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Friday, 4 May, 2001, 18:56 GMT 19:56 UK
Richard and Judy quit ITV
Richard and Judy
Richard and Judy: want to try something different
TV hosts Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan are quitting ITV's This Morning to present a Channel 4 chat show.

The pair said there had been no bidding war between channels, but they simply wanted to "try something different" after 13 years fronting ITV's This Morning.

They came up with the plan to move to Channel 4 on Monday and told ITV bosses and programme staff minutes before making a public announcement on Friday.

Madeley said: "We just knew we had to do something else - you get stale otherwise.

Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley
The couple at Channel 4 after making the announcement on Friday
"ITV knew nothing about it until today because we felt it was better to make a clean decision about what we would enjoy doing."

Hot seats

The husband-and-wife team will move to Channel 4 in the autumn when their current contract with Granada, which makes This Morning, runs out.

They say their decision to sign a two year contract with Channel 4 had nothing to do with money.

No exact time slot for the show has been announced, but Channel 4 said it would be late afternoon or early evening.

The hunt is already on for a replacement for This Morning's presenters as ITV has confirmed the show will go on without them.

Granada's director of programmes, Grant Mansfield said:"It's the nature of the business that things have to move on,"

"We are very much looking forward to attracting the best possible talent to fill the two hottest seats in television when This Morning returns for a new series in September."

Whacky

In the meantime the pair still have ten weeks left fronting the show before they begin the Channel 4 programme which is to be called Richard and Judy.

The new programme is to be a "live, topical entertainment show" running five days a week, according to Channel 4.

Mark Jinks and Neil Morris
Mark Jinks and Neil Morris: were married in February on This Morning
Welcoming their new stars, Channel 4 director of programmes Tim Gardam said he was "excited" at the prospect of having them aboard.

He said their Channel 4 manifestation would be "an innovative new programme that will offer something that has not previously been available to viewers at that time of day."

But Madeley and Finnigan do not expect the show to be very different to what has made them successful in the past.

"Nobody should think that because we are making this programme with Channel 4, we're going to go wacky," said Madeley.

"I promise you we will be exactly the same, and hopefully the show will not look out of place on the channel," he said.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Richard and Judy
explain why they decided to switch to Channel Four
The BBC's Paul Ilett
"ITV says it will continue with This Morning and is looking for new presenters"
Matt Baker, Channel Four
"The opportunity to work with probably the best two presenters on British TV is a thrill"
See also:

19 Apr 99 | Entertainment
Springer presents UK TV show
14 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Richard and Judy screen gay wedding
04 May 01 | TV and Radio
Daytime TV's royal couple
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