Holly Willoughby is reportedly “under police guard” after an alleged kidnap plot was foiled by police this week.
Today (October 6), Gavin Plumb, 36, from Essex, appeared in court charged over an alleged plot to kidnap and murder the This Morning presenter.
Plumb, 36, was charged with soliciting to commit murder and incitement to commit kidnap. The charges state the defendant is 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 court heard that Plumb is alleged to have conspired online with another man and created a “detailed plan” to carry out the alleged offences. The other man was due to arrive in the UK next week from the US, the court heard today.
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.”
Plumb has since been remanded in custody to appear for a plea hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on 3 November.
A spokesperson for ITV added: “This news has come as a huge shock to everyone at This Morning and ITV. We are providing all of the support we can to Holly and her family at this incredibly distressing time.”
Willoughby was absent from This Morning on October 5 with no statement given at the time about her absence. However, since then, her co-hosts Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary shared a message in support of their colleague on air today.
O’Leary said: “We are not going to talk too much about it but Holly is on the front pages after police arrested a 36-year-old man over an alleged kidnap plot. He has now been charged by Essex police.”
Hammond added: “We are obviously all shocked to hear the news and we want to send our love and biggest hugs to Holly and her family.”
Willoughby’s home in London is currently reportedly under police guard and she is reported to have been left “shocked and distraught” after learning she was the subject of the plot (via The Independent).
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also sent well wishes to Willoughby during an appearance on This Morning after hearing the news. Before addressing the Tory conference and proposed policies, he sent a supportive message, saying: “I’m so sorry to hear everything going on with Holly, I just want to send my best to her and her family.”