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A MAN has today appeared in court charged with allegedly plotting to kidnap and murder Holly Willoughby.
Gavin Plumb, 36, is accused of contacting a 'hitman' in the US and allegedly making a "restraint kit" as part of an alleged plan to snatch the TV star.
The 35-stone shopping centre security officer appeared at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court today to face the charges – soliciting to commit murder and incitement to commit kidnap – with This Morning presenter Holly as the alleged target.
It is claimed Plumb was in possession of "weapons" and had contacted a hitman based in America to carry out the "detailed plan".
According to the charges, he allegedly “solicited, encouraged, persuaded, endeavoured to persuade, or proposed” to murder Holly.
It is also said Plumb encouraged the US-based man to travel to the UK and had “assembled a kidnap and restraint kit capable of encouraging or assisting the commission of the kidnap of Holly Willoughby”.
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Plumb, who works at the Pinnacles Shopping Centre in Harlow, Essex, spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address.
The defendant, who wore a green t-shirt with the slogan “Aged to Perfection”, was remanded into custody to next appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on November 3.
The dad was arrested on Wednesday by Essex Police after the alleged plot was uncovered.
Holly, 42, was forced to pull out of hosting This Morning yesterday and was replaced by Alison Hammond.
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Show bosses were informed shortly before she was due to go on air.
Holly was left “shocked and distraught” after the alleged kidnap plan was exposed by police.
The mum-of-three is under police guard at the home she shares with her husband Dan Baldwin.
It has now emerged suspect Plumb appeared in a 2018 BBC documentary about weight loss.
He tipped the scales at 35-stone after gorging on fast food and guzzling 36 pints of Coke a week.
The ex-Pizza Hut and McDonald's worker claimed he was unable to leave his flat for at least for years due to his size.
He said: "It's a vicious circle. When I'm depressed, I eat – and when I eat, I'm depressed.
"For a long time, I found it difficult walking around. But getting to the point of not being able to go out, that really crept up on me."
Holly recently returned to This Morning after a two month summer holiday.
She has been hosting This Morning alongside a rotating list of presenters after Phillip Schofield left the daytime show.
He resigned in May after he admitted an "unwise but not illegal" affair with a younger colleague.
Holly later told viewers she felt “shaken and let down” after Schofield lied to her about the tryst.
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A spokesperson for ITV said: "This news has come as a huge shock to everyone at This Morning and ITV.
"We are providing all of the support we can to Holly and her family at this incredibly distressing time."
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