ITV bosses fear This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby could walk out on the show as the row continues over suggestions she “skipped the queue” to see the Queen lying in state.
Ms Willoughby, 41, and her co-presenter Phillip Schofield, 60, were accused on social media of jumping ahead of thousands of mourners who waited up to 17 hours.
The couple have strongly denied the accusations, claiming they were working.
However, the Mail Online reports the couple are angry that ITV chiefs didn’t tackle the allegations from the start – allowing matters to escalate.
A source said told the Mail:
“Phillip and Holly are dumbstruck at the level of anger they’ve received in the past few days.
“They felt ITV should have made it clearer, right away, that it was part of a broadcast.
“When they started being bombarded with messages via social media they were simply stunned.
“They’ve been left astonished at the way the whole thing has mushroomed.
‘That’s the main reason they wanted something to be said on Saturday [when This Morning issued a statement] and why they were insistent the show needed to address it head on on Tuesday.
“Holly, in particular, has been left totally distraught by this.
“She’s been in floods of tears at some of the things she’s been called and of the behaviour she’s been accused of.
“She’d never jump a queue or behave in that way and is heartbroken that people think she would.
“Producers and staff at This Morning are rallying round.
“They are a close-knit team but there is a concern at how it has impacted on Holly.
“It has left many wondering if it’s pushed her close to the exit.”
ITV has declined to comment.