More TV Memories – Richard And Judy.

Richard And Judy (Channel 4, 2001-2008, Watch, 2008-2009)

The husband-and-wife team of Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan caused a rather big stir when they decided to move to Channel 4 after hosting ITV’s This Morning for 13 years. It took a long time for that show to develop a new popular double-act, but they got there eventually. I thought that I might as well take a look at their next move.

They would now be in a different timeslot, and be live five days a week for most of the year. And with the likes of the long-running Countdown and Fifteen-To-One already established with a dedicated audience, Channel 4 hoped that they would now have completed their rather cosy schedule that would keep the viewers watching all throughout the afternoon.

There would be a mix of features, competitions, and celebrity interviews. Richard continued to surprise viewers though, because he didn’t ask the questions that nobody else would dare to as such, it was more like the questions that nobody else would ever think to ask. Many a guest ended up baffled by his thoughts that really did come in from a bizarre angle sometimes.

One of the more memorable features was You Say We Pay, where viewers could phone in and play for some big cash prizes (if they didn’t run out of time), and this wasn’t anything like Midday Money at all, honest. This did well enough for there to be an interactive DVD game version to be released, although I never had that. This ended rather abruptly though after the phone-in scandal, and suddenly none of this ever happened.

After about seven years of this excitement, there was another unexpected twist in the story. Richard and Judy decided to move on again, and their show would now be on the newly-launched digital channel Watch. This is because they had suddenly realised that digital TV was going to be the next big thing, and they would be there for it. However, for all the hype, this is a channel that wasn’t on Freeview (at the time).

As a consequence, they dropped off the TV radar so to speak. They then expressed surprise when their ratings slumped compared to what they were getting on Channel 4, and they were also cut back to only one edition a week. Some felt that this was all a little embarrassing for established daytime hosts of their stature, and not long after, their show ended with little fanfare, and they haven’t been seen that much since.


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