Richard Holt Madeley
13 May 1956
|Television||This Morning (1988–2001)|
Richard and Judy (2001–2009)
The Wright Stuff (2012–17)
Good Morning Britain (2017–)
|Children||2, including Chloe|
|Relatives||James Haskell (son-in-law)|
Richard Holt Madeley (born 13 May 1956) is an English journalist, television presenter, and writer. Alongside his wife Judy Finnigan, he presented This Morning and the chat show Richard & Judy. Madeley's solo projects include the ITV series Fortune: Million Pound Giveaway and standing in on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show for BBC Radio 2.
From 2012 to 2017, he was the main relief presenter of Channel 5's The Wright Stuff, and since 2017, he has been one of three main relief presenters of ITV breakfast show Good Morning Britain.
Madeley was born in Romford, Essex on 13 May 1956, the son of journalist Christopher Holt Madeley (died 1977), from a family of tenant farmers at Kiln Farm, Shawbury, Shropshire, and Mary Claire (née McEwan). His mother was Canadian. He attended the Coopers' Company School in Bow, now relocated to Upminster, Greater London. When he was about 14, he transferred to Shenfield High School in Brentwood. In 2020, during a debate on Good Morning Britain, Madeley revealed that for a period of two years his father was physically abusive, "grabbing his stick and laying about [him] for four or five strokes" with little provocation; this stopped when his mother, previously out at work so unaware of her husband's harsh discipline, told him that she would call the police if it happened again; Madeley stated that after this, "he gave a full and frank apology and he never hit me again". Madeley was "surprised by the level of media interest it generated because, to me, it was abnormal not to be hit back then", and said he almost regretted writing about it, noting to the general public the beatings are the defining thing about his father, and calling his father "fun, bright, warm and tactile". Christopher Madeley was himself subject to physical abuse by his own father, Geoffrey.
Madeley began his media career in local newspapers, before moving to BBC Radio Carlisle at the age of 19 as a news producer and presenter. He soon moved to nearby Border Television as a reporter on the Lookaround local news slot, before fronting its equivalent Calendar with Richard Whiteley on Yorkshire TV, and then on to Granada Reports in the early 1980s. Madeley also hosted ITV's weekly rugby league show RL Action until 1984, which increased his celebrity in the North of England. Here he met his future wife Judy Finnigan, who was assigned to assist him on his first day.
Main article: This Morning
Richard Madeley and his wife Judy Finnigan presented This Morning from its inception in October 1988 until July 2001. The series, a mix of celebrity interviews, household tips, cookery, and phone-ins, lasted approximately two hours each weekday morning on ITV, broadcast from the Albert Dock in Liverpool. Production moved to London in 1996. The couple was so closely associated with the show, that many people referred to the programme as "Richard and Judy", rather than This Morning. In early 2002, This Morning and Richard and Judy hosted a phone-in question titled 'Have you ever slept with a pig?', to which Madeley asserted, "I know I certainly have".
Since leaving the show, Madeley has been featured as a guest, publicising his autobiography. The couple joined the show's subsequent presenters, Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, in October 2009, to celebrate its 21st birthday.
Madeley returned to This Morning in October 2013, to celebrate 25 years of the programme live from the show's original home at the Albert Dock in Liverpool.
It was announced on 20 September 2019, that Madeley along with Judy Finnigan would return to host This Morning for one episode in October 2019 during half-term whilst Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford took over the regular Monday to Thursday slot.
Main article: Richard & Judy
The couple quit This Morning in 2001, having been approached by Channel 4 to host a similar show, called Richard & Judy, shown for an hour in the early evenings. The show was produced by Cactus TV, run by Jonathan Ross's brother Simon and his wife Amanda.
In February 2007, Madeley and Finnigan apologised live on air due to the discovery of a TV quiz phone scam regarding the daily phone-in competition You Say We Pay. Madeley and Finnigan took the decision to suspend the daily quiz until further notice. Later that week, the news media confirmed that police investigations would be pursued, meaning the couple could be subject to a police interview. Channel 4 admitted the scam may have been in force for two series of the show. Whilst Madeley and Finnigan had urged callers to continue entering, it was confirmed that winners were picked in the first 10 minutes of the show. The couple both deny being involved in the scam.
The TV show also launched two successful "clubs", the Richard & Judy Book Club and the Richard & Judy Wine Club, both of which are similar in style to those used by Oprah Winfrey. The book club featured literature by new and unknown writers. One book was reviewed each week and the winner, named "Read of the Year," was announced at an awards ceremony. After seven years in production, the show ended in August 2008.
The couple transferred to new primetime show on UKTV's new channel, Watch. Their new show still contained popular features such as the "Book Club" and "Summer Read". From 7 October 2008, Richard and Judy's New Position showed weeknights from 8pm. The show attracted very low viewing figures, with only 200,000 people for the first episode, and 53,000 for the second. Viewing figures since had consistently fallen, reaching new lows of just 11,000 viewers; their Channel 4 programme would see figures as high as 2.5 million. Consequently, on 8 May 2009 it was announced that the show would end in July, the presenters claiming in a statement that viewers "simply couldn't find us".
