Inside Richard Madeley’s wild life – arrest shame, cruel gossip and baby loss

He is one half of one of TV's most loved partnerships, cherished by millions as the charming gent who always puts his beloved wife first.

But life for Richard Madeley has not always been straight forward since stepping into the studio and meeting the love of his life.

There have been plenty of laughs along the way with the popular star, of course.

Dressing up as Ginger Spice and Ali G and shielding Judy Finnigan when she showed us a bit too much at the National Television Award in 2000, he has left us all giggling over the years.

But there's been plenty of pain and heartache, too.

Well, after getting on for four decades on TV and together with his wife since the early 80s, life was never going to be totally plain sailing.

He refuses to shy away from anything – including his shameful arrest for shoplifting.

He sometimes says too much, as well.

Let's not forget Richard once told the nation that he and Judy have tried Viagra, and has mentioned their bedroom antics on more than one occasion.

Here, Daily Star Online takes a close look at some of his life's biggest moments.

Awkward first meeting with Judy

The pair first met back in 1982 when Richard joined Granada, but things turned cringe very quickly.

Judy, the more experienced journalist, set her sights on him.

"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.

"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."

But Richard revealed: “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?'

"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'."

The affair begins

After nearly 35 years of marriage, it seems like Richard and Judy have always belonged to each other.

But when they first met, Judy was married to journalist David Henshaw and Richard was in the process of splitting from first wife Lynda.

Their paths first crossed in a newsroom and they quickly decided there was something there they had to explore.

The pair decided to go out for dinner, and didn't look back.

Both have insisted it was much more than a "sordid office affair" as they decided they couldn't live without each other.

All these years on, Richard accepts that if either cheated on each other there would be no way back.

"I think it's incredible that I've been fortunate enough to meet the woman I love. I know happy marriages come in different shapes and guises but I like the fact we're both possessive of one another," he told The Mirror.

"If Judy or I were to have an affair, it would be the end."

Shameful arrest

Richard was arrested for failing to pay for items, including champagne, just as his career was starting to soar.

The star was busted in a Tesco supermarket in Manchester back in 1994.

He was later acquitted of all shoplifting charges, after citing lapses of memory for what happened.

Some years later, he said: “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. I can joke about it now.

“But that year was horrible. The publicity was mortifying."

Baby heartache

Richard and Judy are proud parents to Jack and beauty Chloe, and when they got together the TV star became a step dad to her six-year-old twins Dan and Tom.

Chloe, of course, is a TV presenter too – she has even opening up on lockdown sex life with rugby star husband James Haskell.

But there has been child trauma too, Judy miscarried and she was forced to deliver their child.

It was a harrowing time for the couple and opening up about the devastating loss for 2018 Channel 4 documentary Child of Mine, Richard spoke of their devastation.

He recalled how they went for a routine scan at 16 weeks, only to be told their baby had passed away.

He said: “It was utterly devastating: no warning; no earlier, gentle, indication of the possibility of catastrophe.

“Our baby had just died. And he was still in Judy’s womb. She was kept in hospital overnight for a second scan and was then put into an induced labour.

“My heart broke for her as I waited outside the delivery room. What a dreadful experience: to go through the motions of childbirth, knowing what the grim outcome would be."

Twisted smear campaign

Richard remembers the moment when he discovered a "poisonous person" was trying to ruin them both.

False and cruel gossip swirled, and one day in particular it all got too much.

He told how that when he heard the rubbish that Judy was an alcoholic and Richard was a violent drunk, it tipped him over the edge.

"We'd gone away for a week to Cornwall with our children, and the mobile went in the car," Richard told the Guardian.

"It was our bosses at Granada saying a terrible rumour was being put around that you're in a self-help institution for men who batter their wives because you've beaten Judy, that Judy's in a drying-out clinic and that the children are in care. We were in the f**king car," he said.

"We tracked it to the source.. A particularly poisonous person.

"He'd leaked these smears and they were never published because we would have cleaned up in a libel case. But the one thing that lingered like a piece of floating sewage is this thing that Judy drinks. And she doesn't."

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