Sleb Safari: Richard Madeley, the baby whisperer

Maeve Connoly

Maeve Connolly

Maeve is the deputy digital editor at The Irish News. She has worked for the company since 2000.

Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley are bonding with their baby granddaughter Bodhi
Judy Finnigan and Richard Madeley are bonding with their baby granddaughter Bodhi

The celebrity stork has bestowed a baby girl on Chloe Madeley - daughter of telly titans Richard and Judy - and her husband, I’m A Celebrity contestant and former rugby player James Haskell.

The new parents are living with Richard and Judy while their house is renovated and all three generations are living in a bubble of baby bliss. 

They invited OK! magazine to meet baby Bodhi and - quelle surprise - Richard is not only a ‘hands-on’ grandfather but a fully fledged “baby whisperer”. Not the same thing as a baby monitor but just as handy, one would think.

When OK! arrived at the multi-generational abode Chloe is “fresh out of the shower” while “her shirtless husband, rugby star turned DJ James Haskell, is holding their daughter tightly in his burly arms and feeding her expressed milk from a tiny bottle”.

Sleb Safari’s rule of thumb during a two decades plus reporting career has been that if you turn up at someone’s door to interview them and they’re partially clothed you don’t cross the threshold. But then, Sleb Safari works for a very different publication.

Back to the Madeley/Finnegan/Haskell home visit where Chloe says her parents are “besotted” with their one-week old granddaughter.

“Dad’s been scooping Bodhi up and taking her upstairs in the mornings to my mum so she can have an hour-long cuddle, just them two, which I think is the sweetest thing in the world. They’re really besotted and I’m so grateful we’re staying with my parents during this time, it’s just been so lovely.”

James pegs on: “Do you remember the other night when Richard came in and Bodhi wasn’t settling? As soon as he started talking to her, she just settled like an absolute dream. He’s like the baby whisperer!”

Richard was thrilled with the description and, “putting down his copy of The Times”, tells OK! “Because we’ve been living together, this is the first grandchild we’ve been really close to even before they were born”. 

“In the last couple of weeks leading up to Chloe’s due date, most nights I’d kneel down in front of her belly and say, ‘Come on, Bo-Bo, we’re all ready for you - why are you hanging around?’” 

Bo-Bo didn’t make an appearance until a week after her due date. You might ‘hang around’ too if a very loud voice was outside your front door demanding answers. The whispering part of Baby Whisperer must have kicked in after birth...

Oh to be a fly on the wall, listening in on Richard’s whispered wisdom, observations and anecdotes. “There was this one time I impersonated Ali G…”

Buckle up Baby Bodhi!

Indiana Jones: The end

Harrison Ford has confirmed that the fifth Indiana Jones film will be his last.

“This is it, I’m not falling down for you again,” the 80-year-old actor said. Seems fair.

He was addressing an audience invited to watch a trailer for the film and at the same event met up with the actor Ke Huy Quan who played Short Round in Temple of Doom which was the second film in the franchise and released in 1984, fact fans.

Ke Huy Quan posted photos of the reunion on Instagram with the caption “I love you, Indy. Indiana Jones and Short Round reunited after 38 years.”

Now if you’ll excuse Sleb Safari it’s away to watch the first three films all over again.


A post shared by Ke Huy Quan (@kehuyquan)

Christine Baranski is in particularly good form

Christine Baranski, star of The Good Fight and Mamma Mia!, has a delightful anecdote about wanting a part in a Tom Stoppard play.

The play, Hapgood, is about  quantum physics and she told the New York Times: “I wrote him a note: ‘Dear Tom, I hear you’ve written a play about quantum physics. Is there a particle for me?’”

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