EXCLUSIVE: ‘Keeping them safe is 100 per cent in the planning’: ITV bosses ‘are considering upping security for Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield at the National TV Awards’ amid ‘queue-jumping’ row
- ITV bosses are said to be considering ‘increasing security’ for Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield at the upcoming National Television Awards
- MailOnline understands the pair are keen to attend the event on October 13 amid allegations they jumped the queue at the Queen’s lying in state
- Bosses are reportedly concerned Holly, 41, and Phil, 60, could face booing at the NTAs, where they are among the favourites to scoop a gong
- The pair have been the subject of online abuse in the wake of the claims and a petition to have the duo fired has hit more than 75,000 signatures
- A source told MailOnline that ITV bosses are aware that the NTAs could pose ‘risks’ for the pair and will put ‘measures’ in place on the night
ITV bosses are said to be considering ‘increasing security’ for Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield at the upcoming National Television Awards.
MailOnline understands the pair are keen to attend the event on October 13 despite remaining at the centre of a row over allegations they jumped the queue at the Queen’s lying in state.
Bosses are reportedly concerned that This Morning hosts Holly, 41, and Phil, 60, could face booing at the NTAs, where they are among the favourites to scoop another gong.
Backlash: ITV bosses are said to be considering ‘increasing security’ for Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield at the upcoming National Television Awards (pictured at last year’s awards)
The pair have been the subject of online abuse in the wake of the claims and a petition to have the duo fired from their lucrative presenting roles has hit more than 75,000 signatures in just over a week.
In light of the ‘queue-jumping’ row, a source told MailOnline that ITV bosses are aware that the NTAs could pose ‘risks’ for the pair and will put ‘measures’ in place on the night, insisting that ‘keeping them safe is 100 per cent in the planning’.
Our source said: ‘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.
‘They therefore don’t see why they should have to hide away and keep their heads down.
Worries: MailOnline understands the pair are keen to attend the event on October 13 amid allegations they jumped the queue at the Queen’s lying in state
‘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.’
However, MailOnline has been told that the presenting duo are unlikely to be embarking on their usual marathon drinking sessions after the awards.
Criticism: The pair have been the subject of online abuse in the wake of the claims and a petition to have the duo fired from their presenting roles has hit more than 75,000 signatures
In previous years, Holly and Phillip have left viewers in stitches by arriving to host This Morning hungover after the star-studded NTAs.
Our source added: ‘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 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.’
MailOnline has contacted ITV, the NTAs and representatives for Holly and Phil for comment.
It comes after it was reported that ITV bosses are ‘concerned’ that Holly and Phillip could be booed when they attend the NTAs next month following allegations they ‘skipped’ the queue to see the Queen’s lying in state.
Boozy: But MailOnline has been told the duo are unlikely to be embarking on their usual NTAs night out, which sees them amuse viewers hosting This Morning hungover (pictured in 2016)
Television executives are said to be worried the broadcasters will be greeted with a hostile reaction during the star-studded ceremony, which was pushed back from September 15 until October 13 due to the Queen’s death.
A source told The Sun: ‘They could be booed walking down the red carpet or even on stage. It’s a major concern.’
EXCLUSIVE: Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield shared ’emotional phone call after she felt worried over reaction to ‘queue-gate”
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield shared an emotional SOS phone call about the ‘devastating’ fierce public backlash over ‘queue-gate’, MailOnline can reveal.
A source told MailOnline: ‘Phil and Holly started to become really worried about the situation on Friday night. They spoke at length and decided they had to do something to protect themselves and the reputation of the show.
Following the call ITV issued a statement in a bid to set the record straight – but the move spectacularly backfired.
‘They hoped the statement would take the heat but were totally devastated when they realised it had just made things worse.
‘At one point they considered releasing their own message to set things straight but in the end they decided to wait until the show so they could speak directly to viewers.’
Elsewhere, the Mail on Sunday revealed the star’s names were not on the accreditation list when they made their controversial visit to see the Queen lying in state.
