ITV's This Morning presenter Holly Willoughby quits - Gavin Plumb remanded until 24th June over alleged kidnap and murder plot

Gavin Plumb, of Potters Field, in Harlow, Essex, is also accused of incitement to commit kidnap.

The 36-year-old, who is a security officer at a shopping precinct in the town, appeared for a short hearing at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court.

Willoughby did not appear on Thursday’s edition of ITV show This Morning. She was reported to be under police protection at her home on Thursday night.

Gavin in 2014
Gavin Plumb, pictured in 2014, was remanded in custody at court

Mr Plumb, who was wearing a green T-shirt with the slogan “Aged to Perfection”, was remanded in custody to appear for a plea hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on 3 November.

He is accused of “soliciting, encouraging, persuading, endeavouring to persuade or proposing to a third party” to murder Willoughby between Tuesday and Wednesday.

It is also alleged that between Monday and Thursday, he was “formulating a plan with a third party”.

He allegedly “encouraged that third party to travel to the UK to carry out the plan” and was “assembling a kidnap and restraint kit, capable of encouraging or assisting the commission of the kidnap” of Willoughby.

The other man was due to arrive in the UK next week from the US, the court heard.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak offered his support to Willoughby ahead of an interview on This Morning.

“I was so sorry to hear about everything going on with Holly and I wanted to send my best to her and her family and to all of you,” he said.

The BBC approached Willoughby’s agent and publicist to comment on the alleged kidnap plot, but they declined, directing all inquiries to the police.

Blimey … a bizarre plot with no apparent motive (as yet).

The Mail has more:

Obviously it was Mr Plumb in the Shopping Centre with the Lead Balloon

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Did any of the articles say how the police learned of this plan? I read the first article. It all seemed so mysterious.

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No, there seems to be a lack of information as to not only Plumb’s motive and means to finance a “hit” but also the the police investigation. As you say, mysterious … :thinking:

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I imagine that intelligence officers both in U.K. and USA monitor activity in dark web chat rooms, where I believe Plumb was posting, so maybe the Police were first alerted that way.
Or maybe they received a tip-off from someone who became aware of his plans.
If intelligence officers picked up on a potential terror attack involving kidnap and murder, that would be sufficient cause to obtain a warrant to remotely access other electronic communications made by Plumb to gather more information.


As you say, you imagine those scenarios … but reality may be different … :wink:

Internet speculation and conjecture about the death of Nicola Bulley was rife but served no purpose except to impede the investigation and upset Nicola’s family.

Yes, of course the reality may be different - that’s why I can only imagine.

My son does the type of work I alluded to but he doesn’t tell me much about it.
I don’t suppose we’ll ever get to hear the full detailed story of how all the evidence was gathered in the case of Mr Plumb either.

The Mirror is now reporting that bosses at ITV have given Willoughby permission to remain off work for as long as she needs following news of the plot that police foiled last week.

A source told the outlet Willoughby had been left “distraught” by the news. They added: “given the terrifying things she has learned this week, the question of returning to work could not be further from her mind.”

Since nothing actually happened, the reaction from Willoughby seems, IMO, somewhat OTT … :017:

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It seems reasonable to me, especially if she is still under police protection.

We don’t know what details the police have told her and what they have advised her to do.
I’d want to stay somewhere safe until I was sure the police had rounded up any other suspects that may have been involved in the plot.

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Well, that seems to be her decision, too:

It is reported the veteran host who has received immense support from her loved ones including her former co-host Phillip Schofield has decided not to appear on This Morning tomorrow as she struggles to deal with the terror of an alleged plot to kidnap and murder her.

This Morning insiders say that Ms Willoughby, 42, will not return to the programme until after the half-term break because she had a scheduled holiday then, as she does every year.

The distraught star’s decision came after emotional conversations with senior ITV executives on Friday.

Ms Willoughby is unlikely to appear on the programme until the end of October at the earliest. ITV bosses are yet to decide how the programme will cover the incident.

One source told The Mail on Sunday: 'As the days go by, something like this doesn’t get any easier for Holly but it is difficult to think about any kind of work right now, let alone when your job is to present a live television show.

‘She needs to be around her nearest and dearest and take the right advice from the right people, too. The This Morning presenters have been in touch with her and they will juggle covering her role for as long as is needed.’

Ms Willoughby does not work on Fridays but spent her day hearing further details of the allegations against 30-stone security guard Plumb, which left her and her family ‘absolutely petrified’. Friends have now rallied around the mother of three.

After five months of silence, Phillip Schofield reached out to Holly Willoughby and offered his support in the wake of an alleged plot to kidnap and murder her. Sources close to Schofield, 61 have said there is ‘still a bond’ between the couple as they claimed Holly was ‘really happy’ to hear from him.

While I appreciate that the allegations must have been both shocking and unnerving for Holly Willoughby, the reports of her reactions are intensely dramatic, even though nothing happened and the allegations have not been proved.

I have noticed that most news reports use dramatic language and hyperbole.
If you told a reporter you were “a bit worried” about something, they would find a way of reporting it as if you were terrified.


“I have let ITV know today that after 14 years, I will not be returning to This Morning,” she posted on Tuesday. “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.”

Her statement didn’t refer directly to last week’s alleged plot.

Willoughby started out presenting children’s programmes before being paired with Schofield to host Dancing on Ice in 2006, and then the long-running This Morning in 2009. The pair’s success led This Morning to win National Television Awards in the daytime, live magazine and topical magazine programme categories for 12 years in a row. But this year it missed out, and she and the programme have endured a turbulent spell.

The hosts faced criticism after they were accused of jumping a queue to view the coffin of the late Queen Elizabeth last September, and then Schofield’s affair put the show in crisis in May. Willoughby said it was “very hurtful” to discover her co-host had lied to her about his relationship with a younger male ITV employee. The fallout led to Schofield’s departure from ITV and wider accusations of a toxic workplace on the programme. When Willoughby returned to This Morning after the furore, she addressed viewers directly, asking them: “Are you OK? I hope so.”

ITV has not yet announced who will replace Schofield or Willoughby on This Morning, or who will front the new series of Dancing on Ice.

Fans will be desolated … :cry:

Sad that a woman has to quit her job in fear for her life and her family’s safety.

Gavin Plumb, 36, is a security guard at the Pinnacles Shopping Centre in Harlow, who worked at Pizza Hut and McDonald’s in the past but gave up after his weight ballooned to 35st.

Obviously our Gav spent most of his time sampling the wares of his employers! :laughing:

Gavin Plumb, 36, of Potters Field in Harlow, Essex, appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court.

The charges relate to an alleged plot between 2 and 5 October involving the former presenter of This Morning.

Wearing a grey T-shirt, the shopping centre security guard spoke only to confirm his details and enter his plea. 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.

Judge Mary Loram KC set a trial date of 24 June and remanded Mr Plumb in custody. The trial is expected to last two weeks.

Blimey … banged up for another 8 months … obviously, then, he’s a menace to society and HW in particular … :scream_cat: