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Graham Norton defends Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield amid ‘queue skipping’ backlash

Graham Norton has defended Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield amid recent backlash.

The This Morning presenters faced major backlash after they were spotted “skipping the queue” to visit Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin in Westminster Hall earlier this month.

Amid calls for the duo to be fired from their ITV morning show, Irish presenter Graham has insisted they did “nothing wrong”.

During his appearance on Nihal Arthanayake’s BBC Radio 5 Live programme, the Cork native discussed how fraught public debate has become in recent years.

He said: “For instance, recently Phil and Holly and the queue. So as far as I’m concerned, they did nothing wrong. There was a two-tier system. You could queue jump.”

“Now, I got offered a queue jump ticket by a friend of mine. He’s an MP and he said, ‘Do you want to come?’ And I didn’t say yes because I thought if anybody sees me, I’ll get it in the neck. And that was what I thought.”

Graham Norton will also be on the show | Pictures: G. McDonnell / VIPIRELAND.COM

Graham continued: “So, I suppose what Phil and Holly got wrong was they thought people wouldn’t care. I guess that’s their crime.”

“The actual queue-jumping? They did nothing wrong. Absolutely nothing wrong. But foolish of them to not think that people would be annoyed.”

Social media users have slammed Holly and Phillip for not queuing for hours to see the Queen like other major celebrities did, such as David Beckham and Susanna Reid.

David Beckham queued for 13 hours to see the Queen’s coffin

Holly addressed the backlash against herself and Philip on last Tuesday’s episode of This Morning.

She said: “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,” the 41-year-old explained.


“None of the broadcasters and journalists there took anyone’s place in the queue and no one filed passed the Queen.”

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

“Please know that we would never jump a queue,” she added.

Queen Elizabeth passed away on September 8 at the age of 96, and her state funeral took place on September 19.

Following her death, her eldest son Charles ascended to the throne, becoming King Charles III.


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