Page last updated at 14:35 GMT, Friday, 8 May 2009 15:35 UK

Early exit for Richard and Judy

Richard and Judy on their Watch show
Richard and Judy have appeared on TV together for more than 20 years

Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan's show on digital channel Watch is to end six months early, after they admitted they "couldn't get this one to fly".

It will end on 3 July after they, and the makers of the chat show - which had an audience as low as 8,000, "mutually decided" to use a break clause.

The pair said in a statement that their once regular viewers "simply couldn't find us" on a subscription TV channel.

Their Book Club show will still be shown on Watch this summer.

TV is all about taking risks and that means sometimes you fail. It was a really worthwhile experiment and we don't regret it at all
Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan

"Some you win, some you lose," the statement said.

"It's a shame we couldn't get this one to fly because both we and our brilliant young production team were genuinely proud of the show and the guests it attracted."

They added: "TV is all about taking risks and that means sometimes you fail.

"It was a really worthwhile experiment and we don't regret it at all."

UKTV controller Matthew Littleford said he remained "incredibly proud" of the show.

"I'd like to personally thank Richard and Judy for all their hard work, professionalism and that indefinable R&J magic that they consistently brought to UKTV."

A-list guests

The show attracted an audience of 100,000 viewers when it debuted in October - far less than their teatime slot on Channel 4, which began in 2001.

Their viewing figures slumped much further but they continued to attract A-list guests onto their show, made by production company Cactus TV.


Guests on their Watch series have included Helen Mirren, Samuel L Jackson and Mickey Rourke.

Their Channel 4 show spawned their Book Club strand, which has continued on Watch.

Cactus TV is in talks with other channels about continuing with the Book Club brand after the next series of Summer Read - due to begin on Watch next week.

The pair said in their statement they were "both going on to other projects, together and separately".

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs in March, Madeley hinted that he and his wife may go their separate ways professionally "after 20 years of doing the same kind of thing".

He spoke about "tantalising" solo projects, but added they may team up for one-off specials.

They shot to fame in 1988 on ITV daytime programme This Morning, two years after they married.

Before their on-screen partnership, Madeley and Finnigan both worked in regional TV news.

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