Richard Madeley says he was 'mad' to stroke a grizzly bear on This Morning

The presenter got up close with a grizzly when he hosted the ITV programme

Watch Richard Madeley say he was 'mad' to stroke a grizzly bear on This Morning

Richard Madeley has said he must have been "mad" for stroking a bear on This Morning and that it wouldn’t be allowed now.

The presenter hosted the ITV programme with wife Judy Finnigan from 1988 to 2001 before they moved on to their own show, Richard & Judy. He returned to This Morning’s sofa on Wednesday 15 May to chat to current hosts Cat Deeley and Ben Shephard about his new book.

During the episode they looked back at some of Madeley’s This Morning highlights, including the time he got up close to a grizzly bear. The episode aired several years ago and saw the TV star reaching out to stroke Hercules the bear, before the animal appeared to snap at him.

Richard Madeley appeared on This Morning. (ITV screengrab)
Richard Madeley appeared on This Morning. (ITV screengrab)

“Oh my God!” Madeley exclaimed, as an old clip of the moment was played.

“You had a live bear that you were told you could feed?” asked Shephard.

“And he went for me!" Madeley said. “It was a grizzly bear, we must have been mad!”

Shephard suggested the segment with the bear wouldn’t be permitted these days, and Madeley agreed: “So much of what we used to do on This Morning… you just wouldn’t do today. You couldn’t do it today. You would have Ofcom down your neck.”

“But a live grizzly bear in the studio? That close!” he added.

Richard Madeley on This Morning. (ITV screengrab)
Richard Madeley on This Morning. (ITV screengrab)

Madeley also chatted about his new revenge thriller Father’s Day, confessing that it took him around five years to finish because of his day job at Good Morning Britain.

He said: “From start to finish I must admit, the publisher was very patient, I missed deadline after deadline after deadline.

"GMB! I thought I could do it in the morning and write in the afternoon, but you know what it’s like, it’s like you have got jetlag. So it took me a long time, about five years. But I finally finished it about four of five months ago.”

He also said that he hadn't let Finnigan read his book yet, as having other people's opinions on his work as he went along could be distracting.

TV presenter Judy Finnigan poses for the media with her husband Richard Madeley during a photocall today (Monday) after returning to This Morning following her recent operation. She has been off the programme since mid-January to recuperate from a hysterectomy. Photo by Michael Stephens/PA. See PA story SHOWBIZ Finnigan
Richard Madeley and wife Judy Finnigan hosted This Morning from 1988 to 2001. (PA)

Cheeky Madeley couldn't resist pretending to host This Morning as he took a seat beside Deeley ahead of his interview on the show. Shephard playfully said he wasn't impressed by the move.

Madeley said: "Welcome back to your Wednesday’s This Morning with me Richard Madeley and Cat Deeley, there’s a lot more coming up for you on the programme today. How's your morning been so far?"

Seconds later, Shephard was back on-screen asking for his spot on the This Morning sofa back. He said: "Excuse me! Madeley - go on, other side of the sofa!"

Deeley enjoyed playing along as she quipped: "You’ve got a Madeley warm up."