Holly Willoughby, one of Britain’s most high-profile television personalities, announced on Tuesday that she was stepping down from her presenting role on the ITV network’s flagship daytime programme, ‘This Morning,’ days after a man was charged in connection with an alleged plot to kidnap and murder her.
Willoughby, who has been off air since Thursday as a result of the security scare, said on Instagram that she is standing down after 14 years in her role presenting ‘This Morning’, a magazine programme that mixes celebrity interviews and entertainment news with discussions about current affairs.
“I have let ITV know today that after 14 years, I will not be returning to ‘This Morning,’ the 42-year old said. “Sadly, however, I now feel I have to make this decision for me and my family.”
ITV, a commercial broadcaster, praised Willoughby and said it looked forward to working with her again in the future.
“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,” Kevin Lygo, managing director of media and entertainment at ITV, said.
Her departure follows last Friday’s news that Gavin Plumb, a 36-year-old shopping centre security officer, had been arrested over the alleged plot. Plumb is due to appear at a plea hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court, around 65 kilometres east of London, on Nov. 3.