Eamonn Holmes

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Eamonn Holmes
Eamon Holmes.jpg
Holmes (right) with his wife Ruth Langsford and Holly Willoughby
Born (1959-12-03) 3 December 1959 (age 54)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Residence Weybridge, Surrey
Occupation Broadcaster, journalist
Years active 1988–present
Employer Sky News Sunrise
ITV
Height 5 feet 11.75 inches (1.82 m)
Spouse(s) Ruth Langsford (m. 2010)
Children Declan (b. 1989)
Rebecca (b. 1991)
Niall (b. 1993)
Jack Alexander (b. 2002)
Website
Official website

Eamonn Holmes (born 3 December 1959)[1] is a multi award-winning Northern Irish journalist and broadcaster, best known for presenting Sky News and This Morning.

Holmes co-presented GMTV for twelve years between 1993 and 2005, before joining Sky News Sunrise in 2005, which he currently presents from Monday-Thursday with Isabel Webster. Since 2006, he has co-hosted This Morning with his wife Ruth Langsford on Fridays and during school holidays.

Education[edit]

Holmes was educated at Holy Family Primary School in Belfast[2] and St Malachy's College,[1] a Roman Catholic grammar school for boys, on the Antrim Road in Belfast. He then studied journalism at the Belfast College of Business Studies, in the same city.[2]

Television career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Holmes worked for a Belfast-based business magazine before going into broadcasting.

In 1979, he joined Ulster Television, part of the major ITV Network. Here Holmes hosted and reported on the station's Farming Ulster programme. Afterwards he became a sports reporter alongside Jackie Fullerton and Leslie Dawes. In 1981 Holmes succeeded Gloria Hunniford as anchor on the top-rated flagship news magazine Good Evening Ulster.[3]

In addition to his news and current affairs role, Holmes has also hosted other Ulster Television productions, including Miss Northern Ireland gala specials in 1985 and 1986. He finally departed from the Ulster Television stable in 1986 to join BBC Manchester.

In 1986, Holmes moved on to UK network presenting the daytime programme Open Air on BBC One from Manchester.[1]

1993-2005: GMTV[edit]

Main article: GMTV

Holmes started working at GMTV in 1993, hosting the first show on 1 January 1993 alongside Anne Davies. He had a falling-out with his later co-host Anthea Turner however they were reunited while they were on a BBC NI show entitled the Friday Show in 2009 where they seemed to get on better. For eight and a half years, Holmes made GMTV the most watched morning show alongside Fiona Phillips until his departure.

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".[4]

He left GMTV in April 2005, stating the show had run out of real news and became celebrity obsessed shortly before his departure.[5]

Holmes also presented the BBC National Lottery game show Jet Set between 2001 and 2007.

2005-present: Sunrise and This Morning[edit]

Holmes presented SUDO-Q, a BBC quiz show which aired between December 2005 and March 2007.

After leaving GMTV in April 2005, Holmes joined Sky News six months later to present the new-look Sunrise programme. He initially hosted the show alongside Lorna Dunkley between October 2005 and January 2007, then alongside Charlotte Hawkins from 2007 until 2014, when Hawkins departed the network in March 2014 to join ITV. She was replaced by Isabel Webster on Sunrise.[6]

In 2006, Holmes began presenting ITV daytime programme This Morning on Friday mornings. He currently works on the show, co-presenting This Morning with Langsford every Friday and Monday to Thursday during school holidays.

In 2006, Holmes hosted the US game show The Rich List.

Holmes occasionally presents the BBC One series Songs of Praise, which is filmed in his homeland of Ireland.

In 2009, Holmes co-presented the ITV series The Feelgood Factor alongside Myleene Klass.

He guest presented the BBC One's Have I Got News for You on 20 May 2010.

In 2013, Holmes was a judge on the CBBC Blue Peter talent search for a new presenter, Blue Peter - You Decide.

Beginning 18 August 2014, Holmes and Langsford will co-host 10-part ITV game show, Gift Wrapped.[7][8]

Northern Ireland broadcast[edit]

To mark the conclusion of the analogue era in Northern Ireland, the last region in the UK to officially experience the switch over to digital technology, Holmes hosted a first-time joint UTV and BBC Northern Ireland venture.

The programme, The Magic Box, celebrated 60 years of television broadcasting in Northern Ireland featuring memorable archive footage of broadcasters, news reporters and events. The one-hour live simulcast occurred on Tuesday 23 October 2012 from the BBC’s Blackstaff House studio in the heart of Belfast.

Personalities from the UTV and BBC Northern Ireland stables were out in force for the special nostalgic event. The show also featured a tribute to deceased broadcasters, which included the well-regarded Brian Baird (1929–1998), Holmes' co-presenter and friend on the Good Evening Ulster programme.

