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Thursday, 12 July, 2001, 12:04 GMT 13:04 UK
Final curtain for Richard and Judy
Richard and Judy
Richard and Judy: Final daytime appearance on ITV
This Morning presenters Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan have bid a tearful farewell to their viewers as they bow out of the show after 13 years.

The husband and wife team - who renewed their wedding vows last year - have signed a two-year deal with Channel 4 to present a chat show which will be called Richard and Judy.

You have been a fantastic audience and we love you all very much and we will miss you all like hell

Judy Finnegan
Surrounded by their fellow presenters, known as the "family", Richard said: "One of the first things we said in Liverpool in 1988 to the audience was, about half-way through the first show, by the way this not our show, this is your show."

Judy added that the "greatest aspect" of the programme was the phone-in, and "the way that you talk to us as if you know us. That is such a privilege".

This Morning is popular with millions of viewers, including pop singer George Michael, who rang the phone-in to wish the couple luck.

The star, billed as George from North London, chatted to the pair live on air.

George Michael
George Michael: "You will be sorely missed"
"I just wanted to say thank you very for easing me into the day for about the past 10 years.

"You will be sorely missed in this household," he said, adding that agony aunt Denise Robertson was "a diamond" who made sense, and raised a laugh by saying Richard "spouted rubbish".

He cheekily asked them what time their new show would be on, despite knowing they had been barred from mentioning it.

The programe ended with a montage of their favourite moments including such classic moments as Richard's impressions of Ali G and the streaker running across the weather map.

Richard and Judy
The pair: Set to start on Channel 4 in the autumn
As the cameras returned to the studio, viewers saw the tears flowing from Judy and Richard was visibly emotional as he gave his parting speech.

He said that remembering it was the viewers' show was "something we have always kept at the forefront of our minds and everyone has understood, and it is such a happy family".

"We have always remembered that it is yours. We have had our moments but we have got on."

A tearful Judy added: "You have been a fantastic audience and we love you all very much and we will miss you all like hell. Still the show goes on."


This Morning also set a new world record as 100 members of one family were pampered by beauty experts for the biggest live makeover ever.

Regular presenters of the show also took part in a Family Fortunes quiz show special with host Les Dennis via satellite.

The programme has become a daytime TV institution, dominating the ratings with the couple's combination of chat, current affairs, human interest stories and interviews.

Guests appearing on the final show included Des O'Connor, Boy George and Paul O'Grady, better known as Lily Savage.

New show

O'Grady has been a regular guest for many years and thanked the pair for allowing him on because he has always had "such a great time" on the show.

It is a sign of the presenters' importance to British TV that their leaving the programme is itself a significant TV event.

It has not yet been announced who will replace them.

Channel 4's Richard and Judy is due to begin some time in the autumn.

The channel has said that the new programme is to be a "live, topical entertainment show" running five days a week.

See also:

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