Page last updated at 16:00 GMT, Friday, 2 November 2007

Richard and Judy quit chat show

Richard and Judy
Richard and Judy have presented live TV for 20 years

TV hosts Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan are to quit their Channel 4 daytime chat show, they have announced.

The husband-and-wife team will give up their afternoon show when their contract ends next year to focus on other TV projects.

The move marks the end of 20 years of presenting live daily shows together.

"The programme is still full of life, but we have taken the difficult decision to leave it on a high," Madeley said.

"After seven consecutive years we both feel we have achieved everything we wanted with the show.

"We want the chance to launch other projects in broadcasting and writing while we are still young enough," he added.

Book specials

The duo will present another two series of their teatime show on Channel 4 next year and will front a Richard & Judy's Christmas Books special for the broadcaster this December.

Richard and Judy launch their Book Club strand in 2004. It goes on to boost the fortunes of featured authors
Morning TV's first testicle appears on This Morning in 1999 to raise awareness of testicular cancer
Judy inadvertently reveals her bra at the 2000 National TV awards
In 2005 Cherie Blair bemoans the fact her husband Tony has never bought her flowers
Richard becomes famous (or infamous) for his Ali G impression in 2000
Richard faces criticism in 2004 after using the term "dyke" on his Channel 4 show when trying to refer to lesbians in a "hip" way
This year, the company behind competition You Say, We Pay was fined 150,000 after viewers were urged to call a premium number after contestants had already been chosen

Richard and Judy are also in talks with Channel 4 to present a spin-off Book Club series, as well as other specials including A Summer Read and The British Book Awards.

Julian Bellamy, head of programmes at Channel 4, said: "Richard and Judy have informed us that they do not wish to continue their show after their current contract comes to an end in 2008.

"Channel 4 wishes to thank them for the fantastic contribution they have made to the channel over the last seven years.

"We wish them great success and will continue to look at opportunities to work with them in the future," he added.

Comedy shows

Richard and Judy found fame hosting ITV's This Morning in 1988 before defecting to Channel 4 in 2001.

Their teatime show was also hit by the premium rate phone-in scandal over its You Say We Pay quiz earlier this year.

Richard and Judy's announcement coincides with Channel 4 announcing a new string of shows.

Thanks to a 3m boost to its comedy budget, new shows Plus One - from the writers of Life on Mars - and The Kevin Bishop Show will hit screens in the new year.

The IT Crowd, sketch show Modern Toss and Peep Show will also return.

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07 Mar 07 |  Entertainment

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