Whilst working on their daytime show, the couple have been involved in other projects. Madeley and Finnigan won on the season finale of season 2 of a TV version of the classic board game Cluedo before Madeley presented the last two seasons of the game show, quiz show Connections, the daytime quiz Runway as well as a series on the world's wildest weather, Eye of the Storm. He hosted the ITV1 show Fortune: Million Pound Giveaway, and was the presenter for the unaired pilot of the home video show You've Been Framed.
Madeley hosted the news quiz Have I Got News for You on 14 December 2007, and then featured as a guest panellist in May 2011. He sat in for Richard Bacon on BBC Radio 5 Live. Madeley also covered for Dawn Patrol presenter Sarah Kennedy during the week of 27–30 April 2009, for Zoë Ball for two months until 27 February, and on numerous occasions for Chris Evans' Breakfast Show, all on BBC Radio 2. He appeared on Piers Morgan's Life Stories in April 2009 and was a guest on BBC Question Time in January 2010. In 2011, Madeley was featured in the eighth season of Who Do You Think You Are?, tracing his mother's ancestors to Canada and the United States. In April 2013, he appeared as a Dictionary Corner guest on Countdown for five shows.
Madeley presented his own show on Radio 2, Madeley on Sunday (previously Made on Sunday), covering for Terry Wogan's Weekend Wogan over Wogan's holidays. Wogan died in January 2016, and Madeley's show became a semi-permanent replacement. From April 2016, the slot was shared between Madeley and Michael Ball, with Madeley presenting for approximately 10 weeks a year and Ball taking the remainder.
In 2002 the couple co-wrote their autobiography, Richard and Judy: The Autobiography, published by Hodder & Stoughton. In 2008, Madeley wrote the book Fathers and Sons, which charts his family history; it was published by Simon & Schuster. Madeley is the author of three novels: Some Day I'll Find You (2013), The Way You Look Tonight (2014) and The Night Book (2016).
Madeley and Finnigan were the subjects of This Is Your Life in 1997 when they were surprised by Michael Aspel live on air while broadcasting This Morning.
Since August 2017 Madeley has been a relief presenter on ITV's breakfast programme Good Morning Britain.
In November 2018 The Telegraph appointed Madeley as their agony uncle to succeed Graham Norton who had stood down the previous month. In June 2020, he apologised after being criticised for the advice he gave a reader who thought their neighbour could be experiencing domestic violence. It included the line "If they were going to kill each other, they'd have done it by now." The charity Refuge said he had written "appalling and dangerous advice".
In January 2021 Madeley covered for Steph McGovern on her Channel 4 programme Steph's Packed Lunch while she had to self-isolate due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
In November 2021 Madeley was announced as a contestant on the twenty-first series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!. He was forced to withdraw from the show after being taken to hospital due to an unspecified illness, and therefore broke the show's COVID bubble. Posting online on 24 November Madeley said: "I started to feel briefly unwell in the small hours of the morning and was taken to hospital as a precaution."
On 11 April 2022 Madeley received a series of OFCOM complaints after criticising Just Stop Oil protestor Miranda Whelehan with remarks identified as bullying in nature. These comments later drew comparisons with the Netflix Film Don't Look Up which highlights political and media negligence in the face of a scientifically proven global catastrophe.
Madeley's first marriage, at age 21, lasted five years and ended in divorce. Madeley has said that he believes the marriage was a mistake, and he had ten affairs during that time. Nine days after the wedding, while the couple were still on their honeymoon, his father died at the age of 49.
Madeley met Judy Finnigan in 1982 when they worked on separate programmes for Granada Television. At the time, they were both married to other people. The couple married in 1986 in Manchester. They have two children together, both born in Manchester: Jack Christopher (born 1986) and Chloe Susannah (born 1987). They have a second home at Polperro in Cornwall having been on holiday together there before their marriage. Madeley is also stepfather to twins from Finnigan's first marriage.
In 1991, Madeley was arrested for failing to pay for items, including champagne, on two occasions at a Tesco supermarket in Walkden, Greater Manchester. He was later acquitted of all shoplifting charges after citing lapses of memory.
In October 2011, Madeley was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Anglia Ruskin University for his contribution to television, reading, entertainment and media.
Madeley has expressed strong support for former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. In a 2001 interview for The Guardian, he said the UK had got better under New Labour, identified independent MP Martin Bell as his favourite politician, and expressed support for the euro. He supported the Iraq War, saying international law on the issue was "incredibly complicated". He has been described as a neocon, Blair's "self-appointed apologist", and Blair's "yapping Pekingese". During the Labour Party leadership elections of 2015, Madeley condemned Jeremy Corbyn, referring to him as a “freeloading anarchist”.
In an interview in 2006, Madeley named Cuban leader Fidel Castro as the person he most despises.
Madeley has expressed the view that the COVID-19 virus is not as serious to the general population as is widely believed. In an interview on Good Morning Britain on 28 September 2020, he stated that the virus is nowhere near as serious as the Black Death to the vast majority of the population. He has been very critical of the UK government's response to the pandemic, especially the lockdown response after 24 March 2020, arguing that it has been a "pointless game of hide and seek." Madeley has stated his belief that the virus is "here to stay", and that lockdown would have no effect on its prevalence. His views were strongly criticised by many people on social media.