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    ‘I don’t want to be relevant’: Judy Finnigan insists she doesn’t regret turning her back on her TV career with husband Richard Madeley as she recalls her ‘stomach-clenchingly anxious’ midlife years in the public eye

    Judy Finnigan has insisted she feels at peace after quitting her successful TV career.

    The star, 72, spoke candidly about her marriage and career in a new interview with The Times’ T2 on Monday, alongside husband of 34 years Richard Madeley, 64. 

    While the TV duo achieved stellar fame in the nineties and noughties with This Morning and later Richard and Judy’s Book Club, Judy has largely left her onscreen career behind in the past five years, appearing sporadically for guest appearances with her husband.

    Happy: Judy Finnigan, 72, has insisted she feels at peace after quitting her successful TV career. with husband of 34 years Richard Madeley, 64

    Speaking to T2 Judy declared ‘I don’t want to be relevant, I like a peaceful inner life. I appreciate not having to worry about ratings, the stress of hoping that each day, each programme works out.’

    Adding that she enjoys ‘a slow pace inside’, the star explained she feels happiest surrounded by nature at the couple’s house in Cornwall. 

    She explained that the darkest period of her life was her midlife years, insisting: ‘They are the worst, most anxious years. Trying to raise a family, paying a mortgage, worrying about losing your job . . . They are quite stomach-clenching for everybody.’ 

    Judy seemed to allude to her husband’s desire to be on screen though, admitting ‘some people’ can’t step away from television, ‘they can’t let it go. Their identity is too rooted in that.’ 

    'At peace': While the TV duo achieve stellar fame in the nineties and noughties, Judy has largely left her onscreen career behind in the past five years

    ‘At peace’: While the TV duo achieve stellar fame in the nineties and noughties, Judy has largely left her onscreen career behind in the past five years

    ‘Life is love,’ she added of her own outlook and priorities. ‘It’s the only thing, and I think the older you get, the more you realise life is about the people you love most.’   

    ‘I don’t fear death at all, I really, really don’t. I sincerely hope I’ve got at least another 25 years to go. But I’m happy.’  

    The husband and wife duo fronted This Morning between 1988 and 2001 and returned to the ITV breakfast show earlier this year to fill in for Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford.  

    Sporadic appearances: Speaking to T2 Judy declared 'I don't want to be relevant, I like a peaceful inner life' (pictured during their guest hosting stint on This Morning in July 2020)

    Sporadic appearances: Speaking to T2 Judy declared ‘I don’t want to be relevant, I like a peaceful inner life’ (pictured during their guest hosting stint on This Morning in July 2020)

    Their return was met with praise from viewers who clearly saw how at ease they are presenting together.  

    When describing his wife, Richard shared: ‘For my money, Judy’s still the best female presenter in the UK, she is so able and versatile. But of all the presenters I know she was always the most reluctant one, she didn’t enjoy the fame thing at all.’ 

    More recently Richard and Judy have been concentrating on their hugely successful Book Club website and podcast, which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary.   

    The couple also recently made a surprise return to TV screens during lockdown to host their new book show, Keep Reading and Carry on.

    Iconic: The husband and wife duo fronted This Morning between 1988 and 2001 and returned to the ITV breakfast show earlier this year to fill in for Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford (pictured in 1986)

    Iconic: The husband and wife duo fronted This Morning between 1988 and 2001 and returned to the ITV breakfast show earlier this year to fill in for Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford (pictured in 1986) 

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