Holly Willoughby Announces She's Leaving ITV's This Morning

The presenter is leaving the ITV daytime show after 14 years and following a man's arrest over an alleged plot to kidnap her.
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

Holly Willoughby has announced she will not be returning to This Morning after a man was arrested over an alleged plot to kidnap her last week.

The presenter said she had been forced to make the decision to leave the ITV daytime show after 14 years for “me and my family”.

In a statement posted on her social media accounts, she wrote: “I have let ITV know today that after 14 years, I will not be returning to This Morning.

“To everyone who has ever worked on the show over the years, thank you so so much. 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.”

Quoting the original hosts of This Morning, Holly continued: “Richard and Judy said ‘we only look after this show, it will always belong to the viewers’. 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.”

On Thursday morning, This Morning viewers noticed that Holly was absent from her usual presenting slot, with Alison Hammond being drafted in to co-host the show with Josie Gibson.

Following this, The Sun reported that Holly was “under police guard at her home” after “sinister” messages were found on a man’s phone reportedly threatening to “seriously harm” the daytime TV presenter.

He appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on Friday, charged with soliciting to commit murder and incitement to commit kidnap, but only spoke to confirm his name, date of birth and address during the hearing.

Holly Willoughby with This Morning co-stars Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary at this year's National Television Awards last month
Holly Willoughby with This Morning co-stars Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary at this year's National Television Awards last month
David Fisher/Shutterstock for NTA

Following Holly’s decision to leave This Morning, ITV’s managing director of media and entertainment Kevin Lygo said: “We are sad that Holly is leaving This Morning, but respect her decision which we know will have been extremely difficult for her to make.

“Holly is one of the best loved, respected and most accomplished broadcasters in the UK.

“She has been at the heart of This Morning for the past 14 years, and she is adored by our viewers.

“Holly has brought her unique brand of warmth, energy, humour and fun to one of the country’s most popular daytime shows, and everyone on the programme will miss her enormously.

“She remains a much loved member of the ITV family and we look forward to continuing to work with her in the future.”

Commenting on Holly’s Instagram post, fellow This Morning host Alison Hammond wrote: “This is a very sad day ! Love you.”

Regular guest host Craig Doyle said: “We are so supportive of you and we love you to bits, we just wish it didn’t end this way. Its a sad day for everyone.”

Stand-in presenter Rochelle Humes echoed the pair, adding: “This is a sad day. We love you.”

Agony aunt Vanessa Feltz also said: “We will miss you so very much my darling.”

Chef Juliet Sear wrote: “So sad to see you go Holly wishing you loads of positive things for your new chapter xxx it’s been wonderful working with you for the last 8 years and making your birthday cakes to for the last 14. Lots of love to you and you family.”

Contributor Carol Vorderman also said: “Wishing you and your family peace and strength in what must be a very difficult time after the news of last week Holly x from my time on TM, I know that the team will miss you very much. Take care.”

Holly had hosted This Morning with Phillip Schofield since 2009, prior to his exit earlier this year
Holly had hosted This Morning with Phillip Schofield since 2009, prior to his exit earlier this year
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

The news comes at the end of what Holly recently described as a “difficult year” while speaking to reporters at this year’s National Television Awards.

Back in April, it was reported Holly and her former co-host Phillip Schofield had fallen out behind the scenes, with Phillip abruptly stepping down from This Morning shortly afterwards.

A week later, he then resigned from ITV altogether after admitting to having lied to producers about an affair with a younger colleague on the show.

In the months since, Holly had continued to front the show with a rotating roster of the show’s existing presenters, including Alison Hammond, Dermot O’Leary and Craig Doyle.

Holly joined This Morning in 2009 alongside Phillip as a replacement for former co-host Fern Britton.

The pair had previously worked together at the helm of Dancing On Ice since 2006.

This Morning airs weekdays at 10am on ITV1.

The charges in this story have been updated.


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