This Morning: Holly Willoughby addresses queue jumping claims
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Last week, Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield came under fire from fans when the presenters went to visit Queen Elizabeth II lying-in-state at Westminster Hall in a “professional capacity”. However, the This Morning hosts sparked a backlash from Sky News viewers, who believed the pair “skipped” the queue, instead of waiting their turn with members of the public.
At the time, viewers took to social media to slam the presenters, with many calling for Holly And Phillip to be “sacked”.
Others threatened to “boycott” This Morning, and one fan was left so angered that she set up a petition to have the duo axed from the show.
Since the petition was launched, it has received a staggering 64,000 signatures.
ITV released a statement at the weekend, defending Holly and Phillip, explaining they were at Westminster Hall to film a segment for This Morning.
Holly also addressed the backlash on Tuesday’s programme after showing the segment they had filmed.
However, speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk about Holly and Phillip’s body language on screen, UberKinky’s Ruby Payne claimed the pair are “keeping up appearances”.
She went on to point out that Holly is “masking” how stressed she is by smiling, while Phillip’s hand gestures suggest the presenter is “on edge”.
Ruby began: “It’s no surprise that Phil and Holly would be on edge after being accused of something as anti-British as skipping a queue, even more so when it’s at the most important funeral of the century.
Phillip Schofield and Holly pay their respects to the Queen
“The pair clearly wanted to avoid the topic, choosing to defend themselves in voiceover on top of a montage of the processions, rather than speak straight to camera.
“Interviews and phone calls throughout the show on the topic of the Queen seemed to have them almost worried, with Phil always on the edge of his seat as if there’s the worry that someone might bring it up.”
The body language expert continued: “A lot of interjecting during those exchanges and movement went on as if they were trying to keep the conversation on track as well as keep things lively.
“And although part of this will be due to them trying to keep morning television upbeat during a time of loss, I’m sure that it was also down to some nerves from the pair.”
Picking up on Phillip’s body language from Tuesday’s show, Ruby said: “Phil, who is no stranger to being in the spotlight over potential controversy, can also be seen with his hands tucked between his knees along with the occasional random scratch and stroking of his own legs.
“[These are] telltale signs of someone with a slight apprehension of the possibilities of being confronted.”
“Holly, who was all smiles throughout their interview with family friends of the Queen, but was once again a mix of keeping up appearances as well as masking the stresses she has had the fact over the day prior.”
When they returned to screens on Tuesday, Holly was quick to address the “queue jump” backlash.
She explained like many other broadcasters and journalists, they were permitted to access the hall.
Holly told viewers: “It was strictly for the purposes of reporting on the event for millions of people in the UK who haven’t been able to visit Westminster in person.
“The rules were we would be quickly escorted around the edges to a platform at the back.”
“In contrast, those paying respects walked around a carpeted area beside the coffin and were given time to pause.
“None of the journalists or broadcasters there took anyone’s place in the queue and no one passed by the Queen.
“We, of course, respected those rules, however, we realise it may have looked like something else.
“Therefore, (we) totally understand the reaction. Please know, that we would never jump a queue.”
This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV.
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