Eamonn Holmes feels ‘ashamed’ over inability to mourn loss due to work ‘I missed funerals’

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Eamonn Holmes, 61, has admitted he tends to feel conflicted when he has to miss out on paying his last respects to friends and relatives who have sadly died in his hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland. The star, who often presents alongside his wife Ruth Langsford, 60, on This Morning in London, revealed he often feels “very embarrassed or ashamed” to miss funerals due to his inability to fly home all the time while he’s working.

Eamonn shared the admission while addressing the difference between funeral traditions in Northern Ireland and those in England while chatting during an Instagram Live with Document Belfast this evening.

He explained: “I’ve never in England seen people walk behind a coffin.

“But you like to think if people can’t really turn up for your final day to show their respect… that should be the ultimate thing to say goodbye to someone.

“It’s a mark of respect and I just find that I just can’t see the idea here that you get a day off or you could take some time off, an hour or two off, to attend someone’s funeral.

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“I think it’s the least you can do for someone.”

Eamonn then divulged that he struggles emotionally when he is unable to mourn properly because of his work commitments keeping him in London.

He added: “I’m often very embarrassed or ashamed that because I spend so much of my time in London, that I’ve missed so many funerals.

“I can’t say I need another day off, I need to fly home.


“Whereas if you were home, you would go for an hour and go to the church service or the grave site.

“But it may be a morbid fascination we have, but I think we do death well,” he added of Irish funerals.

Elsewhere, Eamonn opened up on working with his wife Ruth, admitting she initially wasn’t keen on the idea.

The broadcaster was asked if he ever thought they would work together in the earlier stages of their relationship.

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He said: “No I didn’t think that, Ruthie was very happy working in Plymouth, her TV company lost its franchise she then had to go about and do a lot of the travelling, she had to work for Countryfile and various things like that.”

Speaking to Nicki Chapman on Talking Success podcast, he added: “And that’s tough, you make all that look beautiful at ease and [it’s] lovely scenery and everything else but we all know what’s involved aside filming and respect to you for that.

“She had to do a lot of that and we didn’t see a lot of each other then she increasingly got studio work first of all in Birmingham and then in London.”

Eamonn went on to say: “She’s worked at This Morning longer than any other presenter has and then a couple of years into her presenting, they phoned me and said ‘Would you like to do this?’ and Ruth said no, she wouldn’t like to do this, she didn’t think it was a good idea.

“So she’s never been keen on us working together ever, so I think we work… I mean people are very nice when we work together but, I think we both prefer to work apart.”

Last year, it was announced Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary will be filling the couple’s Friday slot and Eamonn and Ruth will return to present during half term holidays.

Addressing the news on Twitter at the time, Eamonn told his one million followers: “It’s a changing of the guard on Fridays from January.  

“We hope you make Alison and Dermot as welcome as you’ve made us over the years. Have a Ball you two!”

Confirming he and Ruth will not be leaving the show for good, he added: “It’s not goodbye from us, it’s simply Au Revoir until the next half term.”

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