C4 calls for Taylor Herring to boost Richard and Judy

Channel 4 has taken on external PR help to support its ailing afternoon chat-show fronted by husband-and-wife team Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan.

The broadcaster has taken on entertainment specialist Taylor Herring Communications as the first external agency to work on Richard and Judy, for a three-month project to run until the end of the current series in June.

Agency joint-founder James Herring denied that the appointment of external help was influenced by the lukewarm reaction to the show, which was singled out as having 'failed to live up to expectations' in the ITC's annual report: 'Channel 4 often runs its PR efforts in-house until a series is up-and- running before putting work out to agencies,' Herring said.

C4 senior publicity manager Julie Pickford said the agency would be involved in both proactive and reactive work surrounding the show, including placing stories based on the show's guests: 'It was important we appointed someone with a knowledge and understanding of live TV and how to match the content with PR needs,' she said.

She added that C4 would review the show's PR needs over the summer ahead of the second series of the show, due to screen in September.

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