Popular British TV presenter Holly Willoughby said she was stepping down from her role on her network’s flagship morning program just days after a kidnap-and-murder plot against her was uncovered by police.
Willoughby, who had been away from ITV’s This Morning since Thursday, confirmed her departure in an Instagram post on Tuesday, declaring: “I now feel I have to make this decision for me and my family.”
“This is such a difficult goodbye,” she continued, adding: “I will miss you all so much.”
It comes after ex-Pizza Hut employee-turned-security officer Gavin Plumb was charged with coming up with a “detailed plan” to kidnap and kill Willoughby using an American hitman.
Plumb “assembled a kidnap and restraint kit capable of encouraging or assisting the commission of the kidnap of Holly Willoughby,” prosecutors alleged last week.
Willoughby, 42, who has worked on the show as a presenter for 14 years, said on Tuesday, “I have let ITV know today that after 14 years, I will not be returning to This Morning.”
Kevin Lygo, ITV’s managing director, media and entertainment, praised Willougby and said he understood that the decision would have not been an easy one.
“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,” Lygo said.
“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.”