Popular UK morning news anchor Holly Willoughby quit her longtime television role days after a lunatic was arrested for allegedly plotting to abduct and murder her.
Willoughby, who co-hosted ITV’s “This Morning” for 14 years, announced Tuesday she would not return to the program following a “difficult decision” 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. “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 she was promptly removed moments before going on air last Thursday as Metropolitan police arrested Gavin Plumb, 36, in connection to the terrifying plot.
Plumb, a shopping center security officer, was charged with soliciting a man to commit murder and incitement to commit a kidnapping.
According to The Guardian, Plumb allegedly conspired with another man, identified as David Nelson, from the US to try and pull off the murder.
The plot was foiled a week before Nelson was scheduled to arrive in the UK, the outlet added.
Willoughby was placed under police protection last Friday as a motive for the alleged kidnapping and murder plot is unclear.
Police found chloroform, cable ties, a blindfold and ropes when they raided Plumb’s home in Essex, according to The Sun.
Kevin Lygo, ITV’s managing director of media and entertainment, hinted that Willoughby would still be involved with the network.
“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.
Plumb, meanwhile, is scheduled to next appear in Chelmsford Crown Court, located 40 miles outside of London, for a plea hearing on Nov. 3.
With Post wires