Holly Willoughby's ITV co-star shares heartbreaking update about presenter

Holly Willoughby showing off her eye makeup in a closeup photo
Holly Willoughby has taken a break from social media whilst recovering from the scare (Instagram)

Holly Willoughby isn't "in a good place", according to her close friend Leigh Francis.

The 42-year-old presenter's television career has been in limbo since her shock decision to step down from This Morning in October after 14 years of hosting the ITV morning show, and it now seems she is unlikely to be returning to our screens anytime soon.

Leigh, who is best known as his comedy alter-ego Keith Lemon, revealed he has been trying to cheer Holly up following her stalker hell, which saw 36-year-old Gavin Plumb from Harlow, Essex accused of soliciting to murder and incitement to kidnap the presenter.

As a result, Holly made the difficult decision to quit her day job for the sake of her family, and she has been lying low at her London home with her husband Daniel Baldwin, 49, and their three children Harry, 14, Belle, 12 and Chester, eight, ever since.

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Leigh told the Sunday People: "I don't think she's in a good place. She's having a tough time."

Holly Willoughby takes a selfie while drinking a cup of tea
Holly Willoughby isn't "in a good place", according to her Celebrity Juice co-star Leigh Francis aka Keith Lemon (Instagram)

Probed further about what the pair discuss, the comedian said: "I just text her? I don't ask how she is, but I send her some messages to cheer her up.

"I just go, 'Hope you're OK', and tell her about things I've bought. Like, 'I've just wasted my money on some Spider-Man Crocs, Holly? do you like them?'"

The former Bo' Selecta! star also revealed he doesn't know whether Holly will be back hosting Dancing on Ice in January.

Leigh Francis aka Keith Lemon attends the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland Charity Preview Night
Leigh weighed in on Holly's departure from This Morning, saying he's been cheering her up by texting her (Joseph Okpako)

No decision has been made about Holly's future on the Sunday night entertainment show, which she previously presented alongside her former This Morning co-host Phillip Schofield.

Her once close friendship with Phillip has reportedly suffered since Phillip's exit from This Morning in May after admitting to an "unwise but not illegal" relationship with a younger male colleague.

This week, the man accused of soliciting to murder and incitement to kidnap Holly was denied bail. The 36-year-old man has remained in custody ahead of the trial since June.

keith lemon
Holly's future on Dancing on Ice following Phillip Schoefield's (left) departure is also up in the air, says Leigh (right)

He denies charges relating to the alleged kidnap plot between 2 and 5 October. Essex native Gavin Plumb is accused of intending to assemble a "kidnap and restraint kit" and encouraging a third party to travel to the UK to carry out the alleged plan.

The latest update about Holly's wellbeing comes after former This Morning star Dr Ranj Singh weighed in on her TV future.

"Of course she will come back to TV," he told Closer. "She's too good not to. I don't know where or what show, but she's so good at it, it would be a shame for her to back away completely."

Holly Willoughby on 'This Morning'
Holly has been lying low at home in London since her departure from the ITV programme (Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

Holly confirmed her departure from the popular programme in a statement released on social media last month.

"I've let ITV know today that after 14 years, I will not be returning to This Morning," the mum-of-three wrote. "To everyone who has ever worked on the show over the years, thank you so so much. This is such a difficult goodbye, you are incredible and I forever will be proud of what we've done together.

holly willoughby embracing daughter Belle
The TV host made the decision to step away from This Morning for the sake of her three children after an alleged kidnap plot (Instagram)

"Thank you to everyone at ITV for being supportive. To every guest who has sat on our sofa, thank you. Most of all, thank you to the wonderful viewers. You've been so loyal, so supportive and the very best company every day."

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She continued: "Richard and Judy said, 'We only look after this show, it will always belong to the viewers'. It's been an honour to just be part of its story and I know this story has many chapters left to go. Sadly, however, I now feel I have to make this decision for me and my family. I will miss you all so much."