Richard and Judy have quit their teatime chat show, it has been announced.

Channel 4 had decided not to renew the contract for a new series, but the husband and wife duo were also thought to be ready to step down.

Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan will front their final programme on the sofa together at the end of next summer.

They found fame hosting ITV’s This Morning in 1988 and defected to Channel 4 in 2001.

But they were said to be unhappy after Channel 4 recently decided to cut back the couple’s shows to make way for Paul O’Grady to alternate in the same 5pm slot.

Their teatime show was also hit by the phone-in scandal over the You Say We Pay quiz earlier this year.

The last series of Richard and Judy attracted an average of 1.7 million viewers, down from two million last year.

Richard, 51, who plans to pursue a solo TV career, said: “We are looking forward to making two new series of our show next year.

“The programme is still full of life, but we have taken the difficult decision to leave it on a high.”

Judy, 59, who is thought to want to do less TV work, said: “We’ve had a wonderful time presenting this show, and we intend to carry on with the Book Club, which has become very important to us.

“It feels like the right time for a change.”