A man has been charged with plotting to kidnap and kill Holly Willoughby, a famous TV host in the UK.
The 36-year-old man, Gavin Plumb, from Harlow, Essex, appeared in court on Friday and faced charges of soliciting another man, David Nelson, to murder Willoughby, and inciting him to kidnap her. He also allegedly planned to get a third person from the US to help him execute the crimes.
He was arrested on Wednesday after police found “sinister messages” on his phone and computer that revealed his intentions to harm the 42-year-old presenter of ITV’s This Morning. He did not know Willoughby personally and the reason for his plot is unknown.
He confirmed his personal details at Chelmsford magistrates court, where he wore a green T-shirt that said “Aged to Perfection”. He was ordered to remain in custody until his next hearing at Chelmsford crown court on 3 November.
Willoughby was informed of the alleged plot on Thursday morning, just before she was supposed to go live on air. She was shocked and distraught and decided to withdraw from the show. She was replaced by Alison Hammond, who co-hosted with Josie Gibson.
Willoughby was also given police protection at her London home, where she lives with her husband and three children. ITV also offered her full support and security.
Her colleagues and fans expressed their concern and sympathy for her and her family. Even UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sent his best wishes to her on Friday.
Willoughby had posted on Instagram on Wednesday, wishing her husband a happy birthday and announcing the guests for that day’s show.
Her fellow ITV presenter Lorraine Kelly said on her show Lorraine on Friday that the news was “very, very upsetting” and that they were sending Holly all their love and best wishes.
Detective Superintendent Rob Kirby from Essex and Kent serious crime directorate said that this was a very fast-paced investigation and that they were working with the Metropolitan police service to safeguard the victim and proceed with the case.
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