Richard & Judy promise 'zeitgeist' books on new Channel 4 show

Richard & Judy promise 'zeitgeist' books on new Channel 4 show

Presenters Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan have promised a mixed bag of children's titles, fiction, non-fiction and classics in their new lockdown book show for Channel 4, with novels by Lee Child and Marian Keyes expected to feature in the line-up.

The TV couple are returning to the broadcaster on 4th May with “Richard & Judy: Keep Reading and Carry On”, a half-hour show airing all week at 5.30 p.m. as part of the channel's lockdown programming.

Speaking to The Bookseller, the pair said the line-up and format of their week-long run was still being prepared, admitting they had only discussed doing it for the first time last week. However, the pair expect Blue Moon by Child (Bantam Press), Grown Ups by Keyes (Penguin) and Elton John's Me (Pan Macmillan) to be among the books featured, alongside a section on Daphne du Maurier classic Rebecca. Child and Keyes are also expected to be interviewed among the guests.

Finnigan said: “It's very short notice so we're trying to select books which are on the whole pretty much of the zeitgeist and pretty much around at the moment although we may have a digression into well-loved classics. We're also hoping to have a selection of children's books.

“We've had a lot of interest, which is really nice, from the book industry and they're very interested in putting up a lot of authors and people for us to interview.”

Madeley, who stressed the book club the duo run with W H Smith will be kept entirely separate from the programme, said he expected the show to begin with a review and discussion of one main book before moving on to other features including interviews with authors and celebrities.

He said: “There'll be a lot of chit-chat as well, it's not just going to be book, book, book, book, book. Judy and I will be doing what some might call our trademark argy-bargy between us and messing around a bit. This is not a streamlined Ferrari of a programme, this is an old jalopy bouncing down the road through the ruts and potholes. God knows what's going to happen.”

The hosts said their production team had been inundated with suggestions for guests and books since news of the show broke this week but Madeley said there was still “plenty of room” for more suggestions from publishers for the show, which will be filmed at their home from Wednesday to Friday next week.

Although the hosts had a book club on Channel 4 from 2001 to 2008, it was just one segment on their regular "Richard & Judy Show". Madeley said: “We've never actually done an exclusive book club show ever before so it will be interesting to see how it works.”