Holly Willoughby is seen for the first time since quitting This Morning during a Christmas lunch with pals as she strives to ‘get her life back to normal’ after kidnap ordeal

Holly Willoughby put the terrifying alleged kidnap and murder plot aside to enjoy her first trip out to a public place since she quit This Morning.

The presenter, who announced her exit from the ITV show in October, put on a brave face to join her family for a Christmas lunch yesterday after months of being too frightened to leave her home.

Dressed in a camel coat, red jumpsuit and gold stiletto heels, Holly, 42, was seen leaving the restaurant near her home in south west London where she had dined with her mum Linda, husband Dan Baldwin and a group of friends.

While the star didn’t crack a smile, those close to her say that she is ‘feeling better as each day goes by.’

One friend told MailOnline: ‘For some time Holly hasn’t wanted to go to a restaurant or anywhere other people will see her, she has stuck to private places but little by little she is starting to get her life back.

Holly Willoughby put the terrifying alleged kidnap and murder plot aside to enjoy her first trip out to a public place since she quit This Morning 

The presenter, who announced her exit from the ITV show in October, put on a brave face to join her family for a Christmas lunch yesterday

The presenter, who announced her exit from the ITV show in October, put on a brave face to join her family for a Christmas lunch yesterday 

Holly was joined by a group of friends and her husband Dan for a night out together

Holly was joined by a group of friends and her husband Dan for a night out together

Holly was joined by a group of friends and her husband Dan for a night out together

‘It is heartening to see her get back to some kind of normality. 

‘She wanted to celebrate by doing something normal with her family and friends and now is looking forward to hunkering down for Christmas with her nearest and dearest.’

Holly was seen leaving the venue, where it is understood she and her group hired a private room, with two female friends. She later walked down the road to a waiting car.

Television production guru Dan, 48, was seen hugging Holly’s mum Linda as they left the restaurant. 

Friends say that it is those two who Holly has leaned on since learning of the alleged plot to kidnap and murder her by former security guard Gavin Plumb in October.

Since then she has struggled to leave the house that she shares with Dan and their three children, Harry, 14, Belle, 12, and eight-year-old Chester.

The terror of the threat left her so scared that she is still undecided whether she will host Dancing On Ice when it returns next month though she is expected to tell ITV whether she will return or not in the coming days.

Holly has also paused her £1million deal with Marks & Spencer because she remains fearful for her safety. 

In October Holly revealed that she was quitting This Morning after 14 years on the show, just three months after co-host Phillip Schofield departed in the wake of his affair scandal

In October Holly revealed that she was quitting This Morning after 14 years on the show, just three months after co-host Phillip Schofield departed in the wake of his affair scandal

While the star didn't crack a smile, those close to her say that she is 'feeling better as each day goes by'

While the star didn’t crack a smile, those close to her say that she is ‘feeling better as each day goes by’

Holly was seen leaving the eatery after a private festive dinner with her pals, weeks after she stepped away from the limelight in the wake of her This Morning exit

Holly was seen leaving the eatery after a private festive dinner with her pals, weeks after she stepped away from the limelight in the wake of her This Morning exit

She was accompanied by two female friends for the festive dinner, as sources revealed she is trying to return to some semblance of normality

She was accompanied by two female friends for the festive dinner, as sources revealed she is trying to return to some semblance of normality

The star announced in October she'd be quitting This Morning after 14 years

It comes following a tumultuous year for the star

The star announced in October she’d be quitting This Morning after 14 years, after a tumultuous year for the star

One friend told MailOnline: 'For some time Holly hasn't wanted to go to a restaurant or anywhere other people will see her, she has stuck to private places'

One friend told MailOnline: ‘For some time Holly hasn’t wanted to go to a restaurant or anywhere other people will see her, she has stuck to private places’

They added that 'little by little she is starting to get her life back' after her kidnap ordeal

They added that 'little by little she is starting to get her life back' after her kidnap ordeal

They added that ‘little by little she is starting to get her life back’ after her kidnap ordeal

The source added: 'It is heartening to see her get back to some kind of normality'

The source added: ‘It is heartening to see her get back to some kind of normality’

'She wanted to celebrate by doing something normal with her family and friends and now is looking forward to hunkering down for Christmas with her nearest and dearest,' they added

‘She wanted to celebrate by doing something normal with her family and friends and now is looking forward to hunkering down for Christmas with her nearest and dearest,’ they added

Holly was seen leaving the venue, where it is understood she and her group hired a private room, with two female friends. She later walked down the road to a waiting car

Holly was seen leaving the venue, where it is understood she and her group hired a private room, with two female friends. She later walked down the road to a waiting car

Television production guru Dan, 48, was seen hugging Holly's mum Linda as they left the restaurant

Television production guru Dan, 48, was seen hugging Holly’s mum Linda as they left the restaurant

Friends say that it is those two who Holly has leaned on since learning of the alleged plot to kidnap and murder her by former security guard Gavin Plumb in October

Friends say that it is those two who Holly has leaned on since learning of the alleged plot to kidnap and murder her by former security guard Gavin Plumb in October

Since then she has struggled to leave the house that she shares with Dan and their three children, Harry, 14, Belle, 12, and eight-year-old Chester

Since then she has struggled to leave the house that she shares with Dan and their three children, Harry, 14, Belle, 12, and eight-year-old Chester

The terror of the threat left her so scared that she is still undecided whether she will host Dancing On Ice when it returns next month

The terror of the threat left her so scared that she is still undecided whether she will host Dancing On Ice when it returns next month

Holly is expected to tell ITV whether she will return to Dancing On Ice or not in the coming days, after bosses shared their doubts earlier this month

Holly is expected to tell ITV whether she will return to Dancing On Ice or not in the coming days, after bosses shared their doubts earlier this month

Holly has also paused her £1million deal with Marks & Spencer because she remains fearful for her safety

Holly has also paused her £1million deal with Marks & Spencer because she remains fearful for her safety

Holly was joined by her husband Dan for the public outing, her first sighting over two months after quitting This Morning

Holly was joined by her husband Dan for the public outing, her first sighting over two months after quitting This Morning

She has fronted collections for the high street chain since 2018 but told bosses that she needs to take time out from the contract while she comes to terms with her terror over the case.

She usually fronts several ‘capsule’ collections per year and also offers fashion tips to shoppers on the store’s website.

Holly also frozen her seven-figure deal with L’Oreal, where she is the face of its Garnier Nutrisse hair dye. She has not taken part in any promotional activity with them either.

It is not known whether she has forgone any income from the contracts.

Last month, Plumb pleaded not guilty to charges relating to an alleged plot to kidnap and murder Ms Willoughby.

He is accused of planning to assemble a ‘kidnap and restraint kit’ and encouraging a third party to travel to the UK to carry out the alleged offences – which he denies.

He remains in custody and will go on trial in June.

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