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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Made in Cumbria – another gaffe

Richard Madeley’s foot-in-mouth broadcasting style is known to millions. And it was born during his five years in Cumbria.

Long before he found fame with his wife Judy Finnegan as the original presenters of ITV’s This Morning, Madeley mangled a microphone at BBC Radio Carlisle – now Radio Cumbria – in the 1970s.

He has admitted to numerous cock-ups, such as: “I once turned two pages of the script at once and found myself babbling thanks to the newsreader for giving us the headlines before he’d even started.”

Madeley’s transition to telly in 1977 also occurred in Cumbria, when he rang the chairman of Border TV and asked for a job interview.

“His PA answered but I got cold feet when she asked who I was,” recalled Madeley.

“Mumbling a bit, I said ‘It’s...er...Richard Madeley’, which came out as ‘It’s Sir Richard Madeley.’

“Suddenly I heard this great, fruity rumble: ‘Sir Richard, old boy...what can I do for you?’”

Well, it’s reassuring to know that Madeley has not lost his capacity for verbal confusion.

The presenter has kindly expressed his support for the new Roman Frontier Gallery at Tullie House in Carlisle.

At least, Reiver thinks he has expressed support, but this quote is open to several interpretations.

Said Madeley: “From my days as a young journalist in Cumbria I know that wherever you are in Carlisle you can’t fail to forget the city’s Roman history.”

You can’t fail to forget the city’s Roman history?

This is not the compliment that it initially appears to be. But Madeley’s heart is in the right place, even if his words are not.

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