Judy Finnigan

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Judy Finnigan
Born Judith Finnigan
(1948-05-16) 16 May 1948 (age 66)
Newton Heath, Manchester, Lancashire, England
Nationality British
Education Briscoe Lane Primary School
Occupation Broadcaster, columnist
Years active 1988–present
Television This Morning 1988-2001, 2013 Richard and Judy 2001-2008 (Channel 4) 2008-2009 (Watch)
Spouse(s) David Henshaw (divorced)
Richard Madeley (m. 1986)
Children Dan and Tom Henshaw[citation needed]
(with Henshaw)
Chloe and Jack Madeley
(with Richard)

Judith "Judy" Finnigan (born 16 May 1948) is an English television presenter, author and columnist. She has usually co-presented with her husband, Richard Madeley, and the two are collectively known, informally, as Richard and Judy. With her husband, Finnigan has presented This Morning and later their daily chat show called Richard & Judy.


Finnigan was born in Newton Heath, Manchester on 16 May 1948. The middle of three children she has two brothers Callum who is older and Roger who is younger. She attended the local Briscoe Lane Primary School. Finnigan then went on to attend Manchester High School for Girls, an independent school in the city, and later studied English and Drama at Bristol University. She joined Granada Television as a researcher in 1971, and in 1974 moved to Anglia TV in Norwich to become the first female reporter on the About Anglia news team. In 1980 she returned to Granada in Manchester, working on a range of programmes including Flying Start (with Anthony Wilson), Granada Reports and Scramble.

Work with Richard Madeley[edit]

They met in 1982 when they worked on separate programmes for Granada TV. At this time each was in their first marriage. 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).[1] Finnigan has twin sons - Dan and Tom (born 1977) - from her first marriage with journalist David Henshaw.[citation needed]

This Morning[edit]

Their best known show was This Morning, which they hosted from its inception in 1988 until 2001. The series, a mix of celebrity interviews, household tips, cookery and phone-ins lasted approximately two hours each weekday morning on ITV. This live show set the standard for daytime fare in British television throughout the 1990s. It first aired in October 1988 and was broadcast from the Albert Dock in Liverpool, although production moved to London in 1996. They were so closely associated with the show, that many people referred to the show as This Morning with Richard and Judy or simply Richard and Judy.

The pair have returned to the show as guests since leaving. Most recently in October 2013, they were guests for the show's 25th birthday show live from the Albert Dock in Liverpool - the original home of This Morning.

Richard & Judy[edit]

In 2001, they quit This Morning, having been approached by Channel 4 to host a similar show, simply called Richard & Judy, shown for an hour in the early evenings.

The show was produced by Cactus TV, run by Jonathan Ross' brother Simon and his wife Amanda. In February 2007, the couple publicly apologised live on air due to the discovery of a TV quiz phone scam regarding the daily phone in You Say We Pay. On the same show, 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 have admitted the scam may have been in force for two series of the show. Whilst Madeley and Finnigan urged callers to continue entering, it was confirmed that winners were picked in the first ten minutes of the show. The couple both deny being involved in the scam.[2] This scam was revealed by the Mail on Sunday newspaper after it was sold the story through media publicist Jonathan Hartley.

The TV show also launched two very 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.

In July 2008, Judy finally received a long-awaited knee operation and took a short leave of absence from the show in order to fully recuperate from the surgery. During this time Madeley was joined by guest presenters Emma Bunton and Myleene Klass and even presented one edition of the show on his own (Wednesday 23 July 2008).

In 2008 it was announced that their Channel 4 series which began in June would be the last for the programme, which ended on 22 August 2008. However, they signed a contract for a new primetime show on UKTV's new channel, Watch. Their new show still contained popular features such as the "Book Club" and "Summer Read".

Move to Watch[edit]

After seven years at Channel Four, Richard and Judy began hosting a topical prime-time chat show on UKTV's new digital channel, Watch. From 7 October 2008, "Richard and Judy’s New Position" showed week-nights 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.[3] Consequentially, 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".[4]

Other work[edit]

Finnigan presented a series of video-only specials, looking at a particular character of Coronation Street. The videos were released during 1995 to mark the soap's 35th anniversary.

In 1998, Judy also solely presented the ITV Watchdog style show "We Can Work It Out" for its first series before being taken over by the late Caron Keating in its second series.

Both co-wrote their autobiography, Richard and Judy: The Autobiography, published in 2002 by Hodder & Stoughton.

Finnigan also wrote a novel entitled Eloise which was published in 2012 and became a Sunday Times bestseller.


  1. ^ Marriages and Births England and Wales 1984-2006
  2. ^ Terri Judd (19 February 2007). "Revealed: Richard and Judy quiz scam". The Independent. Retrieved 27 August 2007. 
  3. ^ "Turning off Richard and Judy". The Independent. 30 November 2008. 
  4. ^ "Early exit for Richard and Judy". BBC News. 8 May 2009. 

External links[edit]