Richard and Judy chatshow dropped

Richard and Judy chatshow dropped

Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan

Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan's UKTV Watch show will end in July after the presenting duo admitted it had failed.

The show had been scheduled to run until December but a break cause in the contract has allowed UKTV, producer Cactus TV and the pair to cancel the show early. The last episode of Richard & Judy will go out on 3 July.

UKTV acknowledged ratings for the show had fallen short of expectations and that Watch was being refocused on family-skewed entertainment such as Torchwood and Wipeout USA and away from chatshows.

The show debuted on 7 October last year, drawing just 200,000 viewers. The second episode only drew 53,000.

In a statement, Richard & Judy said the show had been "a bridge too far, too soon".

"Some you win, some you lose. 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.

"But it became obvious that it wasn't the right fit with a brand new pay-for-view digital channel. Many of our former viewers have told us they simply couldn't find us there. When we started we said we wanted to get ahead of the curve, as British television inevitably goes digital. Looks like we were a bit too far ahead of the curve. We don't regret it at all."

The presenters are looking to work on other projects, both together and separately.

Cactus TV is in discussions with other media partners about the future of Richard & Judy's Book Club, the hugely successful brand extension. The duo will continue to present the show as planned into the summer, hosting a new series of the Summer Read from Wednesday 15 May.

UKTV controller Matthew Littleford said that the "king and queen of British telly" and Cactus had created "a show I remain incredibly proud of".

He said: "The calibre of the guests that have sat on the sofa has been as strong as ever and it is testament to the professionalism of the entire team at Cactus TV that the quality of the show has never waned. We wish them the best of luck in the future, and look forward to giving them a fitting send off."

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Reader Response

Exactly..launch a dud channel with 1 new show that costs the earth and you still have a job. Funny old world.

There's a couple of jobs going on an ITV morning show !

And the damn fool that comissioned it remains....