Petition to axe This Morning's Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield reaches 73k signatures

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield
Thousands have signed a petition for Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield to be axed from TV. (ITV)

A petition to have Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield axed from TV following their appearance at Queen Elizabeth II's lying in state has reached nearly 74,000 signatures.

The This Morning stars have been accused of 'jumping-the-queue' after they were spotted dressed in black and wearing official lanyards as they were ushered through Westminster Hall — where the late Queen's coffin lay ahead of her funeral — while others queues for hours in the cold to pay their respects.

However, the presenters and their bosses at ITV have explained that they were there as accredited broadcasters, along with many other members of the world's media doing the same thing.

Read more: Celebrities who queued to see the Queen from David Beckham to Susanna Reid

ITV has said in a statement on social media: “Hello everyone, we would like to clarify something. We asked Phillip and Holly to be part of a film for this Tuesday’s programme.

Watch: Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield attend the Queen's lying in state

“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.”

In a special episode of This Morning on Tuesday paying tribute to the Queen, mobile phone footage of Willoughby and Schofield's reactions after walking through the hall was shown although no scenes of them actually inside the building were used.

A voiceover from Willoughby explained: "Like hundreds of accredited broadcasters and journalists, we were given official permission to access the hall.

"It was 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.

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield have clarified while they were at the hall. (ITV)

"The rules were that we would be quickly escorted around the edges to a platform at the back. In contrast, those paying respects walked along a carpeted area beside the coffin and were given time to pause.

"None of the broadcasters and journalists there took anyone's place in the queue and no one filed past the Queen.

"We of course respected those rules however we realise that it may have looked like something else and therefore we totally understand the reaction.

"Please know that we would never jump a queue."

Footage of Willoughby, 41, and Schofield, 60, at Westminster Hall came as other celebrities queued patiently like the rest of the public.

Former England captain David Beckham and Good Morning Britain presenter Susanna Reid were among the famous faces who waited several hours to see the Queen lying in state.

David Beckham leaving Westminster Hall after seeing the Queen lying-in-state.
David Beckham queued to see the Queen lying-in-state just like other members of the public. (Getty Images)

Reid queued for over seven hours and said it was "worth every minute".

Beckham said he felt compelled to queue for 12 hours - saying if his grandparents had been alive, they would have been there with him.

Award-winning actor Tilda Swinton was also spotted paying tribute to the Queen. The Marvel star was seen filing past the coffin on Saturday, having queued with other mourners to visit the lying in state.

Tilda Swinton at the Venice International Film Festival on September 06, 2022 in Venice, Italy.
Actor Tilda Swinton was among those who queued to see the Queen lying-in-state.

Reality star Sharon Osbourne made a pilgrimage to pay tribute to the late monarch, joining the queue and happily posing for photos with fans.

Read more: I queued overnight to see the Queen lying in state – here's what it's really like

Pop star James Blunt - who attended the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle - was also sighted in the queue, as was Line of Duty actor Daniel Mays and Strictly Come Dancing professional Neil Jones who queued with his partner, Love Island star Chyna Mills for 10 hours.