Credo: Richard Madeley
Television presenter, 52
Sunday 17 May 2009
I don't take myself too seriously, but when I first started out I was very thin-skinned. We came from regional journalism, where no one writes about you, and suddenly, with This Morning, Judy and I found ourselves subject to all sorts of speculation about our marriage and it caught us off-balance.
Almost nothing I've done in my career has been planned. This Morning was someone else's idea, ditto [the daily programme] we are doing now on UKTV Watch, which isn't working particularly well ratings-wise. Maybe it was a bridge too far; I don't know.
My embarrassment genes were switched off a long time ago. It can be entertaining, but it can also be slightly shocking; some things I say are at my own expense, and not always with the press officer's blessing.
The Richard & Judy Book Club has become a brand in its own right. People see the sign in a shop and trust it; they know they will be good, readable books, and buy them. They don't have to watch us on TV to do so.
The secret of our marriage is simple: good luck. We've both been married before, not successfully, then we had the good fortune to meet each other.
We should give kids as much freedom as we can to make their own decisions. There's no point saying to a 16-year-old, "You must be back by midnight." You'll set yourself up for a fall. We'll say, "It'd be great if you're back by 12, but we know you'll do your best."
I'm a sucker for an apology. When my father expressed remorse for beating me, with the most humble, contrite apology I've ever had, I didn't find it hard to forgive him. I think it's at the heart of our Christian ethics; to genuinely repent is to be forgiven, with the exception of paedophiles.
The vast majority of paedophiles are recidivists; they'll do it again and again until the grave, but the courts deal with them in the same way as other criminals. Until we can be sure they're no longer a threat, I don't think we can let them out.
'Fathers & Sons', by Richard Madeley, is published by Simon & Schuster at £7.99, Living
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