Viewers thrilled as 'legends' Richard and Judy return to 'This Morning'

Julia Hunt
Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley as they unveil the eight new titles of their Spring Book Club, exclusively with WHSmith at the Soho Hotel in London.

This Morning viewers were thrilled as they switched on the ITV show to see “legends” Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan back on the sofa.

The much-loved couple presented the daytime show from 1988 until 2001, and returned on Friday to fill in.

Read more: Phillip Schofield thanks fans for support after coming out

Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes usually front the show only on Fridays but have stepped in this week as regular hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield are off on half-term holidays.

So Madeley, 63, and Finnigan, 71, gave them a day off.

The pair had hosted the show in October and said they would return.

As the programme opening on Friday, Madeley said: “When we did this two or three months ago for the first time in 20-odd years, I opened by saying that it felt really weird.

"I've never had time to explain it. What I meant was it felt weird because it didn't feel weird.

Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan outside the Channel 4 building

"It felt like they had put us in a freezer 22 years ago and then we've been defrosted the night before and we just picked up from where we left off."

Read more: Richard and Judy return to host This Morning

Fans were delighted to see the couple on their screens.

“Love love love Richard & Judy back on this morning... it's like a blast from the past. Can we keep them??” asked one person on Twitter.

“Love @thismorning with Richard and Judy… it’s like they’ve never been away…” said another.

Others declared the episode “TV gold”.

One person tweeted: “I’m really quite enjoying Richard and Judy. It’s a lot more relaxed somehow. And it’s refreshing to see an older woman presenting on big telly, something not seen very often.”

“So surprised and delighted to switch the tv on and see @richardmaddeley and @judymaddeley,” said another.

“Took me back a few years- This Morning legends!”

The couple presented This Morning from 1988 until 2001 and then went on to host the daily chat show Richard & Judy from 2001 until 2009.

Madeley has intermittently filled in as a presenter on Good Morning Britain since 2017 and also appeared as a contestant in gameshow The Circle .