The petition, which was posted on Change.org, came about after the TV presenters were falsely accused of jumping the queue to see the Queen lying-in-state and resulted in a huge backlash against them.
ITV have backed the duo, saying: “They did not jump the queue, have VIP access or file past the Queen lying in state – but instead were there in a professional capacity as part of the world’s media to report on the event.”
Willoughby and Schofield have also addressed the misunderstanding, explaining that they had media accreditation and were there in a journalistic capacity to report on events for the ITV daytime show. However that has failed to defuse the situation.
Now, the petition’s creator Laura Harrison has said that she is stepping back from the cause and that it’s “kind of destroying me”.
In an update shared to Change.org, she explained: “I’ve asked ITV to deliver any responses relating to this to the public and not to me, as I won’t be following the news, or watching the programme, or sharing anything online, or through social media,” they wrote. “I want nothing more than for this topic to end.
“I want positivity, not hostility and negativity. The concerns raised by this have been shared with Ofcom and ITV, and that’s all I can do.”
The post continued: “I want to begin the week on a more positive note, and I don’t want to think about the programme anymore. It’s kind of destroying me. Words will be twisted, but the intent was always to prevent people being hurt time and time again by these TV shows.”
Appearing as a guest on Nihal Arthanayake’s BBC Radio 5 Live programme, chat show host Norton said he had been offered the chance to skip the public queue by an MP friend but had declined.
Discussing how fraught public debate has become in recent years, he said: “For instance, recently Phil and Holly and the queue. So as far as I’m concerned they did nothing wrong.
“There was a two-tier system. You could queue jump. Now, I got offered a queue jump ticket by a friend of mine.
“He’s an MP and he said, ‘Do you want to come?’ And I didn’t say yes because I thought if anybody sees me I’ll get it in the neck. And that was what I thought.”