Family slams TV presenters who pushed disabled woman ‘out of way’ in line to see Queen

by NewsTimeOffice



A family has slammed Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby for allegedly transporting a woman in a wheelchair during their controversial visit to see the Queen lie in state.

Mia Froggatt took to Twitter to share her anger at her disabled mother getting out of the way of the This Morning presenter who was trying to make it in time for her 10am slot.

Posting a photo of the pair, she wrote: ‘This is a photo taken by my sister’s husband yesterday after he queued for 13+ hours with my sister, their 10 year old daughter and my disabled mother.

Mrs Froggatt claims her mother was ‘pushed out of the way’ so Mr Schofield and Mrs Willoughby could get into the queue. He alleged that they did not thank the family, who had waited 13 hours, for the move.

‘My mum was pulled out of @hollywills and @schofe way so they could do #queuejumpers without #schofieldgate #queuejumping thanks.’

Another witness said: ‘There was no film crew when they walked past us. They headed towards a side entrance. The boy in front of us struck up a conversation with them as they left. Holly took off her mask for a photo.’

The names of the ITV stars were not on the list of acknowledgments when they went to pay their respects to Her Majesty, The Mail revealed on Sunday. However, a network spokeswoman claimed the pair ‘had full recognition’ of the arrangement by the This Morning team and that ‘claims otherwise are untrue’.

Mia Froggatt took to Twitter to share her anger at her disabled mother putting Mr Schofield and Miss Willoughby out of the way to make it in time for the 10am slot.

Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby’s names weren’t even on the recognition list when they made their controversial visit to see the Queen lie in state, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

ITV insisted it would not pass on the personal contact details of on-screen talent to the Palace of Westminster – and so the email addresses of program editor Martin Frizzell and another member of the production staff accompanying them were used.

The tension began on Friday 16 September when the presenters’ views were contrasted with that of football legend David Beckham (pictured) on the same day. The former England captain waited in line for almost 14 hours to pay his respects to the Queen – although an MP offered to give him a pass to jump the queue.

A source involved in processing the media list said the TV presenter made a ‘hoo-ha’ nine days ago to report for The Morning with two Westminster Hall colleagues.

The week-long fallout from the incident – which has spawned hundreds of jokes online at their expense – has sparked rival briefing wars, with the presenters’ relationship now said to be under strain.

Miss Willoughby is also thought to be unhappy that ITV did not step in sooner to support her, and there has been speculation – since denied – that she could leave the show.

In what is the latest twist in an astonishing row-jumping row, their production team name was instead used to help them gain access.

Since The Mail on Sunday broke details of the social media backlash against the pair last week, more than 70,500 members of the public have signed a petition calling for their removal from this morning.

ITV insisted it would not pass on the personal contact details of on-screen talent to the Palace of Westminster – and so the email addresses of program editor Martin Frizzell and another member of the production staff accompanying them were used.

A source involved with the media list told The Mail on Sunday: ‘When they got there, their names weren’t on the list so there was some discussion and – after some back and forth – Phil and Holly were given access and they were let in. Medium. The whole thing caused a bit of a hoo-ha.’

An ITV spokesperson told Mail Online: ‘Philip and Holly had their full recognition which was organized by the This Morning production team. Any claim otherwise is untrue.’

Neither Frizzell nor anyone else accompanied the pair to Westminster Hall, where they stood in the press pen for 25 minutes.

Outrage began on Friday 16 September when the presenters’ views contrasted with that of football legend David Beckham on the same day. The former England captain waited in line for almost 14 hours to pay his respects to the Queen – despite an MP offering a pass to jump the queue. Good Morning presenter Susanna Reid also won plaudits for waiting seven hours to cross the coffin with her mother.

Social media mercilessly mocked Ms Willoughby and Mr Schofield, leaving both in tears, it is understood. Sources say they ‘wish they hadn’t gone there’ as the episode appears to have tarnished their once impressively clean reputation.

…and now the irony of social media

If Holly and Phil thought their row-jumping furore would end soon, they wouldn’t have counted on social media.

Hundreds of memes appeared on sites like Twitter lambasting the pair for queuing to see the Queen lie in state.

And while many express their anger at the presenters, others – like here – make a funny picture of them, which can bite even more.

After being spotted on the official camera feed inside the venue, the pair said they were there to prepare a segment for the This Morning show which will air four days later.

No TV crew was allowed inside except for the official feed.

Social media mercilessly mocked Ms Willoughby and Mr Schofield, leaving both in tears, it is understood. Sources say they ‘wish they hadn’t been there’ as the episode seems to have tarnished their once impressively clean reputation.

Senior figures at ITV are also upset. The channel’s director of news and current affairs, Michael Jarmey, and his team spent several years planning their coverage of the Queen’s death and subsequent funeral.

Some are angry their hard work has been overshadowed by Mr Schofield, 60, and Ms Willoughby, 41.

A well-established journalist said: ‘People are not talking about our fantastic news output. They’re talking about Phil and Holly, who decided at the last minute that they wanted to join.’

Their anger was echoed by the pair’s bosses at ITV’s entertainment arm. A source said: ‘They didn’t have to be there for the part they ran on television. They didn’t have to be inside the building for what they ended up showing on television.’

A reference to an 11-minute clip aired at the start of the show last Tuesday. In a round-up of the event, Miss Willoughby showed photos of her three children laying flowers at Buckingham Palace, as well as a letter from her daughter Belle to the late monarch. Some colleagues described it as ‘selfish’.

The pre-recorded segment ends with a discussion of the pair’s visit to Westminster Bridge. ‘It was one of the most profound moments of my life,’ Mr Schofield said.

The footage inside Westminster Hall was taken from the official feed as media outlets were not allowed to film inside. Miss Willoughby, who did the voiceover for the clip, finished by saying they were there ‘to report on the event for the millions of people who couldn’t make it to Westminster’. Many at ITV questioned the strategy but a source close to Miss Willoughby said she ‘fought all the way to say her piece and set the record straight’.

Last week, it took almost 24 hours before the ITV presenters jumped to the defence, saying in a statement that they were there to report with journalists and broadcasters. But Miss Willoughby had already waited long enough.

His lawyer, Stephen Shotness of Fitzrovia law firm Simons Muirhead Barton, reminded reporters that his client suggested doing anything but acting would be misleading and defamatory.

There are some at ITV who question the broadcaster’s delay. One said: ‘We were very surprised that someone higher up wasn’t involved to stop this sooner.’

Channel staff reportedly ‘find the whole thing absolutely hilarious’. Some presenters who have worked with Mr Schofield – and not met him – are also reveling in his difficulty.

Some ITV chiefs are also wondering if the pair are calling it quits as they reach their 13th year as a pair.

They are aware that their popularity is declining. Miss Willoughby is seen as ‘too perfect’ and ‘incoherent’, while Mr Schofield is seen as ‘smug’.

In response to the pass issue, ITV said last night: ‘The recognition was organized by the This Morning production team for Philip and Holly and so it was absolutely clear at the time of booking that Philip and Holly would be present to report. This morning, we will never share personal contact details for our onscreen talent and instead were given email addresses to production members along with Philip and Holly on the day.’

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