Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford on why sharing a breakfast sofa would be disastrous but why they still love This Morning
As Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford begin their annual summer stint hosting ITV's This Morning every weekday, TV Times caught up with them to find out more about their plans for the show and why they’d better avoid working together in the early mornings…
You’re back hosting This Morning over the summer, what do you love about it? Ruth: “We never know what’s coming up because we have to be news reactive, but I just love being out filming the show on London’s South Bank in the summer when people come up to chat to us.” Eamonn: “Yes more of the show will be outside, which is joyous. But we don’t want too much good weather, because we want people to be indoors watching telly! It will be nice because it’ll be the first time I’ve done summer on This Morning without having done breakfast TV earlier in the day [Eamonn left Sky News’ Sunrise last October].”
Do you miss breakfast TV though, because you recently sat in for Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain? Eamonn: “Breakfast TV is still very me. The bad thing about getting a taste of all that again is that when the big news stories then break, it’s strange that you are no longer a part of it. When I do breakfast TV I jump out of bed with a spring in my step because it is a great privilege to wake people up with something they didn’t know. With Piers, you may like him or not, but he’s brilliant at making people pay attention. He’s kept breakfast television relevant in changing broadcasting times.”
Ruth, would you be up for sharing a breakfast sofa with Eamonn? Ruth: "No!" Eamonn: “There was a plan for us to do that a few years ago but Ruth took two seconds to say, ‘Forget that!’” Ruth: “I was flattered, but we’d probably be divorced in about six months! Two people getting up at hideous o’clock in the morning and always having to be across the news is not healthy or fair to our son Jack . As much as I love my work, my family’s more important. If Eamonn wanted to do it again I’d be behind him, but it wouldn’t be right for both of us.”
Do you still learn from watching each other present? Eamonn “Very much so. I’m very direct, but when I watch Ruth I see her gentleness, empathy and her common sense and I realise there is so much that I don’t know.” Ruth: “With Eamonn, when he gets involved in the big news stories you can see his passion for it. We make a good team because we are very different and it’s all about compromise.”
Outside of work, what are your plans for the summer? Eamonn: “We will stay away from airports because it is just hectic and after working all week, we like to spend time at home, which is a real treat. I like to get lots of DIY things done, not personally though, I hire a man to do it.” Ruth: “Eamonn is very house-proud and always spots if a fence needs painting or a door handle needs fixing. I call him the house inspector!”
Who are your broadcasting heroes? Eamonn: “I could name people like David Frost and David Coleman and Des Lynam, but the trouble with my heroes is that most people have forgotten them now. But for me, the flattering thing is that the Stacey Solomons, Joe Swashes, Peter Andres and Rylan Clark-Neals of our world all turn to me for advice now. Rylan credited us in his book and said, ‘So many people tell you what you’ve done wrong but Eamonn and Ruth tell me what I have done right and he thanked us for that.’
"You’d be surprised in broadcasting the lack of tuition you get. You’re told, ‘Right, on you go, sink or swim.’ But I’ve always tried to be there for people through the years, I love encouraging youngsters in the business.” Ruth “I have met so many young producers who were once runners or researchers who have said to me, ‘Eamonn won’t remember this, but he was so kind and gave me advice.’ I hear that all the time, it’s lovely.”
You must be proud of seeing someone like Rylan progress so well on This Morning and elsewhere in his career? Eamonn: “Oh Rylan is so smart and talented and he’s a kind lad as well.” Ruth: “He is a natural broadcaster too, you can’t teach him anything really. The thing I love about him is that he is genuinely a really nice person. When he meets our guests in the green room he makes them cups of tea and stops to chat to everybody.”
You’re currently also appearing in the latest series of Eamonn and Ruth: How the Other Half Lives on Channel 5 – what was the highlight for you? Eamonn: “Oh one story was amazing when they tested our beauty ratings in Harley Street in London. It was about how you work out perfection in a face and it was all decided by a computer so it was all about angles and formulae. I scored 80 out of 100 and I thought, ‘This is going to be brilliant because I am obviously better looking than Ruth with that score.’ But she scored about 87 which left her just a few points behind the most beautiful person on their record who was Kim Kardashian and not all her face is her own!” Ruth: “But mine is!”
Eamonn and Ruth are hosting This Morning on ITV at 10.30am every weekday throughout the summer
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Caren has been a journalist specializing in TV for almost two decades and is a Senior Features Writer for TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and What’s On TV magazines and she also writes for What to Watch.
Over the years, she has spent many a day in a muddy field or an on-set catering bus chatting to numerous stars on location including the likes of Olivia Colman, David Tennant, Suranne Jones, Jamie Dornan, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Derek Jacobi as well as Hollywood actors such as Glenn Close and Kiefer Sutherland.
Caren will happily sit down and watch any kind of telly (well, maybe not sci-fi!), but she particularly loves period dramas like Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey and The Crown and she’s also a big fan of juicy crime thrillers from Line of Duty to Poirot.
In her spare time, Caren enjoys going to the cinema and theatre or curling up with a good book.
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