HOLLY Willoughby pulled out of presenting This Morning just moments before going on air after learning about a suspected plot to kidnap her.
The star presenter was last night under police guard at her home after the terrifying ordeal.
It comes as a 36-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday evening by police who allegedly found “sinister messages” threatening to kidnap and “seriously harm” the mum of three.
The suspect, who is not known to the star, was last night in police custody.
Police alerted This Morning bosses to the alleged plot early yesterday.
Holly was informed shortly before she was due on air.
She was left “shocked and distraught” and it was decided she should pull out of the show.
Alison Hammond was called in as a last- minute replacement alongside Josie Gibson, who co-hosted Wednesday’s show with Holly.
Viewers were left baffled as Josie skirted round her absence, saying: “Look who’s joined me.
“It’s only the one and only Alison Hammond.”
Alison then joked about being “jealous” of her and Holly.
One fan posted: “No Holly today?! Devastated.”
Another added: “Not even a mention of why she’s not on today?!”
It was unclear how police became aware of the alleged plot but it was understood digital devices and a mobile phone were seized.
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As detectives continue to investigate, a round-the-clock police guard has been posted outside Holly’s London home, where she lives with her husband and children.
A source said: “Investigations are continuing but police are treating this as a credible conspiracy to kidnap Holly.
“There were apparently some sinister and threatening messages found on electronic devices threatening to seriously harm her.”
Holly had been due to celebrate her TV producer husband Daniel Baldwin’s 49th birthday with their children, Harry, 14, Belle, 12, and eight-year-old Chester.
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The incident comes after a turbulent year for the star, who has presented This Morning since 2009.
Last September, she and then co-host Phillip Schofield were accused of skipping the queue to pay their respects to the late Queen.
She later issued a statement explaining she had been there as an accredited broadcaster for a filmed segment.
Holly added: “Please know that we would never jump a queue.”
This May, Schofield, 61, resigned after he admitted an affair with a younger colleague.
Schofield also revealed he had lied about it when confronted by Holly.
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