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.’
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.
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.’
James Parker is a UK-based entertainment aficionado who delves into the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry. From Hollywood to the West End, he offers readers an insider’s perspective on the world of movies, music, and pop culture.