:
“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 queue, VIP access or walk past the Queen in state – but were there in a professional capacity as part of the world media to cover the event.”
An ITV spokesman continued to tell MailOnline: “This morning had press accreditation and like other media, Phillip and Holly were escorted to work from the press box by government officials.
“You didn’t get past the Queen’s coffin. They were there along with a host of other broadcasters and national press offices for a segment that will air on Tuesday’s show. Any allegations of improper conduct are categorically false.”
Other famous people lined up, including David Beckham, Sharon Osbourne, Tilda Swinton and journalist Peter Hitchens (brother of Christopher).
A topical matter Presenter Tracy Grimshaw was also featured in the media at 11pm, tearfully telling viewers how guilty she felt about the crowds queuing.
“We scouted this position yesterday and it took them four hours to get here. It now takes them eight hours to get here and they have about six hours to go. They march almost all the way, they stop every now and then, I think probably because of the changing of the guard at the other end, which slows things down. I was planning to do this queue in this walk so I can share with you how it was there. But literally we don’t have 14 hours while we work. And then yesterday, in one of the many perks of this job, I found out that I’d gotten one of the few media dates I was able to attend. And it was very special.”
She added: “I didn’t know what I was expecting. I spent half an hour in it. These people who lined up, I feel so guilty, these people lined up about eight and a half hours and they have about 10 minutes unless they’re lucky enough to get the changing of the guard and they get an extra four minutes and they’re the lucky ones,” she said.
“And when they pass, they only have a moment to stop. And they bow their heads, and some of the women curtsy, some cross themselves. They have.
“We had half an hour to watch. I watch people on walkers, people on crutches, people in wheelchairs, people pushing babies in strollers. Four soldiers in khakis stopped everyone and saluted them.”
Tonight was the heartwarming moment that saw Tracy Grimshaw burst into tears after leaving Westminster Hall.
– A Current Affair (@ACurrentAffair9) 09/16/2022
BBC notes that accredited journalists and photographers, under the direction of the media center, are allowed to take photos and collect reporting material from specific positions in the hall for a set period of time.
During this time slot, they will be escorted to the reporting position, which is on a raised platform on a scaffold at the rear of the hall.
To get there, they stay at the edges of the hall and quickly walk around the citizens streaming past the coffin.
In contrast, members of the public walk along a carpeted area on either side of the coffin and have time to pause and pay their respects.