This was reported in The Guardian today:
Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan have confirmed they are moving to digital channel UKTV and look likely to sever all ties with former employer Channel 4.
After seven years on Channel 4, the pair are leaving and taking their chatshow with them, lock stock and barrel.
When Channel 4 announced last year that the couple were leaving there was a suggestion they might continue to front some other programmes. However, there are no Madeley and Finnigan projects in Channel 4’s schedule for the next 12 months.
The final series of Madeley and Finnigan’s Channel 4 daytime chatshow begins in June, with their final appearance on the network scheduled for Friday August 22.
They will front a new daily, weekday 60-minute show on a new UKTV station – yet to be launched.
Madeley and Finnigan are also taking their successful book and wine clubs with them to their new berth.
Billed as a “high-octane, celebrity filled talkshow”, the new programme will begin in the autumn.
Finnigan said: “When we announced our decision to leave our current television series after seven years, we were very touched by the number of people – friends, family, guests, viewers and broadcasters – who told us how much they wanted to see us continuing making programmes together.”
Madeley added: “We were both hugely impressed by the team at UKTV, and their proposal with [Richard & Judy producer] Cactus TV was attractive and fun and will give us the kind of flexibility in our personal lives we’ve been looking for.
“The fact that the Richard & Judy Book Club will continue too is the icing on the cake.”
Madeley and Finnigan shocked ITV in 2001 by announcing they were leaving for Channel 4 after 13 years as the hosts of flagship daytime show This Morning.
UKTV, a pay-TV joint venture between the BBC and Virgin Media, will not announce until later this summer which channel Madeley and Finnigan are moving to.
It is likely that UKTV will rebrand one of its current nine channels, suggesting that the pair could be joining a new service that is yet to launch.
UKTV’s stable includes UKTV Gold, UKTV Style and UKTV People, plus men’s channel Dave, which was a successful rebranding of the old UKTV G2.
The UKTV controller, Matthew Littleford, said: “I am so excited to have signed Richard and Judy – they are truly my TV heroes.
“To have brought the king and queen of British telly to UKTV, and to be working closely with them to develop a show that will be the most talked about in TV, clearly demonstrates the magnitude of our ambition to drive differentiation for our pay-TV partners in 2008 and beyond.”
Madeley and Finnigan’s new show will be produced by Cactus TV, which produces the Channel 4 show, and continue to be executive produced by Amanda Ross and Simon Ross.
I don’t really care where they go, but if the channel is not available on Freeview then they will lose viewers, which perhaps is a good thing lol