This Morning star hits out at show and says she would ‘never return’ as she brands Holly Willoughby’s exit an ‘extraordinary disaster’

A former This Morning star has hit out at the ITV show and said she would never return – not even to promote her own book.

She also branded Holly Willoughby’s exit as an ‘extraordinary disaster’, while confessing she ‘simply’ could not ‘understand why [Phillip Schofield] had to go.’

Judy Finnigan, 75, hosted This Morning with husband Richard Madeley for 13 years – but  now she says she will never appear on the program again, let alone watch it.

She told Saga Magazine: ‘This isn’t a protest. It’s just a very different show than it was when we were doing it. 

‘We’d interview people about books and you felt like there was some real interest there. I’m not sure there would be now.’ 

Never again: Former This Morning host of 13 years, Judy Finnigan (pictured in 2015) said she would never appear on the flagship TV show ever again – not even to promote her own book
Time to face the change: She branded the show as ‘very different’ from when she and Richard Madeley were at the helm (pictured together in 1990)

The presenter, who hosted the prime time show from 1988 until 2001, explained there had been a lot of debate about how the show could no longer work because of  Phillip  and Holly’s deteriorating relationship. 

Confused by the ‘unhealthy obsession’ with Holly and Phillip’s friendship, the ex-presenter of the flagship show explained this fixation meant the show could only work if the pair were close.

READ MORE: The inside story of the day Holly Willoughby sensationally quit – and why her mentor on This Morning was the LAST to know

Judy quipped that neither programmes or presenters  ‘work like that’, and that she and co-host Richard were meant to get along because they were married.

The TV personality, 42, continued: ‘I just find the whole thing a great shame and incredibly upsetting.’

Holly’s departure came after a tumultuous period on the iconic programme, which reached a crescendo when an alleged plot to kidnap and murder her was exposed.

Holly confessed the prime time show ‘wasn’t the same’ after her co-host Phillip Schofield left.

According to insiders, she was finally ‘tipped over the edge’ by an alleged ‘kidnap and murder plot’.

On October 10,  Holly shared that she would be leaving This Morning after 14 years. 

She stated it was ‘honour to just be part of its story’ for over a decade but she has to make this decision for herself and her family.

Called it a day: Holly Willoughby left the show after a tumultuous period following Phillip Schofield’s departure (pictured Phillip and Holly in August 2022)

The ITV presenter, revealed taking a final bow was ‘such a difficult goodbye’, and expressed gratitude to the network for ‘being supportive’. 

Judy’s statements come after her husband and former co-host Richard labelled Holly Willoughby’s decision to leave as a ‘a very brave, wise and courageous thing’. 

In a conversation with Susanna Reid and Ed Balls on Good Morning Britain, Madeley stressed that Holly was right for putting her own mental health and family first.

He continued: ‘I think given the year that she’s had, all the things that she’s had to put up with, and then this terrible thing that happened last week, given that she’s done the show for 14 years, which is a year longer than Judy and I did it when we left, I think it’s given her a chance to kind of step back and take stock and she’s put her family first.’

The presenter expressed how he believes Holly will return to our screens but not on This Morning.

He said: ‘But I think she’s done exactly the right thing for her own mental health department.’ 

Upset: Judy described Holly’s exit as ‘an extraordinary disaster’ (Richard and Judy pictured in 2019)


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