Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield were ‘misrepresented’ and won’t be fired, says ITV boss
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield have been “misrepresented” and will not be fired over claims they skipped the queue to view the Queen’s coffin, the head of ITV has said.
Dame Carolyn McCall said the presenters of This Morning were safe in their jobs, despite an online petition calling for them to be sacked.
She also praised their work for the broadcaster.
The television personalities have been targeted on social media over claims they jumped the public line to pay their respects in Westminster Hall earlier this month.
Programme bosses have stressed the hosting duo attended as members of the media to film a segment for the following Tuesday’s show.
‘Really horrible for them’
Dame Carolyn was asked what the presenters did wrong in a session at the RTS London Convention.
“Honestly, nothing. Honestly,” she said.
“They did have accreditation. Lots of people saying they didn’t. They were sent by This Morning to do a piece for 20 September which ran.
“They were to interview people inside and outside. They didn’t displace anyone in the queue. And they’ve been very misrepresented, actually.
Dame Carolyn added: “And that’s why we made a statement. Unusually, we made a statement to say all of those things. But it does show you how things spread and how misinformation just spreads. And it is really horrible for them.”
Dame Carolyn dismissed the idea they had been “cancelled” before adding: “I think they’re highly relevant and still very topical, and I think the majority of their viewers love watching them.
“But there is a very shrill kind of voice against and it will hurt them.”
Dame Carolyn also said she complained to Domino’s Pizza after the company tweeted a satirical post about the pair skipping a queue to order one of its pizzas.
“We just said to them, ‘What are you doing?’ because we work with Domino’s and they said, ‘We think it is really funny, don’t you?’
“They just thought that was funny. They didn’t think of the impact that would have on how people would pick it up and start meme-ing it.
“I think that’s what happens with these things which are… They did not do anything wrong.
“They were with loads of other broadcasters, many of whom you know, and they were with lots of press journalists.”
Confirming the duo are secure in the jobs at This Morning, Dame Carolyn said she had texted both and that they were not “feeling great”.
“It’s hard. You imagine yourself in the eye of the storm like this, where you’re trying to say you’ve done nothing wrong and all the noise around you is saying that you have. It’s difficult to handle,” she said.
In the session, Dame Carolyn also confirmed that ITV has not hired Laura Whitmore’s replacement as Love Island host.
Asked if it had found a host for the reboot of Big Brother, she added only: “Not announced yet.”
Taylor Swift’s dad accused of punching photographer in face after Sydney show
An Australian photographer claims he was punched by Taylor Swift’s dad in Sydney following the singer’s concert.
Ben McDonald said he told police the incident happened at Neutral Bay Wharf, where Swift and her dad had just come ashore from a yacht hours after the singer’s final show in the city.
While officers did not release names, police said they are investigating an alleged assault by a 71-year-old man on a 51-year-old man at 2.30am local time.
Swift’s representatives have not responded to a request for comment, but a spokesperson told Rolling Stone magazine two people were “aggressively pushing” to get to Swift.
They added that the people grabbed security and threatened a member of the singer’s staff.
Mr McDonald said media had been waiting to picture the star as she walked towards two cars.
“There were about four or five security there and at one point, one of the American security started shoving his umbrella into me and my camera and then Taylor got in her car,” he said.
“Someone else came running at me and punched me in the left side of my face.
“Initially, I thought it was an Australian security that was trying to be the hero of the moment in the front of the Americans, but as it turned out it was her father.”
Mr McDonald said he recognised Swift’s father, Scott Swift, from a picture online – adding that he doesn’t have any bruising and didn’t need any treatment.
“In 23 years, I haven’t been assaulted and punched in the chops, particularly by the talent’s dad,” he said.
“We didn’t go rushing down the jetty. We didn’t go rushing to the back of the boat. We waited for her to come up. Kept it very civil.
“But no, they… put the umbrellas up and umbrellas over her and then shove the umbrellas into our faces and then make out that we’re the ones making contact with them.”
Swift left the country on Tuesday after more than 600,000 fans saw her Eras Tour performance across seven concerts.
Matthew Perry’s X account ‘hacked by fraudsters’ urging donation to fake foundation
The X account of Matthew Perry has been targeted by hackers, according to reports.
A foundation set up in honour of the Friends star, who died last October, appeared to be the target of a link in a pinned post at the top of his profile urging people to donate.
However, the post actually linked to duplicate site.
An Instagram post from the Matthew Perry Foundation said: “We have received reports that Matthew’s official X page has been hacked and is directing users to a fraudulent site soliciting donations via cryptocurrency.
“Please do not donate to this site or share the fraudulent posts on social media.
“MatthewPerryFoundation.org is the only website associated with the Foundation, and we are only accepting donations through this site.”
A caption added: “This is the only official Matthew Perry Foundation Instagram account, and we will only ever post official Foundation communications.
“Please report imposter accounts, and do not submit donations through any channel other than MatthewPerryFoundation.org. #MatthewPerry.”
The post was also flagged by X’s community notes feature saying that the account had been hacked and the link was fake.
Perry’s death was ruled an accident from the “acute effects of ketamine”. The actor, was found “unresponsive in the pool at his residence” on 28 October last year.
Most famous for playing Chandler Bing in hit US sitcom, Perry was open about his battle with addiction, setting up a sober living facility for men who were also struggling.
Following his death, the foundation was created in his name to help those struggling with addiction.
Jennifer Aniston, who played Rachel Green in Friends, was among those who urged support of the foundation.
The actor was recently honoured during the in memoriam segment at the SAG Awards, after there was controversy at the BAFTAs following his omission from their remembrance roll call.
Producer accuses Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs of forcing him to have sex with prostitutes
A music producer has accused Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs of sexually assaulting him and forcing him to have sex with prostitutes.
The suit, filed in New York, accuses the music mogul of repeated instances of unwanted groping and sexual touching.
It also says the music producer was forced to work in a bathroom while Combs showered and wandered around in the nude.
Combs’ lawyer, Shawn Holley, labelled the events described in the lawsuit “pure fiction”.
“We have overwhelming, indisputable proof that his claims are complete lies,” he said.
“We will address these outlandish allegations in court and take all appropriate action against those who make them.”
In the lawsuit, the producer claims Combs made him solicit sex workers and pressured him to sleep with them.
It also described a time when the producer suspected he had been drugged after waking up in a bed with a pair of prostitutes.
The claim is one of several sexual assault lawsuits filed against Combs in recent months, including a lawsuit from the R&B singer Cassie that was settled last year.
Another of Combs’ accusers is a woman who claims he raped her two decades ago when she was 17-years-old.
Combs has denied all the allegations.
In a statement in December, he described the claims as “sickening” and his accusers of “looking for a quick payday”.
“Let me be absolutely clear: I did not do any of the awful things being alleged. I will fight for my name, my family and for the truth,” he said.
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