Man Charged Over Suspected Holly Willoughby Kidnap Plot

The presenter was absent from Thursday's edition of This Morning while apparently "under police guard".
Holly Willoughby in the This Morning studio
Holly Willoughby in the This Morning studio
Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock

A man has been charged following an alleged plot to kidnap TV personality Holly Willoughby.

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.

The tabloid said that the suspect spent the night in police custody, and was not someone Holly knows personally.

Holly at the National Television Awards last month
Holly at the National Television Awards last month
Jeff Spicer via Getty Images

Meanwhile, the PA news agency has reported that Holly has been provided with “round-the-clock security and support” by her employers at ITV.

An Essex Police spokesman said on Thursday evening: “A 36-year-old man from Harlow has been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to kidnap as part of an ongoing investigation.

“The arrest was made on Wednesday 4 October. He is currently in custody.”

On Friday morning, it was confirmed that he had been charged with soliciting to commit murder and incitement to commit kidnap.

He will appear at Chelmsford Magistrates Court on Friday, Sky News reported.

Detective Superintendent Rob Kirby 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.”

HuffPost UK has contacted representatives for both Holly Willoughby and This Morning for comment.

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.

The charges in this story have been updated.


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