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Holly Willoughby quits This Morning following alleged kidnap plot

Holly Willoughby quits This Morning following alleged kidnap plot

Holly Willoughby has announced her decision to leave ITV’s This Morning after 14 years.

In a social media post on Tuesday (10 October), the star, 42, said it has been an “honour to just be part of its story”, but “I now feel I have to make this decision for me and my family”.

Willoughby was reportedly on “indefinite leave” from the show after news emerged of an alleged kidnap plot against her last week.

On Friday 6 October, Gavin Plumb, 36, of Potters Field, Harlow, was charged with soliciting to commit murder and incitement to commit kidnap.

The presenter did not refer directly to the alleged incident in her statement.

“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. Thank you to everyone at ITV for being supportive. To every guest who has sat on our sofa, thank you,” Willoughby’s statement read.

Holly Willoughby (PA Wire)
Holly Willoughby (PA Wire)

“Most of all, thank you to the wonderful viewers. You’ve been so loyal, so supportive and the very best company every day.

“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... I will miss you all so much.”

Alison Hammond appeared as a last-minute replacement for Willoughby on the show on Thursday 5 October but did not offer any reason for why she was standing in for her.

She and co-presenter Dermot O’Leary later addressed the reports on Friday’s show: “We’re obviously all shocked to hear the news and want to send our love and biggest hugs to Holly.”

Willoughby’s exit also comes five months after This Morning was shaken by controversy when her co-presenter of 14 years, Philip Schofield, revealed he had, had an affair with a younger colleague.

The presenter admitted he had lied to his employers, Willoughby, his agent and his family about the nature of his relationship with his colleague, calling it an “unwise” but not “illegal” affair.

Willoughby said she felt “shaken, troubled, let down, and worried” for “the wellbeing of people on all sides of what’s going on”.