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14 January 2024, 18:00
What happened to Holly Willoughby, why she quit This Morning, if she will return to host Dancing On Ice and latest from kidnap plot explained.
The mother-of-three, who is married to TV producer Dan Baldwin, has been laying low since she quit This Morning following the arrest of Gavin Plumb - the man accused of soliciting murder and incitement to commit kidnap.
Phillip Schofield's former co-star was confirmed to be returning to host Dancing On Ice at the end of last year, co-presenting alongside Stephen Mulhern in the wake of Phil's exit from ITV.
As Holly returns, we take a look at her dramatic year, from her fallout with Phillip to her This Morning exit and the horrifying kidnap plot against her.
In 2023, Holly Willoughby found herself at the centre of an alleged kidnap and murder plot which sparked her decision to quit This Morning.
Gavin Plumb, a 36-year-old from Harlow in Essex, was arrested in October last year and has been accused of planning to assemble a “kidnap and restraint kit” and encouraging a third party to travel to the UK to carry out the alleged offences.
The shopping centre security officer pleaded not guilty to charges of soliciting murder and incitement to commit kidnap on Friday, 3rd November when he appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court.
At the time of the arrest, Detective Superintendent Rob Kirby from Essex and Kent Serious Crime Directorate said: “This was an extremely fast-paced investigation, with many of our officers and national partners working overnight to secure these charges.
“The safeguarding of any victim is paramount and we will continue to prioritise this and working with the Metropolitan Police Service as the investigation proceeds.”
Following the arrest, Holly took time away from presenting This Morning and later announced she would be leaving the show with immediate effect.
Gavin Plumb will stand trial for the charges in 2024.
Holly Willoughby announced she was quitting This Morning on 10th October 2023, shortly after Gavin Plumb's arrest.
In a statement shared on her social media, Holly wrote: "I have let ITV know today that after 14 years, I will not be returning to This Morning.
"It's been an honour to just be part of its story and I know this story has many chapters left to go. Sadly, however, I now feel I have to make this decision for me and my family.
"I will miss you all so much."
Craig and Rochelle mark the end of Holly Willoughby’s time on This Morning
Holly Willoughby's year had already been turbulent prior to the arrest of Gavin Plumb, however, with the departure of co-star and friend Phillip Schofield from This Morning.
Back in May 2023, it was reported that Holly and Phil were "barely speaking" amid speculation of a feud between the previously close co-stars.
On 20th May, Phillip Schofield announced he would be leaving This Morning with immediate effect.
He later said he was "utterly broken and ashamed" by the affair, admitting in an interview that he "should have known better".
On 5th June, Holly returned to This Morning and addressed the viewers with a short statement where she said she had been left "shaken, troubled, let down" by the revelation.
Phillip Schofield's career on TV is currently non-existent with Stephen Mulhern stepping in to present Dancing On Ice with Holly Willoughby.
Holly Willoughby makes statement as she returns to This Morning
Holly Willoughby will return to TV for Dancing On Ice 2024.
While it was unknown for some time after she quit This Morning whether she would return to host the ice-skating reality show, it was confirmed by ITV at the end of 2023.
Katie Rawcliffe, head of entertainment commissioning at ITV, said in a statement: "Holly and Stephen are two of our best loved presenters, so reuniting them 20 years after they first appeared on screen together to host Dancing on Ice marks the start of an exciting year for the show."