PIERS Morgan has admitted threats are "terrifying" as he supported Holly Willoughby's decision to step down from This Morning.
Talk TV host Morgan offered sympathy to Holly after she announced she was quitting as presenter of ITV's This Morning.
Her decision to leave the channel's flagship show she fronted for 14 years came after a man was last week charged with plotting to kidnap and kill her.
The Sun columnist, who previously co-presented ITV's Good Morning Britain with Susanna Reid, broadcast support to Holly tonight.
Piers suggested on the latest edition of his nightly show that the past week's events had "clearly shaken her so badly she's walked away from one of the top jobs in television."
And he highlighted the recent new three-part online streaming series about the murder of BBC presenter Jill Dando in April 1999.
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Morgan said: “With the Jill Dando documentary on Netflix right now -I really feel for her. I’ve known Holly a long time. Terrifying."
Mum-of-three Holly said in a statement she posted on Instagram this evening her This Morning departure was prompted by concerns for her family.
Piers told viewers how the last line of her post "said it all to me".
He added: "This is because she has got young kids – she’s thinking, "My God, this is not worth it.
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"'I’ve got one of the best jobs in telly – so what? There is some lunatic out there.'"
He went on to say: "I wish her all the best – she’s a great girl, Holly, I’ve known her a long time.
"Lot of fun with her over the years – what you see is what you get.
"She’s just a good laugh, a very talented broadcaster.
“This kind of thing can freak people out and I completely understand it, I really do.
"She’s got a lovely family and she’s obviously just thought, ‘I’m done’."
He spoke of receiving death threats himself, as well as others aimed on Instagram at his son, as he labelled a lack of police action in response "quite breath-taking".
Gavin Plumb has been charged with an alleged kidnap plot and will appear before Chelmsford Crown Court in Essex on November 3.
Holly's departure comes after a year of turmoil for the 42-year-old, including criticism over the so-called "Queuegate" scandal and her co-host Phillip Schofield's exit after admitting he lied about an affair with a younger employee.
Schofield is thought to have reached out to Holly in support last week amid the alleged kidnap and murder plot.
Holly had informed Instagram followers in May: “When reports of this relationship first surfaced, I asked Phil if it was true and was told it was not.
"It’s been very hurtful to now find out this was a lie."
And Schofield, 61, told The Sun how Holly was unaware about his affair and that he had "lost his best friend".
He said at the time: "I’ve lost my best friend. Holly did not know. And she was one of the first texts that I sent, to say, ‘I am so, so sorry that I lied to you’.
"She didn’t reply and I understand why she didn’t reply as well.
"So yeah, if anyone is in any way linking Holly to this, that is absolutely, wholly untrue.
"I had no feud with Holly. She’s my TV sister. But quite rightly, when I am in the middle of a s*** show with bad press over something where I have nothing wrong — in fact I did everything right — it’s a witch hunt. And that strips that away.
"Quite rightly she is going to take a step back."
Plumb, 36, is accused of contacting a US “hitman” as part of an alleged plot to snatch Holly.
The 35-stone shopping centre security officer appeared last Friday at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court, charged with soliciting to commit murder and incitement to commit kidnap.
It is claimed Plumb possessed "weapons" and got in contact with a United States-based hitman to carry out the "detailed plan".
Officers are said to have found found chloroform, cable ties, a blindfold and ropes at Plumb’s home during a raid last week.
Plumb, denied bail by district judge Caroline Jackson last Friday, is scheduled to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court on November 3.
Holly announced her This Morning exit in a statement posted on Instagram this evening.
She told her 8.4million followers: "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.I will not be returning to This Morning.
"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."
In a reference to married former This Morning hosts Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan, she added: "Richard and Judy said, 'We only look after this show, it will always belong to the viewers'.
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"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."
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