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Richard Madeley's 'mistake' first marriage – ten affairs and death that broke them


Richard Madeley’s 35-year marriage to Judy Finnigan is not his first – that was back when he was 21, when he was unfaithful and crippled by grief, embarking on 10 affairs and branding the whole thing a “mistake”

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I’m A Celeb: Richard Madeley discusses his health scare

Richard Madeley is well-known for his marriage to Judy Finnigan – they even had their own television show back in the 2000s.

But it’s not Richard’s first marriage – that was back when he was 21, and the whole thing was so disastrous he branded it a “mistake”.

The Good Morning Britain host recently made headlines after he was forced to end his I’m a Celebrity stint early, much to his fury.

He was removed from the camp for a mysterious hospital dash which he has now revealed was due to dehydration as well as being awake for 20 hours the previous day.

The 65-year-old admitted he was “incoherent” with the condition, and after he had been seen by doctors he was banned from re-entering the camp because he had burst the Covid “bubble” that allowed the celebrities to live together during the series.

Richard had told hosts Ant McPartlin and Dec Donnelly that he was absolutely fine after thorough tests at the hospital, but on Monday he revealed new details about what led to the incident.







Richard Madeley’s stint on I’m a Celeb came to a premature end when he was rushed to hospital
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The TV host confirmed he had a “funny turn” in the early hours of the morning, sparking concern with the crew.

Admitting he kept forgetting to drink water in the cold castle ground, Richard was talking nonsense without realising, and felt disorientated, unsure where he was.

He confirmed he was tested comprehensively and it was determined his sickness was harmless.

Welcoming him back home with open arms will be Judy, his wife of 35 years, after he missed their anniversary for the first time ever last week.

Richard and Judy, 73, have enjoyed a long and happy marriage, though it hasn’t been without its heartaches, but it was not his first legal union.

Not much is known about his first wife Lynda, but Richard has openly admitted he was a dreadful husband to her, and it only got worse when his father died.

Asked by The Mirror many women he bedded during his first six-year marriage, the star estimated: “Oh lots, numerous, probably in the space of about five years, about 10.






Richard said his first marriage to wife Lynda was a “mistake” and he had multiple affairs

“I’d have to draw a veil over some of the reasons for it happening. I was very lonely and I think I clung to Lynda. We’d only lived together for a while and then we got married – I pushed for it – and then my dad died.”

He continued: “In any marriage that would have been a very bad start and it quickly became clear to both of us that we weren’t suited at all and things started to fall apart.

“Although the marriage had some very happy moments, there was a lot of negativity in it. I’m not using that as an excuse. It’s wrong to have affairs, but I was a very young man.”

Richard’s relationship with his father, Christopher Holt Madeley, had been a complicated one.

He previously revealed he’d been “badly beaten” by his dad, and was left scarred by a cane for six months just for throwing a paper dart.

“[Christopher] thought it was acceptable – and it was back then. The beatings were learned behaviour; he learned the practice from his father and from society,” Richard explained.







Richard’s relationship with his father Christopher (second from left) was a complicated one
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“When my father beat me it was out of hand – two years of uncontrolled beatings – and I realise now that it was because he was dealing with a lot of buried anger.”

Christopher was just 49 when he died, having suffered from coronary thrombosis, and spent his final day working before rushing home as he fell ill.

In his autobiography, Richard wrote: “Dad did what many men are strangely compelled to do when their hearts give notice of imminent convulsion – he headed for home.

“My father managed to drive himself to his front door, fumbled desperately with the key, staggered inside and collapsed into my appalled mother’s arms. He had three minutes to live.”

His death led to Richard quitting smoking as he did not want to follow in his father’s footsteps.

And the last words Christopher ever said were “disappointingly mundane”.







Richard and Judy have been married for 35 years, but met when they were both wed to other people
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Richard explained: “No last pearl of wisdom; no sweeping but pithy summary of forty-nine years of existence.

“‘Do you have to lean on me so bloody hard?’ he gasped, before his life winked out with the sudden totality of a power cut.”

Unable to weather this heartbreak, Richard and Lynda divorced after six years.

He had been just 21 when he wed Lynda, who was eight years his senior, in 1977.

The couple were five years into their union when Richard met Judy at Granada, where she was put in charge of mentoring him.

Judy was also married at the time, to journalist David Henshaw.

“I remember the first time I saw him. He walked into the newsroom and I was sitting at my desk at the other end,” Judy recalled of their fateful first meeting.

“I remember exactly what he was wearing: a pale blue linen suit. I thought he looked nice. Tall, handsome and all that but I thought the suit was a bit flash. Then, because he was a newbie, I was assigned the job of looking after him,” she told The Mirror.

“I was sitting at my desk when this hand appeared on my shoulder and I looked up at this face and Judy said, ‘Hi, I’m your Mummy’ and I thought ‘Whaaaaat?'” revealed Richard, who already had a crush on Judy after watching her on TV.

Explaining the joke, he continued: “At Granada when someone new arrived, someone was appointed as their dad or their mum to show them round – the canteen, the toilets and all that. So Judy was my ‘mum’.”

One night, Richard and Judy went out for dinner and their romance began, though both have insisted it was much more than a “sordid office affair”.

It took Judy a year to make up her mind about Richard, not least because he would become stepfather to her twin boys – something he panicked about too.

Richard was over the moon when she finally did make her choice – and it was him.

They went on to welcome son Jack, 35, and daughter Chloe, 34.

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