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Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield set to have ‘increased security’ at the NTAs

Holly Willoughby and Philip Schofield are reportedly set to have “increased security” at the National Television Awards next month.

The TV presenters faced serious backlash earlier this month, after they were spotted “skipping the queue” to visit Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin as she lay in state in Westminster Hall.

A petition to have the pair fired from their roles on This Morning, which made the rounds on social media, has since amassed over 75,000 signatures.

According to MailOnline, Holly and Philip are keen to attend the awards, which are due to take place on October 13, but potentially face booing from the crowd.

A source told the outlet that ITV bosses are aware that the NTAs could pose “risks” for the duo, and will put protective “measures” in place on the night.

“Phil and Holly haven’t missed an NTA Awards in years. Although they regret any offence people may have felt by what happened at Westminster, they both remain firm in their view they didn’t do anything wrong,” the source said.

“They therefore don’t see why they should have to hide away and keep their heads down.”

The source continued: “ITV are aware that the event will pose risks for the pair though. It’s the biggest TV Awards of the year and lots of people will be there, including many who might not agree with what Phil and Holly did.”

“The scale and nature of the abuse they’ve received – mainly via social media – has been shocking.”

“That’s why senior executives will make sure measures are put in place on the night to make sure that Phillip, Holly and the rest of the This Morning team are kept as safe as they can be.”

ITV This Morning

“Phillip and Holly realise they have to be careful right now so they won’t be going out after the awards and putting themselves into situations which expose them to unnecessary risk,” the source continued.

“The past week or so has been the worst period in Phil and Holly’s career. Holly, especially, has found it tough. But they are now determined to put this behind them and move on.”

Earlier this week, an ITV boss defended Holly and Philip amid the backlash they are facing over “skipping the queue”.

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Speaking at the RTS London Convention on Tuesday, Carolyn McCall insisted the pair were safe in their jobs, despite the viral petition to have them fired.

The ITV boss confirmed the pair did “nothing” wrong, before explaining: “They did have accreditation. Lots of people saying they didn’t. They were sent by This Morning to do a piece for September 20, which ran.”

“They were to interview people inside and outside. They didn’t displace anyone in the queue. And they’ve been very misrepresented, actually.”

“And that’s why we made a statement. Unusually, we made a statement to say all of those things. But it does show you how things spread and how misinformation just spreads. And it is really horrible for them.”

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Dismissing claims they have been “cancelled”, Carolyn continued: “I think they’re highly relevant and still very topical, and I think the majority of their viewers love watching them.”

“But there is a very shrill kind of voice against, and it will hurt them.”

“They did not do anything wrong,” she stressed. “They were with loads of other broadcasters, many of whom you know, and they were with lots of press journalists.”

The TV exec also revealed she had texted them both, and that they were not “feeling great”.

“It’s hard. You imagine yourself in the eye of the storm like this, where you’re trying to say you’ve done nothing wrong and all the noise around you is saying that you have. It’s difficult to handle.”

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.

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