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Holly Willoughby breaks cover for the first time since quitting This Morning

The former This Morning host joined friends for a pre-Christmas lunch

Holly Willoughby talking
Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
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Holly Willoughby has been pictured for the first time since quitting This Morning in October. In newly-released images, obtained by MailOnline, the 42-year-old was seen leaving a London-based restaurant in a chic winter camel coat, a red ensemble teamed with pointy embellished heels.

According to the publication, the presenter was joined by her husband Dan Baldwin as they enjoyed a catch-up with friends and her mother Linda ahead of Christmas. 

Holly Willoughby on This Morning© Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock
Holly Willoughby quit This Morning in October

Braving the winter chill, Holly appeared to be in great and relaxed spirits as she was spotted out in public just months after the kidnapping plot against her was uncovered. Gavin Plumb, 36, from Harlow, Essex was accused of soliciting to murder and incitement to kidnap the presenter.

As a result, Holly made the difficult decision to quit her day job for the sake of her family, and she has been lying low at her London home with her husband Dan, 49, and their three children Harry, 14, Belle, 12 and Chester, eight, ever since.

It's not yet known whether Holly will appear for the new series of Dancing on Ice, which is already facing a presenter overhaul following the departure of her former co-host, Phillip Schofield. The presenter quit ITV after he admitted to an "unwise, but not illegal" relationship with a junior member of staff. 

holly willoughby embracing daughter Belle © Instagram
Holly has been spending more time with her children

Meanwhile, Holly has the backing of her former This Morning co-star, Dr Ranj Singh, to return to screens as he told Closer: "Of course she will come back to TV. She's too good not to. I don't know where or what show, but she's so good at it, it would be a shame for her to back away completely." 

Holly released a statement confirming that she wouldn’t be back to the show, writing on social media: "I've 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: This Morning pays tribute to Holly Willoughby following her exit

"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." 

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Aside from her presenting role on This Morning, Holly is a regular on the small screen thanks to her appearance on Dancing on Ice. She used to present the hit show alongside her fellow This Morning host Phillip until his departure from the series in May 2023. 

Whilst Holly hasn't yet made any comment about her future on the show, we imagine the TV star will continue to present the show on the upcoming 2024 series.

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