Holly Willoughby takes break from This Morning after alleged kidnap and murder plot from man who 'contacted hitman'

7 October 2023, 18:12 | Updated: 7 October 2023, 18:22

Gavin Plumb appeared in court on Friday
Gavin Plumb appeared in court on Friday. Picture: Alamy

By Chay Quinn

This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby will not return to the show for an indefinite period after an alleged plot to have her kidnapped and murdered.

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TV mainstay Ms Willoughby will take "indefinite leave" from the popular morning show on ITV after Gavin Plumb, 36, from Harlow was charged with soliciting to commit murder and incitement to kidnap her.

The thirty five-stone security guard contacted a hitman in the United States in an alleged plot to kidnap and murder Holly Willoughby, a court heard yesterday.

ITV bosses have reportedly granted permission for the presenter to take leave indefinitely after learning of the alleged plot.

Plumb has been remanded into custody after appearing at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on Friday, 6 October.

The former Pizza Hut employee is also accused of contacting a hitman in the United States and had weapons in his home, the court heard today.

Gavin Plumb
Gavin Plumb. Picture: Social Media
Gavin Plumb
Gavin Plumb. Picture: social media

Detective Superintendent Rob Kirby from Essex and Kent Serious Crime Directorate said previously: “This was an extremely fast paced investigation, with many of our officers and national partners working overnight to secure these charges.

“The safeguarding of any victim is paramount and we will continue to prioritise this and working with the Metropolitan Police Service as the investigation proceeds.”

This Morning bosses were alerted to the alleged plot on Thursday morning and Holly Willoughby decided to pull out shortly before she was due to go on air, according to The Sun newspaper.

ITV are also providing round-the-clock security and support for Willoughby alongside the police.

Holly's husband Dan Baldwin is supporting her at her home, it is understood
Holly's husband Dan Baldwin is supporting her at her home, it is understood. Picture: Getty

Read More: This Morning stars and ITV send their support as man, 36, charged over Holly Willoughby ‘murder and kidnap’ plot

Holly was not on today's programme. This Morning presenter Alison Hammond told viewers: "We are obviously all shocked to hear the news - we want to send our love and biggest hugs to Holly and her family."

Willoughby's ITV colleague Lorraine Kelly addressed the story on Friday's episode of her programme Lorraine, saying it was "very, very upsetting".

She added: "Of course we are sending Holly all of our love and best wishes, that is a terrible thing to be having to go through for her and her family."

Scotland Yard are said to be watching the mother-of-three's home in London - as friends and fellow stars sent her their support.

She is said to be ‘distraught’ and was pulled from the show today.

A spokesperson for ITV said: "This news has come as a huge shock to everyone at This Morning and ITV. 

"We are providing all of the support we can to Holly and her family at this incredibly distressing time."

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