Judy Finnigan has revealed she’s baffled as to why This Morning host Phillip Schofield had to leave the ITV daytime series.
Judy, 75, fronted This Morning with hubby Richard Madeley for 13 years between 1988 and 2001. Successor Phillip, meanwhile, presented the show for over two decades until he left ITV earlier this year.
The 61-year-old’s exit came amid reports of an affair with a younger male colleague. Phillip resigned after admitted lying to ITV executives about the relationship, which he said was “unwise but not illegal”.
‘Extraordinary disaster’ for ITV and This Morning
Speaking with Saga Exceptional, Judy reflected on how This Morning has changed over the years since she was involved.
She indicated segments and topics covered in the programme have altered – and maybe internal processes have, too.
Judy said the circumstances surrounding Phillip’s leaving represented an “extraordinary disaster of a stage in This Morning’s life”.
Furthermore Judy, whose third novel Roseland was recently published, also made it clear she wouldn’t go on the show and sit on the sofa to publicise her book.
Judy Finnigan ‘doesn’t watch’ This Morning
She admitted: “I no longer watch it, and won’t appear on there to talk about my book.”
However, Judy insisted she doesn’t object to the show. Although she’s not convinced literary matters attract audiences any longer.
She went on: “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.”
‘Phillip is a friend’
Judy also expressed her opinion that Phillip’s departure wasn’t necessarily required.
She said: “I know the politics inside television are extremely dense, but it seems to me to be an extraordinary disaster of a stage in This Morning’s life that I don’t think needed to happen. Phillip [Schofield] is not a close friend but he is a friend, and I must admit I simply cannot understand why he had to go.”
Additionally, Judy was at a loss why it might have been deemed the show couldn’t thrive unless Phillip and his former colleague Holly Willoughby weren’t considered the best of pals.
She noted she felt it was an “unhealthy obsession” that it was regarded they had to be so close for the programme to work. Judy added: “I just find the whole thing a great shame and incredibly upsetting.”
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