Judy Finnigan has revealed that she no longer watches ITV’s This Morning, which she co-hosted alongside her husband Richard Madeley for 13 years, and won’t appear on the programme to promote her new romance novel, Roseland.
In a new interview, the former host explained that “it’s a very different show” to when she and Richard fronted it, and also touched on Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield‘s departures, which she described as an “extraordinary disaster”.
Judy and Richard presented This Morning from 1988 to 2001 and were later replaced by Fern Britton and Phillip Schofield.
“For 13 years, Richard and I hosted This Morning but I will no longer watch it and won’t appear on there to talk about my book. This isn’t a protest. It’s just a very different show than it was when we were doing it,” the 75-year-old told Saga Magazine.
“We’d interview people about books and you felt there was some real interest there. I’m not sure there would be now.”
Judy also addressed Phillip’s resignation from the programme in May, when he admitted to an “unwise but not illegal” relationship with a younger colleague.
“Phillip is not a close friend but he is a friend and I must admit I simply cannot understand why he had to go,” Judy said. “A lot of discussion has been had about why the show couldn’t work because Phillip and Holly weren’t good friends any more.”
She continued: “I couldn’t understand what I always thought was this unhealthy obsession with Holly and Phillip being friends, therefore for the programme to work they had to be so close. Programmes and presenters don’t work like that.
“I just find the whole thing a great shame and incredibly upsetting.“
Holly stepped down from the show in October, explaining that she had made the decision “for me and my family”.
“This is such a difficult goodbye, you are incredible and I forever will be proud of what we’ve done together,” the mum-of-three said in a statement.
“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.”
Holly’s former co-star, Dr Ranj Singh, teased the presenter’s comeback to TV earlier this month, telling 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.”