Holly Willoughby is stepping down from her presenting role on “This Morning”
LONDON (AP) — Holly Willoughby, one of Britain’s most well-known television personalities, announced Tuesday that she will step down as host of the ITV network’s flagship daytime show “This Morning,” just days after a man was charged in connection with an alleged plot to kidnap and murder her.
Willoughby, who has been off the air since Thursday due to the security scare, announced on Instagram that she is stepping down after 14 years as the host of “This Morning,” a magazine show that combines celebrity interviews and entertainment news with discussions about current events.
“I have let ITV know today that after 14 years, I will not be returning to This Morning,” said the 42-year-old. “Sadly, however, I now feel I have to make this decision for me and my family.”
ITV, a commercial broadcaster, lauded Willoughby and expressed interest in working with her again in the future.
“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,” said Kevin Lygo, ITV’s managing director of media and entertainment.
Her departure follows the announcement last Friday that Gavin Plumb, a 36-year-old shopping center security officer, had been arrested in connection with the alleged plot. Plumb is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 3 for a plea hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) east of London.
“This Morning” has had a challenging year. Phillip Schofield, Willoughby’s former co-host, left the show earlier this year after admitting to having a relationship with a younger male former colleague.