Judy Finnigan on This Morning and Phillip Schofield smiling

This Morning legend Judy Finnigan ‘cannot understand’ why Phillip Schofield ‘had to go’

Also gave a hint about when she'd next appear on the series she once hosted

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Judy Finnigan previously revealed she was baffled as to why This Morning host Phillip Schofield had to leave the ITV daytime series.

Judy, who is on screens on July 7 for Richard & Judy: Our Best Bits – In Our Own Words, 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 in 2023.

The 62-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”.

This Morning stars Phillip Schofield, Holly Willoughby, Judy Finnigan, and Richard Madeley pose for photos
Two generations of This Morning presenters together (Credit: Splashnews.com)

‘Extraordinary disaster’ for ITV and This Morning

Speaking with Saga Exceptional in 2023, Judy, 76, 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 also made it clear she wouldn’t go on the show and sit on the sofa to publicise her recent book.

This Morning appearance from Judy Finnigan
An ‘extraordinary disaster of a stage in This Morning’s life’ (Credit: YouTube)

Judy Finnigan on 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.

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.”

Judy Finnigan appears on This Morning as a guest
Judy Finnigan: ‘I simply cannot understand why Phillip had to go’ (Credit: YouTube)

‘Phillip is a friend’

Judy also expressed her opinion on Phillip’s departure.

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.”

Read more: This Morning needs a real life couple to replace Holly and Phil – here are the favourites

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Robert Leigh
Freelance writer