This Morning viewers plead 'bring back Richard and Judy' as show marks 35 years on air

Richard Madeley returned to This Morning to celebrate 35 years of daytime TV.

Judy Finnigan Richard Madley Attending the Galaxy Book Awards Grosvenor House
Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley were a hit with viewers. (PA)

This Morning was celebrating a special birthday on Tuesday with 35 years on air – but a throwback clip to the first ever episode had viewers calling for Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan to come back.

Husband and wife Madeley and Finnigan launched This Morning 35 years ago and to mark the milestone, in Tuesday's episode hosts Holly Willoughby and Josie Gibson played a clip of the debut show's opening before chatting to Madeley about it.

Madeley and Finnigan could be seen sitting in the original Liverpool studio next to a large window looking out on Albert Dock, where they explained that the programme would include "something for all the family", with fashion, food and drink, pregnancy and finances all covered.

They also announced their first celebrity guest as singer Barbara Dickson, now 75, who was at the time pregnant with her second child.

Speaking about the clip of himself and Finnigan as fresh-faced presenters, Madeley said: "I wish I'd realised I spoke like a 1940s newsreader. The clipped tones, they weren't put on – we all spoke slightly differently back then."

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He added: "We were all nervous, it was a huge leap into the dark, there'd been nothing like it on British television before – daytime TV didn't exist."

Richard Madeley with wife Judy Finnigan who host the This Morning programme on ITV
Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan were This Morning's first hosts. (PA)

Madeley shared: "We were told pretty firmly by ITV that if it didn't work we'd be off the air by Christmas."

However, while the clip was meant to be in celebration of the show's history, viewers began to complain that the era had been This Morning's glory days and called for Madeley and Finnigan to return as hosts.

One person tweeted: "Would like to c Richard and Judy do it again on a 1 off special."

Someone else wrote: "I use to love #ThisMorning when Richard and Judy hosted the show."

Another viewer agreed: "35 years of #ThisMorning.. bring back Richard and Judy I say."

Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley pose in the winners room at the National Television Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on January 28, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Richard and Judy are still favourites with viewers. (Getty Images)

Others went further, saying that the beleaguered show had since lost its sparkle.

One viewer tweeted: "The show was so much better back then."

Someone else agreed: "That's when it was good then, also when #fernbritton and #johnleslie presented after Richard and Judy. Gone downhill now after phillip left. Lost respect 4r holly."

Another person commented: "Get Richard & Judy back , or Eamon and his wife."

Someone else wrote: "When the show was actually worth watching; proper feel-good stories and far better segments. What a sad fall from grace looking at the mess it is in now."