Speaking as he closed the show, Holmes thanked viewers for watching and said: "Here's to the next 60 years."

Sports presenting[edit]

Holmes has presented coverage of snooker, horse racing and darts on television.[9][10] and was the main presenter of the BBC's coverage of the World Darts Championship in 1991 and 1992.[citation needed] 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.[11][12] From 2000–2001 he presented OnDigital's coverage of the UEFA Champions League alongside Jim Rosenthal,[citation needed] and hosted The Sports Show on ITV in 1999 and 2000.

Radio career[edit]

Holmes presented The Eamonn Holmes Show on Radio 5 Live on Saturday mornings between 9 and 11 am for 6 years. The last edition of this programme was aired on 30 May 2009 as Holmes' contract with the BBC was not renewed.[13]

He also took over Michael Parkinson's Sunday morning show on Radio 2 for a few weeks in 2008[14] and hosted his own programme on London radio station Magic 105.4.[14]

Holmes' first foray into radio broadcasting was at Northern Ireland’s Downtown Radio in the mid-1980s.

Other work and interests[edit]

Holmes writes a column for The People newspaper.[15]

Holmes' autobiography was released in May 2006.[16] The autobiography is called This is MY Life, a reference to another famous Irish Eamonn – Eamonn Andrews, after whom he was named.[4][14] The book reveals some of what occurred behind the scenes during his tenure at GMTV, particularly regarding his stormy relationship with Anthea Turner.[4]

Manchester United[edit]

Holmes is a fan of Manchester United.[3] In December 2005, he opened the eulogies at the funeral of football legend George Best.[17] He also introduced Ole Gunnar Solskjær at his testimonial against R.C.D. Espanyol.[citation needed]

Charity[edit]

Holmes is a patron of Kids for Kids[18] which helps villages in Darfur, Sudan. He and Langsford are also patrons of Dogs Trust.

Filmography[edit]

Television
Year Show Role Notes
1986 Open Air Presenter Series 1
1993-2005 GMTV Co-Presenter Fridays (1993–94)
Monday-Thursdays (1995-2005)
2001-07 Jet Set Presenter
2004 Would You Pass The 11+ Co-Presenter One episode with Christine Bleakley
2005-07 SUDO-Q Presenter
2005 Ant & Dec's Gameshow Marathon Contestant Series 1
The Sunday Night Project Guest Presenter Series 1, Episode 6
2005— Sunrise Main Presenter Monday-Thursdays
2006 The Rich List Presenter
2006— This Morning Co-Presenter Fridays and school holidays with Ruth Langsford
2009 The Feelgood Factor Co-Presenter With Myleene Klass
2010 Have I Got News for You Guest Presenter One Episode
2013 Blue Peter - You Decide Judge
2014 Gift Wrapped Co-Presenter With Ruth Langsford
Holiday of My Lifetime Participant
Film
Year Show Role Note(s)
2005 Robots Bigmouth Executive & Forge (Re-dubbed voice)
2014 Mrs. Brown's Boys D'Movie Himself
TV guest appearances

Holmes has appeared four times on the long-running game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire?. The first time, he played with Alex Ferguson. On 1 September 2007, he played with Kay Burley. On 20 May 2012, he returned with Ruth Langsford by his side. Finally, on 19 December 2013, to celebrate the end of Millionaire on ITV, Holmes re-appeared on the show alongside Alex Ferguson.

Awards and Honours[edit]

Year Group Award Result
2008 TRIC Awards Satellite/Digital TV Personality Won
2009 TRIC Awards Satellite/Digital TV Personality Won
2010 TRIC Awards Satellite/Digital TV Personality Won
2011 TRIC Awards Satellite/Digital TV Personality Won
2013 TRIC Awards News Presenter/Reporter Won
2013 Legends of Industry Award Services to Broadcasting and Journalism Won

In 2006, Holmes was awarded an honorary degree by Queen's University Belfast.[1][19] He has also received an honorary degree from the University of Staffordshire.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Holmes married his long term partner Ruth Langsford at Elvetham Hall in Hampshire on 26 June 2010.[21] 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.[22] The couple have a son called Jack Alexander (b. 2002); Holmes has three children – Declan (b. 1989), Rebecca (b. 1991) and Niall (b. 1993) – from his first marriage.[21]

Holmes is one of five boys. He has an older brother called Leonard, and three younger brothers called Brian, Colm and Conor, the latter of which is a postman.

