PIERS Morgan has defended This Morning’s Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield over the ‘queue-jump’ scandal.
Piers spoke out to defend Holly and Phil tonightCredit: TalkTV
Holly and Phil have copped a major backlash over the ‘queue jump’Credit: ITV
Discussing the furore, Piers admitted his ‘good friend’ Holly was ‘distraught’ over the backlash.
He also lent support to the pair, calling the campaign to get them fired “ridiculous”.
Piers recapped the anger over Holly and Phil being accused of jumping the queue as Her Majesty was lying in state last week, adding:” All hell broke loose about this, they have been subject to, I think, a ridiculously over-the-top campaign.
“20,000 people have signed a petition to have them fired. Of course they shouldn’t be fired, it’s ridiculous.”
Piers continued: “It may have been a misjudgement. I said myself on this show, I don’t think anyone should have been jumping the queue full stop, whoever you are, unless you are a world leader and there is a time issue.”
Piers then played a clip of Holly explaining what happened on This Morning earlier today.
After the clip, he said: “Full disclosure, I am a good friend with Holly and I feel very sorry, she is absolutely distraught I think about the reaction.”
It comes as a show insider exclusively confirmed to The Sun that Holly would not quit the show over the drama, despite reports suggesting she might.
An ITV source confirmed to The Sun: “Holly will not quit.
“She has been devastated by all the negative reaction after she turned up to work at Westminster Hall with Phil on Friday, but she’s not going to resign.
“This Morning has been her life for more than a decade and the only way she’d consider quitting at this stage is if viewers really didn’t want her there.
“She’s tried to give their side of the story on the show today and they’re both hoping to move on from it now.
“Bosses know Holly is still a hit with viewers and are counting on her working her magic on the show for a good while yet.”
It comes after Holly and Phil returned to This Morning today and addressed accusations they jumped the queue to see the Queen lying in state on Friday.
The presenting duo said they “understood” the backlash after they used media passes to access Westminster Hall after fellow celebrities queued for hours with members of the public.
he footage included a clip from inside the hall, without showing Holly and Phil as they walked past the monarch’s coffin.
Holly told viewers as the footage aired: “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.
“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 took anyone’s places in the queue and no one filed past the Queen.
“We of course respected those rules however we realised that it may have looked like something else and therefore we totally understand the reaction.
“Please know that we would never jump a queue.”
A clip followed from outside Westminster Hall as Phil reflected on his visit and said: “That’s got to be one of the most profound moments of my life.”
However fans were left unimpressed by their explanation – branding it a “pathetic excuse”.
Another raged: “They still Queue jumped. ‘we would never jumped the queue’ my a**e. They are not broadcasters, This morning is a talk show.
“Susanna Reid is a broadcaster for GMB and she waited hours like the rest of us. Holly and Phil have no shame, it’s a disgrace.”
The pair outside Westminster Hall on Friday