Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby appear to have been jibed by former This Morning host Fern Britton over the recent ‘queue jumping’ row to see the Queen lying in state at Westminster Hall on Friday.
With reports the five-mile long queue had been closed for six hours that day, boosting the wait time to ‘at least 14 hours’, the presenters were said to have joined a separate queue and were taken into a press gallery to film for the ITV programme.
Fern, 65, who fronted the daytime show with Phillip, 60, between 2002 and 2009, wrote in a Friday Twitter post, ‘There’s a VIP queue?’ while Eamonn, 62, liked a tweet from a fan asking if he and wife Ruth Langford could return to their Friday slot.
Ouch: Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby have been jibed by ex This Morning host Fern Britton over their ‘queue jumping’ row to see Queen lying in state – with Eamonn Holmes calling for a return to the ITV show
Following the controversy, the admirer had written: ‘Does this mean we can have @EamonnHolmes and @RuthieeL back on @thismorning please?!’
This Morning producers were forced to deny hosts Holly and Phil had ‘VIP access’ as they filmed a segment for the programme.
The TV duo cut sombre figures as they dressed in black and visited the Queen’s coffin to film for the upcoming episode which is due to air on Tuesday, the day after the late monarch’s state funeral.
On Saturday evening, ITV bosses bosses posted a statement on Instagram which denied the pair had received special treatment: ‘Hello everyone, we would like to clarify something,’ it read.
Old pals: Eamonn and Fern are pictured on This Morning in 2018
‘We asked Phillip and Holly to be part of a film for this Tuesday’s programme.
‘They did not jump the queue, have VIP access or file past the Queen lying in state – but instead were there in a professional capacity as part of the world’s media to report on the event.’
An ITV spokesperson added in a statement to 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 will be broadcast on Tuesday’s show. Any allegations of improper behaviour are categorically untrue.’
Fuming: Fern, 65, wrote in a Friday Twitter post, ‘There’s a VIP queue?’ while Eamonn, 62, liked a tweet from a fan asking if he and wife Ruth Langford could return to their Friday slot
The broadcasters donned all black ensembles, with Holly, 41, in a face mask, as they made their way into the historic building where the late monarch was lying in state following her death last week.
A source told MailOnline: ‘They did not get to pay their respects to the Queen in the same way as queuing members of the public but they filmed in a section put aside for press.
‘This Morning’s Friday show has been cancelled in favour of rolling ITV news coverage in the lead-up to the Queen’s state funeral. The programme will be back on screens on Tuesday.’
Representatives for Fern and Eamonn have been contacted for comment by MailOnline.
Back then: Fern fronted the daytime show with Phillip, 60, between 2002 and 2009 (pictured in 2005)
It comes after their fellow ITV daytime star Susanna Reid queued for more than seven hours to view the Queen’s coffin on its first day being on public view at Westminster Hall the day before.
Unlike Holly and Phil, she was not in attendance in a work capacity and went with family members who would not have been permitted to go into the press gallery.
The Good Morning Britain host, 51, took to Twitter to announce that she and her mother Sue had paid their respects to the late monarch as she lay in state.
It is estimated the number of people set to make the trip could hit more than 350,000, with people from all over the world expected to visit London to pay their respects.
Happier times: Eamonn (bottom right) co-hosted Friday instalments of This Morning for 15 years with Ruth (bottom left). They also covered for Phil and Holly (both top) during the holidays [pictured in 2020]
Earlier this year, Eamonn launched a blistering attack on ITV, branding the broadcaster ‘sly’ and accusing it of hypocrisy over its diversity drive.
The veteran TV presenter also took aim at Phillip in an interview with the Daily Mail’s Weekend magazine, calling him ‘passive-aggressive’ and claiming he has a habit of ‘snubbing people’.
He co-hosted ITV’s Friday instalment of This Morning for 15 years with his wife Ruth. They also covered for Phil and Holly during the holidays.
But the longstanding TV couple were replaced by Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary in 2021.
Historical moment: It is estimated the number of people set to make the trip could hit more than 350,000, with people from all over the world expected to visit London to pay their respects
Eamonn, who now presents the breakfast show at GB News with co-host Isabel Webster, accused ITV bosses of making it look as if he had walked away when in fact he had ‘no idea’ why he was being relieved of the slot.
Television presenter Fern co-hosted This Morning with Phil in the 00s before the pair famously fell out ahead of her departure.
Fern was half way through her £1.5 million contract with ITV when she handed in her notice in 2009 after seven years on This Morning with Phillip.
It was claimed at the time she felt ‘undervalued by ITV’ and that she was ‘living in Phil’s shadow’.
Dedicated: Susanna Reid (right) queued for over seven hours to view the Queen’s coffin for its first day being on public view at Westminster Hall on Thursday
It was also reported Fern was being paid £250,000 a year less than Phil and that he was earning three times her salary when they were fronting Mr and Mrs together from 2008 to 2010.
Phil is said to have banked £45,000 an hour while Fern earned just £15,000.
However, Fern denied she left ITV because of her salary and upon her departure she mentioned the whole This Morning team rather than just Phillip.
Four years after her departure, Phillip admitted he and Fern no longer spoke.
He told Heat magazine in 2013: ‘We were involved in the show and mates at the time, but we don’t really [speak]. I see Phil [Fern’s then-husband, chef Phil Vickery] when he’s in This Morning… But we’re not in touch now.’
Their side: On Saturday evening, ITV bosses bosses posted a statement on Instagram which denied the pair had received special treatment