Graham Norton reveals why he turned down offer to skip the line to see Queen in state

Graham Norton has said he turned down a “queue jump ticket” to see the Queen lay in state, but This Morning presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby “did nothing wrong”.

The couple have been targeted on social media for claims they went public at Westminster Hall earlier this month to pay their respects.

Program executives have stressed that the hosting duo were present as media representatives to film a segment for Tuesday’s show.

Speaking as a guest on Nihal Arthanayake’s BBC Radio 5 Live programme, chat show host Norton said he was offered the chance to skip the public queue by an MP friend but declined.

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Speaking about how tense the public debate has become in recent years, he said: “For example, recently Phil and Holly and the queue. As far as I’m concerned, they did nothing wrong.

“There was a two-tier system. You could jump in the queue. Now a friend of mine has offered me a ticket for the queue jumping.

“He’s an MP and he said, ‘Do you want to come?’ And I didn’t say yes because I thought if anyone saw me, I’d get it in the neck. And that’s what I thought.

“I suppose what Phil and Holly got wrong was that they thought people wouldn’t care. I think that’s her crime.

“The actual queuing? You haven’t done anything wrong. Absolutely nothing wrong. But stupid of them not to think people would be upset.”

When This morning Returning after the Queen’s funeral on Tuesday, Willoughby addressed the criticism on social media, saying in a pre-taped segment: “Please know we would never jump in a queue.”

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Labor Deputy Leader Angela Rayner has also expressed concern over her attacks.

She said last week, “I was worried about them because even though they’re celebrities … they’re people and I’m just like ‘wow’.”

Around a quarter of a million people are believed to have paid their respects by viewing the Queen’s coffin in person as it lay in state. Graham Norton reveals why he turned down offer to skip the line to see Queen in state

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