The presenters created a ‘hoo-ha’ when they turned up with two colleagues at Westminster Hall for what they say was to report for This Morning, said a source involved in processing the media list.
In what is the latest twist in an astonishing queue-jumping row, the names of their production team were instead used to help them gain access.
ITV insisted it would not give out the personal contact details of on-screen talent to the Palace of Westminster authorities – and so the email addresses of programme editor Martin Frizell and another member of the production staff, who accompanied them, had been used instead.
The source involved in the media list told The Mail on Sunday: ‘When they got there, their names weren’t on the list so there were some discussions and – after some back and forth – Phil and Holly were given access and they were ushered through. The whole thing caused a bit of a hoo-ha.’
Neither Martin nor the other man accompanied the pair into Westminster Hall, where they stood in the press pen for 25 minutes.
The furore began on Friday September 16, when the presenters’ approach was contrasted with that of football legend David Beckham the same day.
The former England captain waited in line for almost 14 hours to pay his respects to the Queen – despite being offered a pass by an MP to jump the queue. Good Morning presenter Susanna Reid also won plaudits for waiting for seven hours with her mother to file past the coffin.
The week-long fallout over 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.
Holly is also believed to be unhappy that ITV did not step in sooner to back her, and there has been speculation – since denied – that she may leave the show.
Security: In light of the ‘queue-jumping’ row, a source told MailOnline that ITV bosses are aware the NTAs could pose ‘risks’ for the pair and will put ‘measures’ in place on the night
After being seen on the official camera feed inside the venue, the pair said they were there to make a segment for This Morning’s show which would air four days later.
No TV crews other than the official feed were allowed inside.
It comes after Holly was said to have been leaning on Alison Hammond for support while she rides out a wave of public anger over the allegations.
Amid the backlash, the pair have been receiving support from the hosts of Friday’s show, Alison and Dermot O’Leary, with MailOnline understanding that they have been ‘in regular touch’ with the pair all this week.
Holly and Phil have not commented on the matter since issuing a statement on Tuesday’s show in which they insisted they ‘did not skip the queue’.
Joining the line: Members of the public can be seen queuing to get into Westminster Abbey, and the media box can be seen at the back
On Thursday evening, Holly did, however, returned to social media for the first time since the scandal, to congratulate her friend and This Morning fashion presenter Lisa Snowdon for winning Celebrity MasterChef.
Holly has been relying on support from her friends to get her through the past few days. Despite the fact that calls for Holly and Phil to be sacked could land Alison and Dermot the role as full-time hosts, sources say they have remained loyal.
Phil and Holly are reportedly paid as much as £600,000 for presenting the daytime show from Mondays to Thursdays, with Alison and Dermot filling in for Friday’s show.
This Morning insiders believe they are now ‘through the worst of the crisis’ but ITV bosses are still taking steps to make sure Phil and Holly get any support they need.
Snap happy: Holly and Phil outside the Houses of Parliament. The pair say none of the broadcasters and journalists at the Queen’s lying-in-state took anyone’s place in the queue
‘ITV has a duty of care to look after all of its presenters and some of the abuse that Phil and Holly have received on social media is absolutely horrendous,’ a source said.
‘People have gone way too far in some of the things they are saying and senior management have kept in regular touch with Phil and Holly to check they are OK. That will carry on until next week when they return to the programme.
‘Those working on the show hope, by then, things will have blown over and that they will be able to start to put this nightmare to bed. But only time will tell.’
It comes after it emerged that Holly and Phillip were keen to issue a public apology over ‘queue-gate’, but were talked out of it after taking legal advice.
A statement was issued by ITV on Saturday and later broadcast on Tuesday’s This Morning, which was voiced over by Holly, but both stopped short of using the word ‘sorry’ – a move which has left many viewers furious.
A source told MailOnline: ‘Every word of the statement was poured over. In the end, it’s spectacularly backfired.
