Eamonn Holmes on why he wouldn’t want to live anywhere but Surrey
- Credit: Archant
Never one to shy away from showing his feelings, particularly when on screen with his wife, Ruth Langsford, Eamonn Holmes is one of daytime TV’s most loveable characters. Here he opens up to Brendan Bale about his love for Surrey and why he wouldn’t want to live anywhere else
“I was brought up in Belfast but of course when you do the kind of work that we do, you get used to living in different places,” explains presenter Eamonn Holmes, who has been gracing our television screens as the anchor of morning TV in one form of another for the best part of three decades.
“If you spend time broadcasting in Manchester it is a good idea to have a home there. I found that cities are great for convenience but not so great for quality living.
“That might sound strange coming from someone who was brought up in the city of Belfast but in fact Belfast is quite green with lots of trees and parks,” he continues.
“London is great but despite its great parks, it is still a manic place to be. Then we discovered Weybridge and fell in love with it. We moved in some years ago and would not want to live anywhere else on this planet.
“It has great access to London and other places but it is far from the madding crowd in terms of the place where you actually live and relax.
“Surrey is one of the best counties for real relaxation. A lot of people think that it is just an extension of London but it is nothing like that. We love Weybridge, the neighbours are really nice and the local shops provide everything you could possibly want.
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“We really don’t have to go very far for anything. When you work in broadcasting you really look forward to going home to have some peace.”
But Eamonn doesn’t just live in his dream area, he also has his dream job and 2020 marks 40 years in the business, during which he has had long stints presenting GMTV and Sky News and ITV’s This Morning together with his wife Ruth, as well as their own documentary series How the Other Half Lives on Channel 5, where they explore the lifestyles of the super-rich.
It’s a career for which Eamonn was awarded an OBE in 2018.
“I was totally fascinated by television from a very early age,” he says. “It wasn’t just the programmes but I was fascinated by how it works.
“Living in Belfast you couldn’t help but see TV crews about as well as soldiers and rival groups. Whenever I saw a news team filming something I would wait to see it on television later that evening and I was absorbed by the way it all came together.
“My dream was to get into broadcastiing and I did, both radio and television and I always say that I have one of the best jobs on the planet. I go places and meet all sorts of people from the very famous to those whose actions and dedication have made a difference.
“It involves long hours and quite a lot of pressure and travelling so when Ruth and I saw Weybridge we realised we had found a real haven and just had to move here.
“We have been here for a number of years and I cannot see us ever wanting to move. It is not just Weybridge but the whole of Surrey which has some of the most breathtaking scenery you will find anywhere in Britain. We like going to Box Hill where the view is magnificent and really does take your breath away.”
In order to strike a balance between his busy work schedule and spending time in the county he loves, Eamonn has made sure his family home in Weybridge has all the mod cons - including it’s own recording studio.
“What you see in front of the cameras or during a radio broadcast is only part of the story, there is a lot of preparation which is why I have a recording studio – a small one – in the house,” he says.
“I can pre-record some things here, which saves me having to go to London to do the same thing. Don’t get the impression that we are all about work – of course we have bills to pay like everyone else so we have to earn but we do have a social life and as well as the recording facility we also have a home cinema so we make the most of our time off too.”
Eamonn is an advocate of the Dogs Trust and his love of dogs is something regular viewers of This Morning will have witnessed every time he and Ruth are joined by four-legged friends on the show. And it’s another reason the couple love Surrey so much.
“There are some great places to walk the dogs,” he says. “Our dogs are very much part of the family. Maggie is our dog at home and she insists on regular walks. She is a rescue dog and I found her when attending a fundraising event.
“Ruth warned me not to come home with a dog and I didn’t at first but when I saw [Maggie], I knew she was going to become part of our family. I took Ruth and our son Jack with me to meet her and that was it, Maggie just looked into Ruth’s eyes and it was job done.
“Maggie sees me as the most important person in her life and I quite enjoy that, although it does mean that I am expected to walk her.
“She clearly likes Surrey as much as we do because she is always wanting to go and have a look around the neighbourhood and meet and greet people.
“I am so pleased we moved to Weybridge and I cannot imagine moving somewhere else.
“Ruth loves it, I love it, Jack loves it and most importantly our dog loves it – so we are here to stay.”