Piers Morgan slams 'ridiculous' petition to get Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield fired

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Piers Morgan has come to the defence of Holly Willoughby following calls for her and Phillip Schofield to be fired from This Morning for allegedly jumping The Queen's lying-in-state queue.

Last week, approximately 250,000 mourners queued up to file past the late British monarch's coffin in London over a five-day period, with some standing in line for more than 24 hours.

Not everyone had to queue though, with MPs and other big names allowed to skip the long wait time. The public took issue with Holly and Phil appearing to shun the main queue, when celebrities like David Beckham waited for more than 13 hours.

This Morning producers hit back at the claim, insisting the pair were covering the event in a work capacity, but it doesn't seem to have deterred people from adding their names to the Change.org petition, which has so far received 33,471 signatures and is still growing by the hour.

On his TalkTV show, Piers Morgan Uncensored, on Tuesday night, Piers slammed the furore.

"All hell broke loose about this, they have been subject to, I think, a ridiculously over-the-top campaign," he seethed. "20,000 people have signed a petition to have them fired. Of course, they shouldn't be fired, it's ridiculous.

"It may have been a misjudgement. I said myself on this show, I don't think anyone should have been jumping the queue full stop, whoever you are, unless you are a world leader and there is a time issue."

Piers then played a clip of Holly explaining what happened on Tuesday's episode of This Morning - the presenter's first show since the backlash.

He went on to admit: "Full disclosure, I am a good friend with Holly and I feel very sorry, she is absolutely distraught, I think, about the reaction."

An ITV source has since confirmed to The Sun that Holly will not quit her post on This Morning.

"She has been devastated by all the negative reaction after she turned up to work at Westminster Hall with Phil on Friday, but she's not going to resign," they said.