Popular News Anchor Quits After Being Targeted In Abduction, Murder Plot

By Jason Hall

October 11, 2023

National Television Awards 2023 - London
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Popular UK morning news anchor Holly Willoughby announced her resignation following the recent arrest of a man who plotted to abduct and murder her.

Willoughby, 42, who spent 14 years as the co-host of 'This Morning' on ITV, revealed her "difficult decision" to leave the program, which she said was in the best interest of her husband and three children.

“To everyone who has ever worked on the show over the years, thank you so so much,” Willoughby said in a statement shared on her Instagram account. “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 [Madeley] and Judy [Finnigan] said ‘We only look after this show, it will always belong to the viewers. It’s been an honor to just be part of its story and I know this story has many chapters left to go. Sadly, however, I now feel like I have to make this decision for me and my family. I will miss you all so much.”

Willoughby hadn't appeared on television since London police arrested Gavin Plumb in connection to an abduction and murder plot targeting her, at which point the anchor was removed moments before going on air last Thursday (October 5). Plumb, 36, who worked as a shopping center security officer, was charged with soliciting a man to commit murder and incitement to commit a kidnapping in relation to the alleged plot.

Plumb is accused of conspiring with American David Nelson, but the plan was foiled one week prior to Nelson's scheduled arrival in the UK. Willoughby was placed under police protection last Friday (October 6) while authorities continued to investigate the motive for the alleged abduction and murder plot.

Chloroform, cable ties, a blindfold and ropes were all located by police during a raid of Plumb's Essex home, the Sun reported.

Kevin Lygo, the managing director of media and entertainment for ITV, appeared to hint that Willoughby would still be involved with the network in some capacity following her resignation announcement.

“Holly has brought her unique brand of warmth, energy, humor and fun to one of the country’s most popular daytime shows, and everyone on the program will miss her enormously,” Lygo said in a statement to Sky News. “She remains a much-loved member of the ITV family and we look forward to continuing to work with her in the future. 

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