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Holly Willoughby quits This Morning after 14 years ‘for me and my family’

Holly Willoughby quits This Morning after 14 years ‘for me and my family’

Holly Willoughby has announced she is stepping down from presenting This Morning after 14 years on the ITV show.

The 42-year-old said it was an “honour to just be part of its story”, but that she feels “I have to make this decision for me and my family” in a social media post on Tuesday.

It comes after a 36-year-old man was remanded in custody last week charged over an alleged plot to kidnap and murder Willoughby.

In a post to Instagram, she wrote: “I have let ITV know today that after 14 years, I will not be returning to This Morning.”

“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.

“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.

“Sadly, however, I now feel I have to make this decision for me and my family.

“I will miss you all so much. Holly”

Willoughby has three children – Belle, Harry and Chester – with husband Daniel Baldwin, who she married in 2007.

Her This Morning colleague’s were among those to share their support including Alison Hammond who commented: “This is a very sad day! Love you” while Dermot O’Leary added: “Nothing but love and respect for you and yours. X”

Craig Doyle said it was a “sad day for everyone”, adding: “We are so supportive of you and we love you to bits, we just wish it didn’t end this way.”

Josie Gibson also sent her love to Willoughby and said “you’ve made me laugh until my cheeks ache sharing the sofa with you”.

Holly Willoughby and husband Daniel Baldwin have three children
Holly Willoughby and husband Daniel Baldwin have three children (PA)

The TV presenter pulled out of hosting This Morning on Thursday and her London home was reportedly being guarded by police after a man was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of conspiracy to kidnap.

On Friday, shopping centre security officer Gavin Plumb was charged with soliciting a man named David Nelson to commit murder, and incitement to commit kidnap between October 2 and 5 in Harlow, Essex.

Plumb is alleged to have conspired online with another man and created a “detailed plan” to carry out the offences.

Willoughby’s former co-host Phillip Schofield left the show in May after he admitted to a relationship with a younger male former colleague.

An external review of the facts after Schofield’s departure is currently under way and ITV bosses have said both Schofield and his former lover “repeatedly denied” allegations of a relationship until the star quit ITV and formally apologised.

The daytime programme has continued to face scrutiny following Schofield’s departure, including claims the show fostered a “toxic” bullying culture.

National Television Awards
Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield have both stepped down from presenting This Morning this year (Jonathan Brady/PA)

In September, ITV boss Dame Carolyn McCall updated the Culture, Media and Sport committee to say the external review is being led by Jane Mulcahy KC and she has “conducted multiple witness interviews, with further interviews set to continue during the course of September”.

Willoughby and Schofield, who had presented it together since 2009, also co-hosted Dancing On Ice before Schofield’s ITV resignation. It is not clear yet whether Willoughby will present the next series on the celebrity competition which is due to return in the new year.

Last month, This Morning lost its best daytime show title at the National Television Awards to the BBC’s The Repair Shop.

The ITV show had previously won in the daytime, live magazine or topical magazine category every year since 2011.

Following Willoughby’s announcement, the managing director for media and entertainment at ITV, Kevin Lygo, said: “We are sad that Holly is leaving This Morning, but respect her decision which we know will have been extremely difficult for her to make.

“Holly is one of the best loved, respected and most accomplished broadcasters in the UK.

“She has been at the heart of This Morning for the past 14 years, and she is adored by our viewers.

“Holly has brought her unique brand of warmth, energy, humour and fun to one of the country’s most popular daytime shows, and everyone on the programme will miss her enormously.

“She remains a much loved member of the ITV family and we look forward to continuing to work with her in the future.”