Under-fire Phillip Schofield cuts a downcast figure on an evening out with his daughter amid the fallout from the royal queue storm.
The presenter looked tired and dejected in his first off-screen public appearance since he and This Morning co-star Holly Willoughby were accused of bypassing the 13-hour line waiting to see the Queen lying in state.
Dressed smartly in a grey jumper, jeans and a black jumper, Schofield appeared to be deep in conversation with his daughter Molly and her boyfriend Will Grieveson as they visited a restaurant near his west London home.
They dined at the restaurant until 11pm on Wednesday, with waiters seemingly staying behind to serve them. ‘The staff were seen cleaning tables and packing things away while Schofield, 60, and his daughter carried on eating and drinking,’ said a witness. ‘Five minutes after they left, staff were also seen heading home. Maybe they didn’t wanted to rush Phil.’
The topic of the dinner conversation could well have been ‘queue-gate’ as Molly is a talent manager at showbusiness agency YMU, who have represented Schofield for more than two decades. She also manages stars such as Davina McCall and Rochelle Humes.
The following morning, Schofield was once again back on screen with Miss Willoughby, 41, his co-star on the ITV daytime show for 13 years.
The presenters used press accreditation to visit Westminster Hall last week while other stars, including David Beckham and Susanna Reid, waited for hours with the public.
ITV insist that neither Schofield nor Miss Willoughby jumped the queue and that they were there in a professional capacity as part of the world’s media to report on the event.
The pair addressed the allegations in a pre-recorded an 11-minute segment which was shown on This Morning on Tuesday, with Miss Willoughby saying: ‘We would never have jumped the queue.’
A petition to axe the presenters from This Morning has reached more than 62,000 signatures and the row has said to have left Miss Willoughby in tears.
A source said: ‘Brand Holly was a triumph, everyone loved her, her fanbase was extraordinary but the tide has turned.
‘If you look at some of the comments out there, her popularity is falling through the floor. Holly will be furious. She has worked hard for this but there are many close to her who think that this has been an absolute PR disaster.’
Former This Morning host Eamonn Holmes yesterday labelled Miss Willoughby and Schofield ‘arrogant’.
The presenter, who had a long-running feud with Schofield while they were both at ITV, added: ‘Let’s just tell the truth about the whole thing. They messed up, and instead of being arrogant and saying, ‘We were there working as journalists,’ why don’t they just say, ‘Yeah, we thought it would be a good idea.’”