man has been arrested after allegedly plotting to kidnap television presenter Holly Willoughby, according to reports.
The 36-year-old suspect, who is not thought to be known to Ms Willoughby, was arrested in Harlow, Essex, on Wednesday.
Police allegedly found “sinister messages” that threatened to kidnap and “seriously harm” the mother-of-three, according to the Sun.
Ms Willoughby was absent from her usual role presenting ITV’s breakfast show This Morning on Thursday.
Police reportedly alerted ITV bosses about the alleged plot early on Thursday, and it was decided Ms Willoughby would not appear on the show.
The 42-year-old spent Thursday night under police protection at her London home, the Sun reported.
Sources told the newspaper she was “shocked and distraught” by the incident, while there was reportedly a round-the-clock police presence outside her home, where she lives with her husband and three children.
One source told the Sun: “Investigations are continuing but police are treating this as a credible conspiracy to kidnap Holly.”
An Essex police spokesperson told the Times: “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, October 4. He is currently in custody.”
The incident comes during a turbulent year for Ms Willoughby.
Her former This Morning co-presenter Phillip Schofield left the show in May after admitting to an “unwise but not illegal” relationship with a runner more than 20 years his junior. Ms Willoughby took an early summer break from the show over the scandal.
Following the Queen’s death last September, a petition calling for her and co-star Mr Schofield to be sacked reached 50,000 signatures, after they were falsely accused of skipping the queue to witness the monarch’s lying-in-state.
https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/holly-willoughby-kidnap-arrest-police-this-morning-b1111764.html Holly Willoughby: Man arrested over plot to kidnap This Morning presenter