Two British presenters forced to deny reports of queuing to visit Queen Elizabeth II’s casket

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As further proof that the UK has had a very unusual media week, two high-profile British TV presenters have been forced to defend themselves after receiving a huge backlash from other mourners and social media commentators for appearing to be lining up at Queen Elizabeth I lie in state.

The queue has become historically long in the past week, with thousands waiting up to 24 hours to pass by the Queen’s casket at Westminster Hall and pay their respects to the late monarch.

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby co-host ITV’s daytime show This morning and are very familiar faces to fans, visited Westminster Hall on Friday – at a time when the queue to get in was temporarily interrupted due to overcapacity.

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Critics were quick to point out that the pair had allegedly jumped in line, which has turned into a horrific act in recent days, with the Queen’s line becoming a totem for all that is good and fair in the UK, with stories of strangers becoming friends during the long wait, camaraderie, honesty and consideration for others.

Amid the recoil, This morning released a statement defending the couple, explaining that they were there for work purposes:

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“Hello everyone, we would like to clarify something.

“We’ve asked Phillip and Holly to be part of a movie for this Tuesday’s program.

“They didn’t jump in line, didn’t have VIP access or pass the queen in state — but instead were there in a professional capacity as part of the world media to cover the event.”

An ITV spokesperson further told TBEN:This morning had press accreditation and, like other media outlets, Phillip and Holly were escorted to work from the press gallery by government officials.

“They didn’t get past the Queen’s coffin. They were there along with a host of other broadcasters and national press for an item to air on Tuesday’s show. All allegations of inappropriate behavior are categorically false.”

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However, critics have been quick to point out that their next TV appearance will be on Tuesday, when there will be no untruthful news to report – nor are they usually broadcast to report.

Other famous figures, including David Beckham, Tilda Swinton and journalist Peter Hitchens (Christopher’s brother) all queued for hours with other mourners to make their entrance into the Hall.