Emotional: Fans expressed concern for Holly on last Wednesday’s episode of This Morning because she looked like she had been ‘up all night crying’
‘Initially Holly and Phillip were prepared to say sorry if they’d upset anyone as they both just desperately want to draw a line under the affair. But they were advised strongly not to go down that road of saying sorry.’
Such has been the backlash to the pair that TV insiders are raising ‘serious concerns’ about the presenters’ well-being after they appeared tearful and muted on This Morning after the scandal.
In a voiceover over a package of the pair at Westminster Hall, Holly explained: ‘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 have not 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.
Statement: On Saturday, This Morning bosses denied show hosts Holly and Phillip had ‘VIP access’ and filed ‘past the Queen lying in state’
‘In contrast, those paying respect walked along a carpeted area beside the coffin and were given time to pause.
‘None of the broadcasters and journalists there took anyone’s place in the queue and no one filed past 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.’
MailOnline understands that the pair personally insisted that the fiasco be addressed at the start of the show and believe ITV should not have waited so long to speak out on the matter – spending the weekend ‘locked in talks’ with TV producers.
A source revealed: ‘Phillip and Holly are dumbstruck at the level of anger they’ve received in the past few days. They felt ITV should have made it clearer, right away, that it was part of a broadcast.’
An ITV source said: ‘We absolutely made it clear at the time that it was part of a broadcast due to air on Tuesday. This was communicated from the outset, and we gave this information immediately. There have been no crisis discussions or talks about Holly not being part of This Morning moving forward.’
‘She’s been a rock’: It comes after Holly was said to have been leaning on Alison Hammond for support while she rides out a wave of public anger over the allegations
However some social media users were not convinced and there have been calls for the pair to issue an apology.
ITV has since doubled down in the row over footage which seemed to show them filing past the Queen’s coffin – but Holly is said to have been hit particularly hard by online backlash and feels they have been ‘left out to dry’, sources previously said.
Channel bosses are standing by the presenters and have raised ‘real and serious’ concerns about their welfare following the ‘relentless’ online trolling, The Mirror reports.
The popular TV hosts have faced growing fury after images of them appearing to ‘skip the line’ emerged on Friday while tens of thousands of mourners patiently waited for more than 12 hours to pay their respects to Her Majesty.
Viewers tweeted accusations the hosts were ‘too posh to queue’ and a change.org petition to axe the presenters has surpassed 50,000 signatures as viewers appear to reject the stars’ bid to draw a line under the scandal.
A clearer view: A photo of Westminster Abbey – highlighting where the media box is, where the public queue is and where Holly and Phil appeared to be walking
But Holly sparked worry amongst fans last Tuesday after they noticed she looked like she was ‘on the verge of tears’ and had ‘never been so quiet.’
A TV source said on Wednesday night: ‘The abuse has been nothing short of disgusting, not least as they have done nothing wrong and were fully entitled to media accreditation so they could inform their viewers.
‘There is huge, real and serious concerns over their wellbeing and ITV are fully supporting them behind the scenes in the face of such relentless trolling. The channel backs them 110 per cent.’
ITV has already publicly backed the pair twice, including in a statement on social media.
Footage inside Westminster Abbey appeared to show Holly and Phil, 60, walking along an area separate from the media box – but ITV has since insisted the stars did not join mourners in filing past the coffin.
Birdseye view: This graphic of Westminster Abbey shows the areas permitted for the public and media, and the spot where the presenters were seen
Following the images circulating online, comparisons were quickly made to other celebrities who queued for hours with the general public – including England football legend David Beckham and even Holly and Phil’s ITV colleague Susanna Reid, from Good Morning Britain.
An ITV spokeswoman has insisted the presenters did not file past the Queen’s coffin.
The spokeswoman told MailOnline: ‘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 was broadcast on Tuesday’s (20th) show. Any allegations of improper behaviour are categorically untrue.’
Beck of the queue: The majority of people waited between 14 and 16 hours to see the coffin, among them former England footballer David Beckham
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