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Holly Willoughby announces shock departure from This Morning: 'This is such a difficult goodbye'

The ITV star has been on the show for 14 years

Holly Willoughby on This Morning
Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
10 October 2023
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Holly Willoughby has confirmed that she has quit This Morning, releasing an emotional statement after 14 years on the popular ITV daytime show.

In her statement, the mum-of-three said: "I have 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 so much. This is such a difficult goodbye, you are incredible and I forever will be proud of what we've done together."

WATCH: Relive the emotional moment Holly Willoughby welcomed childhood friend onto This Morning sofa

She continued: "Thank you to 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.

"Richard and Judy said 'we only look after this show, it will always belong to the viewers'. 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. Holly."

Holly revealed her decision to leave
View post on Instagram

Fans shared their sadness at Holly's news online, as one commented: "Gutted. Absolutely gutted. Wishing you well for the future Holly. You'll be a huge miss," while a second shared: "Bless; I hope you feel better in yourself and thank you for brightening up our TV screens!"

A third added: "You've done a fabulous job Holly! Hope you and your family are safe. Your future will no doubt be even brighter," while co-star Juliet Sear shared: "So sad to see you go Holly wishing you loads of positive things for your new chapter xxx. It's been wonderful working with you for the last 8 years and making your birthday cakes to for the last 14. Lots of love to you and you family."

Holly Willoughby wears a pink floral blouse on This Morning
Holly had been on This Morning for 14 years

Holly's shock move comes just a week after the presenter was pulled from the show after a plot to kidnap her was unveiled. Police explained the threats against the 42-year-old to the producers, and she was subsequently replaced by her co-star, Alison Hammond.

A 36-year-old man, Gavin Plumb, from Harlow, Essex was arrested on Wednesday morning following a slew of text messages being found in which he threatened to cause "serious harm" to the Dancing on Ice presenter.

Holly Willoughby showing off her eye makeup in a closeup photo© Instagram
The star has had a difficult year

He was later charged in Chelmsford Magistrates Court with the charges saying he "solicited, encouraged, persuaded, endeavoured to persuade, or proposed" the murder of Holly, and encouraged someone else to travel to the UK from the States to carry out the plan, having assembled a kidnap and restraint kit. Gavin has been remanded into custody until a plea hearing on November 3 at Chelmsford Crown Court.

ITV had given Holly permisision to stay off air for as long as she needed to recover from the ordeal before she confirmed her departure.

Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on the set of This Morning© Shutterstock
Holly's former co-star quit the broadcaster back in May

Holly's departure comes months after her former co-star, Phillip Schofield, stepped down from This Morning and ITV after the news of his relationship with a junior member of staff on the show came to light and amid reports that the pair were no longer getting along.

In his statement about leaving ITV, Phillip said: " But my recent, unrelated, departure from This Morning fuelled speculation and raised questions which have been impacting him, so for his sake it is important for me to be honest now. I am painfully conscious that I have lied to my employers at ITV, to my colleagues and friends, to my agents, to the media and therefore the public and most importantly of all to my family. I am so very, very sorry, as I am for having been unfaithful to my wife."

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