RICHARD Madeley has revealed his wife Judy Finnigan almost died after vomiting a litre of blood and being rushed to hospital.
The broadcaster, who gave up alcohol in November, reveals that the decision was directly linked to a serious scare over his wife Judy’s health last year, which also led her to quit booze.
Speaking for the first time about the incident, he said: “She’d been taking Ibuprofen for sore knees and she had no clue that taking them on an empty stomach could seriously affect the stomach lining.”
One morning Richard looked on in horror as Judy woke up and vomited a litre of blood.
He said: “I dialled 999 and the ambulance arrived in about four minutes.
“They had her on a drip and got her to the Royal Free in Hampstead and she had two blood transfusions.”
Judy, 71, had surgery to remove four ulcers above the stomach lining including one in an artery which caused her to bleed out.
He said: “It was touch and f***ing go. While she was coming round from that, the surgeon said, ‘She’s going to be fine. Did you call the ambulance immediately?’
“I said, ‘Yes,’ and he said, ‘Good, because if you’d waited another 20 minutes she probably would have bled out.’ Half an hour tops and she would have died.”
Richard and Judy married in 1986 after they met while working on Granada TV.
They were both married at the time but later left their spouses and married in 1986, two years before they took up hosting jobs on This Morning.
While Richard continues to fill in on GMB and do the odd Radio 2 shift, he shows no sign of slowing down — vowing to “live until at least 100”, no doubt helped by the influence of his fitness trainer daughter Chloe. Judy, on the other hand, has left the spotlight completely.
Chloe, 31, told The Sun last May that her mum had retired from telly, and Richard confirmed it to me.
He said: “She’s completely backed away from TV. Given her success as a presenter and how good she was, she was the most reluctant TV presenter I’ve ever known.
“She didn’t enjoy it too much. She enjoyed the process of doing the programmes and she was incredibly good at it. But she really didn’t like the whole fame thing, because she’s very shy.”
The TV veteran's outrageous gaffes filling in for Piers Morgan has drawn comparisons to cheesy comic character Alan Partridge.
Indeed, cutting off a cabinet minister mid-flow, swearing live on air, telling a Britain’s Got Talent golden buzzer act consisting of schoolchildren that their performance “wasn’t perfect” and turning up for work looking like an Oompa-Loompa has all the hallmarks of a Steve Coogan script.
So what does Richard think about being compared to the calamitous Norfolk-based DJ?
He told The Sun: “If people want to take the p**s, that’s fine. It’s a harmless joke.
“I can take it. I don’t take myself even remotely seriously. I know some people do, and they get offended by being teased — but it’s only teasing.”
It’s a good job Richard’s skin, with its fluctuating shades, is so incredibly thick.
His fake tan disaster last month saw him get rinsed on social media, and the fallout continued in the next day’s papers, which he felt he had to mention on air.
I could tell he was keen to give his side of the story so I let him explain in full, while trying hard to keep a straight face.
Richard, 63, said: “I’m leaving the house at about ten to four in the morning in the semi-dark, with one light on.
“As I was going out the door I felt my face and thought, ‘I should have shaved. I will get a b*****king.’
“I went back into the kitchen, got a dry shaver and had a quick shave.
“It started to itch, so I thought, ‘I’ll put some aftershave balm on.’ Now I’m running late.
“I opened the kitchen cupboard, got what I thought was the shaving balm and put it on. I’m driving in to work and thought, ‘It smells a bit funny, this balm — it’s a bit woody. It must have gone off.’”
It wasn’t until 30 minutes before the end of GMB’s live broadcast that the full Tango effect was clear to viewers.
He adds: “People were laughing into my earpiece from the gallery. I asked to see myself on screen, and it was like I had just come back from a timeshare in Chernobyl. There was glowing radiation.”
Good Morning Britain is on ITV, weekdays from 6am.
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