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Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan’s heartaches – affair, baby loss and sick rumour

Richard Madeley has only been in the I’m a Celebrity castle for four days, and he already feels like he’s missing a limb – namely his wife of 35 years, Judy Finnigan.

Poor Richard was in isolation for two weeks before he even headed into the camp, and he’s missing Judy terribly.

Married in 1986, the pair are so inseparable they even had their own eponymous TV show from 2001-2009.

This is the longest time they have ever spent apart, and the first ever year Richard has missed their wedding anniversary.

“On Sunday, which is when the first show goes out, that’s our 35th wedding anniversary actually,” he said.

“So that’ll be the first wedding anniversary that I’ve missed and it’s a big one. I gave her a present before we left and a card which she will open on the day. We’re going to really miss each other. I’ll miss her a huge amount.

“I spend every day of my life with her, either working with her or in the house. So yeah, I’m already feeling strangely dislocated. She’s my right arm and she’s not here.”







Behind the scenes, the road for Richard and Judy has been a hard one, from their heartbreaking struggle to be together to the health issues that hit Judy in later life
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Even their daughter, 34-year-old Chloe Madeley, has spoken about her parents’ intense bond, claiming the amount of time they spend together is ‘not normal’.

“I grew up watching my parents do everything together,” she told Woman’s Own.

Discussing how Judy felt about him being away for potentially months, Richard admitted she “wasn’t exactly doing handsprings of delight up the stairs”.

But he explained to her his reasons for doing the show, and she agreed it might be good for him, encouraging her husband to “go for it”.

This is the longest period of time Richard, 65, and Judy, 73, have been separated for “by far”, but it certainly isn’t the toughest obstacle they’ve had to face in their decades-long union.

They first met in 1982 when Richard joined Granada to present alongside Tony Wilson and Judy, who at eight years his senior was the more experienced journalist, greeting him with the words: “Hello, I’m your mummy.”







They first met when Judy was assigned to show Richard the ropes at Granada, and she called herself his “mummy”
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“I remember the first time I saw him. He walked into the newsroom and I was sitting at my desk at the other end,” Judy recalled of their fateful first meeting.

“I remember exactly what he was wearing: a pale blue linen suit. I thought he looked nice. Tall, handsome and all that but I thought the suit was a bit flash. Then, because he was a newbie, I was assigned the job of looking after him,” she told The Mirror.

“I was sitting at my desk when this hand appeared on my shoulder and I looked up at this face and Judy said, ‘Hi, I’m your Mummy’ and I thought ‘Whaaaaat?'” revealed Richard, who already had a crush on Judy after watching her on TV.

Explaining the joke, he continued: “At Granada when someone new arrived, someone was appointed as their dad or their mum to show them round – the canteen, the toilets and all that. So Judy was my ‘mum’.”

The attraction was obvious, but Judy was married to journalist David Henshaw and Richard was in the process of splitting from first wife Lynda.

One night they went out for dinner and their affair began, although both have insisted it was much more than a “sordid office affair”.






Judy, who was married to someone else when they met, initially worried Richard wasn’t mature enough to be a stepdad

“[Colleagues at Granada] thought it was frivolous but it wasn’t anything of the kind. It was actually very painful because we were very much in love but it was very difficult,” Richard recalled.

From their third date he knew he wanted to marry Judy, but at 26, she feared he wasn’t ready to be a step-father to her then six-year-old twins Dan and Tom.

“I had to be absolutely convinced that Richard was mature enough and sure enough of his own mind that my boys weren’t going to be hurt,” Judy said.

“When we first got together I remember my mother said to him, ‘If you hurt those boys I’ll never forgive you’.”

Judy, then 34, called things off, prompting a devastated Richard to retreat to Greece for two weeks in the summer of 1984 armed with a bag of step-parenting books to do some soul searching.

“I knew Dan and Tom really well and they were smashing, they were terribly sweet, so I took it very ­seriously. In the end I knew of course that I could do it – I wanted to do it,” he said.






Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan share son Jack, 35, and daughter Chloe, 34

It took Judy a year to make her mind up, though.

Richard was over the moon when she finally did make her choice – and it was him.

The first thing they did as a couple was take the twins to Cornwall for a week, with the county becoming so special to them that they would end up living there years later.

But sadly their bliss soon turned to tragedy when Judy’s first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage and she was forced to deliver their child.

Opening up about the devastating loss for 2018 Channel 4 documentary Child of Mine, Richard recalled how they went for a routine scan at 16 weeks, only to be told their baby had passed away.

He recalled: “It was utterly devastating: no warning; no earlier, gentle, indication of the possibility of catastrophe.

“Our baby had just died. And he was still in Judy’s womb.







Richard missed their wedding anniversary for the first time because he’s on I’m a Celeb
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Richard’s castle stint will be the longest time he’s ever spent apart from Judy

“She was kept in hospital overnight for a second scan ‘just to make absolutely sure’ and was then put into an induced labour.

“My heart broke for her as I waited outside the delivery room. What a dreadful experience: to go through the motions of childbirth, knowing what the grim outcome would be.”

Once the couple had recovered, their boy Jack, 35, arrived in 1986, and just as Judy was about to return from maternity leave, she found out she was expecting daughter Chloe.

A hormonal imbalance then sparked post-natal depression, and after years of gynaecological problems she was forced to have a hysterectomy in 1998 – something she feared would destroy her famous sexual bond with Richard.

In fact, the hormone replacement therapy she was put on killed her passion so much so that they had to sleep in separate beds while she healed from the surgery.

In 1988, Richard and Judy revived This Morning with heir journalistic backgrounds and natural chemistry, but their rise in popularity also triggered a rise in false and cruel gossip – the worst being that she was an alcoholic and he was a violent drunk.

“We’d gone away for a week to Cornwall with our children, and the mobile went in the car,” Richard told the Guardian of hearing the hurtful rumours.

“It was our bosses at Granada saying a terrible rumour was being put around that you’re in a self-help institution for men who batter their wives because you’ve beaten Judy, that Judy’s in a drying-out clinic and that the children are in care. We were in the f***ing car,” he said.

“We tracked it to the source… A particularly poisonous person. He’d leaked these smears and they were never published because we would have cleaned up in a libel case. But the one thing that lingered like a piece of floating sewage is this thing that Judy drinks. And she doesn’t.”

Both parties admit theirs a ‘jealous, passionate’ relationship, and if either of them were disloyal, it would be catastrophic.

“I think it’s incredible that I’ve been fortunate enough to meet the woman I love. I know happy marriages come in different shapes and guises but I like the fact we’re both possessive of one another,” Richard told The Mirror.

“If Judy or I were to have an affair, it would be the end.”

“I just can’t bear to think of it,” she agreed. “We both think the other is the most precious thing in the world. A good marriage is a blessing.”

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