'Distraught' Holly Willoughby 'under police guard' after man, 36, arrested following 'kidnapping plot'

6 October 2023, 00:57 | Updated: 6 October 2023, 16:55

Willoughby was forced to pull out of her appearance on This Morning
Willoughby was forced to pull out of her appearance on This Morning. Picture: Alamy/ITV/Social media

By Emma Soteriou

Holly Willoughby is under police guard at her London home after officers allegedly found “sinister messages” threatening to kidnap and “seriously harm” the mum-of-three.

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Willoughby was forced to pull out from presenting This Morning on Thursday after the alleged kidnapping plot was foiled by police.

It came after a 36-year-old man, who was not known to the star, was arrested on Wednesday evening.

Police cars and forensics surrounded the man's flat in Harlow, Essex, as they searched the scene for evidence.

A round-the-clock guard has since been put in place outside Willoughby's home, where she lives with her husband and children.

Read more: How man, 36, who allegedly plotted to kidnap Holly Willoughby was snared

Read more: Paddy McGuinness breaks silence after Top Gear co-host Andrew Flintoff's crash and shares throwback photo

A source told The Sun: “Investigations are continuing but police are treating this as a credible conspiracy to kidnap Holly.

“There were apparently some sinister and threatening messages found on electronic devices threatening to seriously harm her.”

Willoughby is understood to have been informed shortly before she was due on air and was said to have been left “shocked and distraught”.

Alison Hammond was called in last-minute to replace the 42-year-old, joining co-host Josie Gibson.

Gibson kicked off the morning show saying: “Look who’s joined me.

“It’s only the one and only Alison Hammond.”

An Essex Police spokesman said: “A 36-year-old man from Harlow has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to kidnap as part of an ongoing investigation.

“The arrest was made on Wednesday 4 October.

“He is currently in custody.

“Enquiries continue.”

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