Eamonn Holmes (born 3 December 1959) is an Irish journalist and broadcaster. He is known for his work on UK and Irish television, notably presenting GMTV and This Morning. He is married to TV presenter Ruth Langsford.
Holmes is a former pupil of Holy Family Primary School in Belfast and St Malachy’s College on the Antrim Road in Belfast. He then studied journalism at the Belfast College of Business Studies.
Holmes worked for a business journal before joining Ulster Television, where he hosted Farming Ulster before becoming a presenter on regional news magazine Good Evening Ulster.
Holmes later moved on to network presenting the 1980s daytime programme Open Air on BBC1.
Holmes started at GMTV in 1993, after appearing in 1992 as an earnest police constable in Inspector Morse.
One infamous interview occurred when American illusionist David Blaine appeared on the show on 29 August 2001. Holmes cites this interview with Blaine as the most awkward moment of his professional career and one of TV’s bloopers when he refused to speak and gave him the “evil eye”.
It was while Holmes was presenting GMTV that former Doctor Who actor Tom Baker famously criticised him in an interview with the Metro newspaper. He said: “Eamonn Holmes with his terrible ‘I’m eating shit’ grin and that acid blonde: bottle blonde, black bush – Fiona, I think he calls her. I couldn’t possibly go on, I would be sick in his lap”.
Holmes made his final appearance on GMTV in April 2005.
Holmes joined Sky News in October 2005 to present the new-look Sunrise programme.
Partnership with Ruth Langsford:
Since August 2006, Holmes has co-presented the ITV1’s daytime series This Morning, alongside long-term partner Ruth Langsford. Starting in September 2008 he and Langsford became regular Friday presenters after regular co-host Phillip Schofield moved on to the same Monday to Thursday schedule as Fern Britton. The pair announced their engagement on 27 March 2009 during a live broadcast of This Morning and they married in June 2010.
Holmes and Langsford were portrayed as fictionalised versions of themselves in Rob Brydon’s satirical sitcom on life behind the cameras on a topical news quiz, Annually Retentive.
Holmes has presented coverage of snooker, horse racing and darts on television and was the main presenter of the BBC’s coverage of the World Darts Championship in 1991 and 1992. He was also the presenter of ITV’s coverage of the Phil Taylor vs. Raymond van Barneveld showdown at the Wembley Conference Centre in 1999. From 2000-2001 he presented OnDigital’s coverage of the UEFA Champions League alongside Jim Rosenthal, and hosted The Sports Show on ITV in 1999 and 2000.
Holmes presented the BBC Two early evening quiz show, Sudo-Q that combined contestants’ abilities to complete a modified Sudoku puzzle and to answer general knowledge questions.
He was the presenter of the National Lottery quiz Jet Set. On 20 May 2006, Eamonn’s National Lottery programme, was invaded by Fathers 4 Justice protesters just as the lottery draws were about to take place. Holmes was pushed by one of the protesters but the incident was resolved quickly and did not impinge upon the immovable 8pm start time of the subsequent 2006 Eurovision Song Contest.
In February 2004, Eamonn co-hosted the BBC One Northern Ireland show Would You Pass The 11+ with Christine Bleakley, produced by Wild Rover Productions.
In 2006, Holmes hosted the American version of The Rich List which lasted just one episode before being cancelled.
In May 2010 he guest-presented an episode of the satirical panel show Have I Got News For You.
In September and October 2005 Holmes appeared as a celebrity contestant in Ant & Dec’s Gameshow Marathon, progressing through to Sale of the Century before getting knocked out.
In 2007 he appeared on All Star Family Fortunes with his brothers where they defeated Holly Willoughby’s family but failed to win the top prize for their nominated charity.
Holmes has made appearances on Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes as Johnny Cash and on The All Star Impressions Show as Elvis Presley.
Other TV appearances:
Holmes has occasionally presented Songs of Praise
Holmes is a former host of Holiday on BBC One
In 1995 he replaced Des Lynam as co-host of How Do They Do That? with Jenny Hull
Holmes was the guest host for an episode of The Friday Night Project for Channel 4
In 2008, he made a guest appearance in the BBC Three sketch show, Little Miss Jocelyn
In 2007, he presented Eamonn Holmes’ 50 Film Favourites shown on EMAP Performance TV’s music channels, including The Hits
In 2008, he authored a film for ITV1 called The Troubles I’ve Seen in which he and other famous faces from Northern Ireland recalled growing up in there during The Troubles. The film was nominated for a Sandford St Martin Award in 2009. The Troubles I’ve Seen was a Bite Yer Legs production
In January-March 2009 he hosted fitness programme The Feelgood Factor on ITV1 with Myleene Klass
In late 2009, he presented The Friday Show, a six-part entertainment series for BBC Northern Ireland alongside I’d Do Anything star Rachel Tucker
In April 2010 he appeared in an episode of the hit-drama Shameless
In September 2010 Holmes appeared on the The King is Dead episode “Assistant Regional Head of Sales”
Holmes presented The Eamonn Holmes Show on Radio 5 Live on Saturday mornings between 9 and 11am for 6 years. The last edition of this programme was aired on 30 May 2009 as Holmes’ contract with the BBC was not renewed.
He has also took over Michael Parkinson’s Sunday morning show on Radio 2 for a few weeks in 2008 and hosted his own programme on London radio station Magic 105.4.
Holmes writes a column for The People newspaper.
Eamonn Holmes’ autobiography was released in May 2006. The autobiography is called This is MY Life, a reference to another famous Irish Eamonn – Eamonn Andrews, who he was named after. It reveals some of what occurred behind the scenes during his tenure at GMTV, particularly regarding his stormy relationship with Anthea Turner.
Holmes is a lifelong fan of Manchester United. In December 2005, he opened the eulogies at the funeral of football legend George Best. He also introduced Ole Gunnar Solskjær at his testimonial against R.C.D. Espanyol.
In popular culture:
In September 2007 he received criticism for publicly describing footballer Joey Barton as a “cunt” during an interview with Maxim. He was also criticised following a live interview gaffe in which he misheard Salma Hayek describing herself as ‘half-Lebanese’, mistakenly believing she had identified herself as ‘half-lesbian’.
The Impressions Show portrayal and controversy:
In November 2009, the impressionist Jon Culshaw appeared as Holmes on The Impressions Show in a series of three comedy sketches in which he was portrayed as having an appetite so uncontrollable that he eats a sofa, flowers and even a guest (Frankie Dettori), using the catchphrase ‘I was fierce hungry, so I was’. Even though Holmes had interviewed Culshaw and his co-star Debra Stephenson on This Morning to promote the show, after the programme aired the presenter instructed his lawyers to send a letter of complaint to the BBC. The letter resulted in an apology from the BBC along with a withdrawal of any future comedy sketches featuring Holmes. Both the complaint itself and the outcome of Holmes’s legal action drew generally unfavourable criticism from media observers and online commentators.
In 2006 Holmes was awarded an honorary degree by Queen’s University Belfast. He has also received an honorary degree from the University of Staffordshire.
Holmes married his long term partner Ruth Langsford at Elvetham Hall in Hampshire on 26 June 2010. The couple sold exclusive rights to report on the wedding ceremony and the reception to Hello! magazine in a deal that saw the publication feature the event over two issues, in July 2010. The couple have a son called Jack and Holmes has three children Declan, Rebecca and Niall from his first marriage.
Holmes is an avid user of the social networking service Twitter.
During a radio interview Holmes admitted being a closet fan of the popular female artist Kelis.