Ruth Langsford is one of the nation’s favourite TV presenters, fronting shows including This Morning and Loose Women.
But although she loves her career, Ruth admits she appreciated being able to spend some rare time at home over the past year of lockdowns.
“A lot of people who work said, ‘This is great. I’m going to watch Netflix and chill.’ And I said, ‘I’m going to get a skip and clear out the shed,’” she says.
While she often works alongside husband Eamonn Holmes, 61, Ruth says she’s able to separate their professional relationship “very easily”.
The couple, who have been together for 24 years and married for 11, stepped down from their This Morning presenting duties earlier this year, with Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary taking over as hosts on Fridays.
But Ruth admits they are looking forward to returning to the sofa over the summer.
Catching up with Ruth, 61, over afternoon tea at London’s Corinthia Hotel in aid of Breast Cancer Now, she discusses the secret to a happy marriage and why she loves being a Loose Woman…
Hi Ruth! How’s the past year been for you?
I think we were lucky that we were able to continue working. We were doing a lot less because Loose Women stopped for a while, but I was still doing This Morning.
I didn’t have a lot of work on and I enjoyed the time because I’m so rarely at home. I don’t think I washed my hair for a week while clearing out the shed!
I literally got up in the morning, put my hair into a scrunchie, shoved on my leggings and off I went.
I found great pleasure in doing that. But I did really miss my mum. She’s in an assisted-living home that is five minutes around the corner, but I couldn’t see her. I’ve only just been allowed to bring her to my house.
That must have been incredibly difficult for you both…
It was awful. I phoned her every day, but it’s not the same. It was very good talking to her though and very grounding. She was a little girl during the war, so she talks a lot about that.
Whenever I said something like, “There was a huge queue at the supermarket today – it took me two hours to do the shopping,”
she said, “Well, you’re lucky to have food. We had rations.”
So actually, each time, I thought, “You’re absolutely right. We’re really OK.”
A lot of viewers are missing you and Eamonn on This Morning. Are you pleased to be returning later this summer?
Yes. We’ll be doing seven weeks from July. I’m looking forward to it.
Have you spoken to Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary since they took over the Friday slot?
Yeah, I speak to Alison all the time. She’s a friend of mine.
How do you and Eamonn separate your working relationship from your marriage?
I leave my job at the door because it’s just my job. I love it, but it’s not my life. I don’t discuss work at home.
Have you and Eamonn had disagreements before going live?
Oh, always! People who work with us know that.
There are lots of presenting couples who aren’t couples – Phillip and Holly, Dermot and Alison. They don’t go home together and argue about who has put the milk away or who hasn’t.
It’s a completely different dynamic, but I think it’s a dynamic that people relate to because they’ve got relationships themselves. But despite what people say, we don’t argue.
What do you think is the secret to a happy marriage?
I would say respect for each other. And laughter. We have a lot of fun, Eamonn and I.
Eamonn was struggling with chronic pain after suffering a dislocated pelvis and three slipped discs. How is he doing?
He’s OK. It’s a slow process. He’s just carrying on with his physio and putting the work into that. It’s very difficult when someone is in pain because it’s hard to help them.
As a Loose Woman, what’s your favourite thing about doing the show?
I love that it’s all women because I’m very much a girls’ girl. I love the difference of opinions and the difference of age groups.
Image:Spun Gold TV)
Do you ever worry about what you say on camera?
The danger is sometimes you forget you’re on TV. Sometimes you kind of think, “Did I take that a step too far?” You do share an awful lot, but they’re very supportive.
We’re at the Afternoon Tea Party in aid of Breast Cancer Now. Why is the event important to you?
Breast cancer has touched so many people’s lives. If not directly, then indirectly.
I think it’s something that always needs awareness. Also, to remind us all to check our breasts.
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I’m not the best at that because I get a bit complacent and then I might read about somebody with cancer or have friends whose lives have been sadly touched by cancer and I think, “I really must check myself.”
It’s not a difficult thing to do and it could save your life.
* Ruth Langsford's Fashion range is available at qvcuk.com. You can follow Ruth on Instagram on @ruthlangsford