Gavin Plumb pleaded not guilty to charges of soliciting murder and incitement to commit kidnap during a short hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court.
The charges indicate the defendant 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.
Plumb, 36, had his trial date fixed for June 24 next year, in a hearing where he spoke to confirm his name and his not guilty pleas.
The defendant, from Harlow, was remanded into custody by Judge Mary Loram KC on Friday.
Willoughby left ITV flagship daytime show This Morning on October 10 as colleagues Rochelle Humes and Craig Doyle said she would “forever be one of us”.
It also follows a turbulent period for the show, after Willoughby’s former co-host Phillip Schofield left in May after he admitted to a relationship with a younger male colleague.
Willoughby, 42, announced she was leaving the show in a social media post, saying it was an “honour to just be part of its story”, but that she felt “I have to make this decision for me and my family”.