Holmes lives in a six-bedroom mansion in Weybridge, Surrey with Langsford and their son Jack. The couple put their house on the market but were forced to slash the price by 7% after it was rumored they wanted to move to London.[23]

Controversies and criticism[edit]

Holmes was accused of being opposed to LGBT parenting when he told two gay interviewees in a year 2000 GMTV episode that "You are not meant to have children. You are going against nature!"[24]

While Holmes was presenting GMTV, former Doctor Who actor Tom Baker referred negatively to his presentational style in an interview with the Metro. Baker was quoted: "Eamonn Holmes with his terrible 'I'm eating shit' grin ...I couldn't possibly go on, I would be sick in his lap."[25]

While presenting This Morning in October 2011, Holmes described singer Jonathan Wilkes as a "retard" on air. He later apologised after complaints and calls for him to be sacked. Holmes said "I have to say sorry to three or four of you who are upset because I used the word retarded. You seem to have taken it personally or think I am being insulting. I would never want to do that. There is this man who has an autistic child and said I insulted his child. I would never use it in that context. Sorry if that caused you offence"[26][27] The other presenters laughed.[28]

Also in October 2011, Holmes provoked criticism by suggesting that a rape victim should take taxis in future, leading to accusations of victim blaming.[29]

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,[30] after the programme aired the presenter instructed his lawyers to send a letter of complaint to the BBC.[31] The letter resulted in an apology from the BBC along with a withdrawal of any future comedy sketches featuring Holmes.[32] Both the complaint itself and the outcome of Holmes's legal action drew generally unfavourable criticism from media observers and online commentators.[33][34][35][36]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Holmes receives honorary degree BBC News, 4 July 2006
  2. ^ a b Passed/Failed: An education in the life of Eamonn Holmes, television presenter The Independent, 28 June 2007
  3. ^ a b "He has a passion for John Wayne movies" Belfast Telegraph, 26 April 1996, i'm also Gordon's minyon
  4. ^ a b c Eamonn Holmes: My Life In Media The Independent, 10 July 2006
  5. ^ Holmes bids farewell to GMTV sofa BBC News, 27 April 2005
  6. ^ Sky's the limit for 'family man' Eamonn Mail Online, 19 May 2005
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ Sport in My World: Eamonn Holmes Telegraph, 28 April 2006
  10. ^ Eamonn Holmes Feelgood Factor, ITV, 2009
  11. ^ Filmography HOLMES, Eamonn BFI – Film & TV Database
  12. ^ SIMPLY THE BEST PHIL TAYLOR V RAYMOND VAN BARNEVELD BFI – Film & TV Database
  13. ^ Plunkett, John (8 May 2009). "Danny Baker and Christian O'Connell to front new shows on BBC Radio 5 Live". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 May 2009. 
  14. ^ a b c Eamonn Holmes – This is his Surrey life Surrey Life, March 2008
  15. ^ Eamonn – Man of the people The People
  16. ^ This Is My Life: Eamonn Holmes: The Autogiography Amazon.co.uk
  17. ^ Final farewell to football legend BBC News, 3 December 2005
  18. ^ Kids for Kids patrons list
  19. ^ Ulster-born TV presenter Eamonn Holmes was today presented with an honorary degree from Queen's University Belfast Telegraph, 3 July 2006
  20. ^ Honorary Doctors 1986 – 2005 University of Staffordshire
  21. ^ a b Holmes and partner Ruth walk down aisle Belfast Telegraph, 26 June 2010
  22. ^ Only in Hello! Eamonn and Ruth marry surrounded by showbiz friends Hello!, 28 June 2010
  23. ^ [3]
  24. ^ Jane Simon; Brian McIver (21 July 2010). "Dad'll do nicely". Daily Record. 
  25. ^ Tom Baker Metro, 17 October 2003
  26. ^ O'Connor, Niall. Eamonn says sorry for calling guest 'retard'. herald.ie. 8 October 2011.
  27. ^ Sheridan, Emily. Eamonn Holmes apologises after calling This Morning guest Jonathan Wilkes 'retarded'. Daily Mail. 8 October 2011.
  28. ^ Small, Louise. Eamonn Holmes sorry for 'retarded' comment. The Belfast Telegraph. 8 October 2011.
  29. ^ "Eamonn Holmes cricised for controversial rape comment". The Telegraph. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2011. 
  30. ^ Eamonn Holmes Eat Your Heart Out The Impressions Show with Culshaw and Stephenson, BBC Comedy, 27 November 2009
  31. ^ Eamonn Holmes threatens BBC with legal action after comedy show mocks his weight Telegraph, 19 July 2010
  32. ^ BBC apologises to Eamonn Holmes over weight jibes BBC News, 19 July 2010
  33. ^ Julie Burchill If Eamonn Holmes can't see the funny side of fatness, he should lay off the pies Belfast Telegraph, 21 July 2010
  34. ^ Eamonn Holmes gets the BBC jokes eating away at him banned The Guardian, 22 July 2010
  35. ^ Andrew M Brown If Eamonn Holmes doesn't like the BBC teasing him about being fat, there's a simple solution Telegraph, 19 July 2010
  36. ^ BBC sorry for jibe at Eamonn The Sun, 20 July 2010

External links[edit]