Richard Madeley: ‘Never see the light of day’ Piers Morgan saved family from pap photos

Richard Madeley: ‘Never see the light of day’ Piers Morgan saved family from pap photos


This Morning: Richard Madeley presents with Ruth in 2010

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Richard Madeley, 64, revealed Piers Morgan, 55, stepped in after the former This Morning presenter, his wife and co-star Judy Finnigan and their children were papped while enjoying themselves on holiday in Florida. The pool photographs were taken without their knowledge, and eventually found their way around the tabloids.

They’ll never see the light of day

Richard Madeley

Horrified, Piers – who was then editor of the Daily Mirror – saved the family from any embarrassment the photos may have caused them, by buying them out exclusively.

Richard branded the former Good Morning Britain host a “TV shock-jock” with a “large heart” after he nobly used his position to help them out.

He said: “I had a call from Piers, then editor of the Daily Mirror, ‘These pool snaps… I’ve bought them, exclusively.'”

“‘Cheers, Piers. I thought you were a mate,'” Richard recalled, believing he had bought them to publish to their audience.

“‘No, no — I did it as a favour. I’m suggesting I send one of our snappers to your hotel, do some properly posed holiday shots of you all, and run those instead.’”

But the presenter shook his head, replying: “‘That’d set a precedent. Every time we’re papped like this, we’d have to do similar deals. Thanks but no thanks.’”

He went on to explain that Piers asked if Judy was available to talk to and in front of them both on speakerphone, did a very noble thing.

“There was an odd, metallic tinkling sound,” Richard noted in his article for The Spectator, before remembering Piers saying: “‘Hear that? That was me chucking those photos in my bin. They’ll never see the light of day. Enjoy the rest of your holiday.’”

Richard and Piers have a friendship that goes back 30 years after attending the same journalism college together.

That’s why when betting agents pitted him as the new host on GMB after Piers’ shocking departure last week, the 64-year-old bid “ta-ta” to that sentiment.

“The favourite never wins,” he chuckled.

“When the race was on at Radio 2 to replace Jimmy Young, Nicky Campbell was heavily touted and that scuppered his chances. Same thing happened when he was in the running to host Newsnight.

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“The eventual winner always comes from behind. TV bosses loathe being told by the bookies who they should pick.

“My money’s on an all-woman lineup, with a nod to diversity.”

He wondered whether regular presenter Ranvir Singh, would take on the role.

“Riding high since her terrific outing on Strictly, [she] made an impressive pairing with Susanna Reid the morning after Piers stormed off the set,” Richard noted.

But while GMB will be a Piers-free zone from now on, Richard had no doubt he’ll back a big comeback sooner of later.

“Piers presents TV with his foot to the floor, going into bends at speed and skidding through the chicanes on full rubber-burning four-wheel lock,” he said.

“Drive a show like that and inevitably you’ll spin off the track.

“But he’ll be back.”

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