Judy and Richard smiling

Inside Richard and Judy’s marriage – shoplifting scandal; ‘deal-breaker’ and why she will never return to the public eye 

It's not always been plain sailing...

| Updated:

Richard and Judy are one of the UK’s beloved showbiz couples – but their love story hasn’t always been a walk in the park….

The pair first crossed paths way back in the ‘80s when working as reporters for ITV. And from that moment, it’s fair to say there was an undeniable spark between them.

Fast forward to now, and the pair have been married for 38 years, share two children and five grandchildren. Judy also has twins with her ex husband, David Henshaw.

But what was Judy’s ‘deal-breaker’? Did Richard get sent to prison for shoplifting? And what were their controversial comments about assisted dying? Keep reading to find out…

Richard and Judy smiling
The pair are TV legends (Credit: SplashNews.com)

Richard and Judy: TV star’s ‘deal-breaker’

Richard and Judy tied the knot back in 1986. But at the start of their romance, Judy was slightly apprehensive that Richard wasn’t prepared to be a step-father to her then six-year-old twins from a previous marriage.

She previously recalled: “I had to be absolutely convinced that Richard was mature enough and sure enough of his own mind that my boys weren’t going to be hurt.

“When we first got together I remember my mother said to him, ‘If you hurt those boys I’ll never forgive you’.”

Richard shares a son and daughter with Judy, as well as being stepdad to her twin sons
Judy gushed over Richard for helping her amid an illness (Credit: ITV)

Richard ‘helped’ Judy through her illness

TV’s beloved husband and wife duo Richard and Judy have lived life in front of the cameras, but it’s not always been easy behind the scenes.

Judy previously revealed that she suffered from postnatal depression after the birth of her daughter, Chloe Madeley.

“I had very bad postnatal depression after my daughter Chloe was born,” she told OK! Magazine.

“I had no idea what was wrong with me and having it made me realise that I am prone to depression. But I suffer more from anxiety.”

However, Judy managed to get through the traumatic period thanks to her husband, Richard. She revealed that the GMB host helped her through with his “talent for happiness”.

Richard and Judy smiling
Judy retired from the showbiz world in 2018 (Credit: SplashNews.com)

Why does Judy refuse to return to public eye?

Although Judy built an illustrious career for herself on TV, she won’t be making a comeback any time soon. In 2018, it was confirmed that Judy had retired from show business.

Meanwhile Richard is still going with his telly appearances – regularly starring on GMB.

In 2023, Judy revealed she doesn’t miss the showbiz circuit. She told The Independent: “I’ve got absolutely no interest in it at all now. I mean, it was a fabulous career, I loved it. Well, I loved most of it. And it was fascinating. I met some amazing people and it was well-paid.

“But I did it for 30-odd years and the kind of TV I was doing was full-on, it was live and it completely sucks up your life. As a mother, I just got fed up of it. I wanted my own life instead of one that needed me to be in a studio at seven o’clock in the morning.”

Richard Madeley talking on Good Morning Britain
The GMB host was previously arrested (Credit: ITV)

Richard Madeley shoplifting scandal

Richard was arrested in 1994 for failing to pay for goods from a Tesco in Manchester on two occasions, including champagne.

He was later acquitted of all shoplifting charges after citing lapses of memory.

Richard later reflected on the matter: “I was just not concentrating. I put the food through the till, I forgot to take the champagne out.

“I can handle anything, I can juggle eight balls in the air, and actually I came a horrible cropper. [But] I can joke about it now. But that year was horrible. The publicity was mortifying.”

Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley on This Morning
The pair were slammed for their comments (Credit: ITV)

Richard and Judy’s death pact

Back in 2014, Richard and Judy revealed they agreed to an assisted death pact if one of them was to ever fall seriously ill.

“If Judy was really ill and in logical mind… I wouldn’t give a tuppenny if there was a risk of being prosecuted. I’d do what was right for my wife,” he told the Daily Telegraph.

Judy added: “And I’d do the same. Stuff it all! We’ve made ourselves give each other a pledge along those lines.”

Richard continued: “If, when the time came… Judy said to me, ‘But what about you? What about the risk of prosecution?’, I’d say, ‘That’s my problem, I’ll deal with that, don’t worry about it.’ And for me, it would be the locked room, the bottle of whisky and the revolver. I wouldn’t want to mess around.”

Richard and Judy ‘should know better’

However, the pair came under fire for their comments at the time. A spokesman for Care not Killing Alistair Thompson said: “This is another deeply depressing and misguided set of comments from two much-loved celebrities, who should know better.

“These headline-grabbing comments go against the advice of organisations like the World Health Organisation which says that discussions about suicide and assisted suicide need to be handled very carefully to prevent taking your own life or helping someone to die appear normal.

“Changing the law so you can kill a loved one, or be killed would put many vulnerable people at risk who might be pressured into ending their life, because they might feel that they had become either a care or financial burden.

“Before making similar comments I hope that Richard and Judy might investigate more thoroughly the amazing quality of palliative care we have in this country and visit one or more of the UK’s outstanding hospices. How we maintain both with an ageing population and in times of austerity is what we desperately need to discuss.”

Richard & Judy: Our Best Bits – In Our Own Words airs on Sunday (July 7) on Channel 5 on at 7:00pm.


Join Ed's Ant and Dec Whatsapp channel

Read more: Richard Madeley admits wife Judy Finnigan is ‘happy to call it a day’ with her presenting career

YouTube video player

So what do you think of this story? You can leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know.

Joey Crutchley
Freelance Writer