Holly won’t be sacked over queue jumping furore, say TV chiefs
ITV bosses have insisted that Holly Willoughby will not be sacked amid accusations she and Phillip Schofield jumped the queue to see the Queen lying in state.
Despite some chiefs at the channel being furious with the presenting duo’s decision to use press accreditation to enter Westminster Hall, she was assured yesterday that she will remain This Morning’s main anchor.
Miss Willoughby’s representatives also told ITV that she would not be quitting despite being angry with them for not standing up for her sooner.
It is understood that Schofield, who is yet to speak out on the controversy, will also stay put in the lucrative job despite
‘Some high up at ITV are absolutely furious about it’
more than 40,000 people signing a petition to axe the pair from the show after 13 years as a duo.
One source said: ‘Conversations have been had between Holly, her team and ITV, they want her to stay and she wants to stay. The same goes for Phil. Relations aren’t great, Holly feels very hurt and bruised and there are some high up at ITV who are absolutely furious about this.
‘They simply didn’t think any of this had to happen. Holly and Phil did not have to go to Westminster Hall.
‘Some terse words have been said and nobody is under any illusions that everything is fine. But all of that aside, both parties are insisting that it’s business as usual.’
However, there are insiders at ITV who suggest Miss Willoughby may ride out the storm and when things quieten down, she could decide to move on.
The Daily Mail can also reveal that ITV’s top executives were not aware of the trip until the pair were seen walking through Westminster Hall on the official televised feed last Friday.
Instead, the finger is being pointed at This Morning’s veteran editor Martin Frizell for organising the visit for a segment broadcast on yesterday’s show.
He was seen with Miss Willoughby and Schofield at the entrance of Westminster Hall but didn’t go inside. In a picture that surfaced on Twitter yesterday he was seen smiling as he arrived at the venue ahead of the presenters.
ITV and Frizell refused to deny that he authorised the trip, and that his boss Emma Gormley, the broadcaster’s head of daytime, had no idea about the plan.
Frizell, 63, an experienced journalist and editor of This Morning since 2015, is a close ally of Schofield, and those working on This Morning say that he would ‘take as many bullets has he had to for Phil’. An ITV employee added: ‘Martin is a maverick type of editor, he is old school and very much runs his own ship.’
Yesterday Miss Willoughby, 41, hosted This Morning yesterday alongside Schofield, 60, but those who know her say that she ‘was not herself’. Sources also said she was ‘furious’ at reports she was to be sacked but not Schofield.
Insiders at ITV suggest that Schofield’s management team, YMU, have advised that he remains silent on the matter, meaning Miss Willoughby has been ‘thrown under the bus’ over the situation.
The pair faced more humiliation yesterday when the London Dungeon launched a limited edition ‘Holly and Phil fast-track pass’ which is available until tomorrow.
ITV said: ‘This Morning had press accreditation and like other media, Phillip and Holly were escorted to work from the press gallery by government staff. They did not file past the Queen’s coffin.
‘They were there alongside a host of other broadcasters and national press outlets for an item that will be broadcast on Tuesday’s show. Any allegations of improper behaviour are categorically untrue.’