Thursday, October 12, 2023

British TV personality quits after alleged kidnapping/murder threat

Some unsettling news from across the pond.  British TV presenter Holly Willoughby, 42, has left her hosting duties on This Morning, a daytime magazine program that is broadcast on ITV in the UK.  She resigned after a man was arrested for plotting to kidnap and murder her.  The mother of three was reportedly given 24/7 security by ITV.

On Wednesday, October 4, 2023, Gavin Plumb, a 36-yea-old Essex man, was arrested and charged with soliciting to commit murder and incitement to kidnap Holly Willoughby  According to the BBC, the accused man allegedly assembled "a kidnap and restraint kit" and urged a third party, whom The Guardian identified as American hitman David Nelson, to come from the order to put the murder plan in motion.  

Holly Willoughby made her final appearance on This Moring on October 4th.  The next day, police informed ITV bosses about the murder plot.  On Thursday, October 5th and Friday, October 6th, other co-hosts filled in for Holly.  On Friday, Plumb appeared in court and he remains in custody.

On Tuesday, October 10th, Holly wrote on Instagram: "I've 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 much.  It's been an honour to 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.  This is such a difficult goodbye, you are incredible and I forever will be proud of what we've done together.  Thank you 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."

Holly did not directly mention the investigation into a kidnap/murder plot against her.  Undoubtedly, she is spooked by the shocking murder of 37-year-old Jill Dando, an English journalist, television presenter and newscaster.  On the morning of August 26, 1999, Jill was shot dead outside her home in Fulham, southwest of London.  Her murder led to the largest murder inquiry conducted by the Metropolitan Police.  It was Britain's largest criminal investigation since the search for the Yorkshire Ripper.  Barry George, a local man, was eventually convicted and jailed for the murder.  However, after eight years in prison, George was acquitted after an appeal.  No one else has been charged with Jill Dando's murder and the case remains unsolved.  Years later, her death is still shrouded in mystery.

Jill Dando

SOURCESNew York Daily News, "British TV host Holly Willoughby quits show for plotting her murder," by Joseph Wilkinson, October 12, 2023; Evoke, "'Petrified' Holly Willoughby is given 24/7 secuity by ITV after 'kidnap plot,'" by Bryony Jewell, October 7, 2023, Wikipedia

- Joanne

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