WITH her beaming smile and love of chat, it’s no surprise that Ruth Langsford has become one of our most-loved daytime TV presenters.
Together with her on and off-screen hubby Eamonn Holmes, 60, she’s been brightening up the days of millions of viewers during her regular Friday slot on This Morning since 2006.
Ruth Langsford talks about turning 60 and her life with EamonnCredit: Nicky Johnston
Then there’s her 21-year tenure on the Loose Women panel, plus a host of
other shows including Channel 5’s Eamonn And Ruth: How The Other Half Lives.
She’s successful in her own right, but Ruth is happy to credit her 23-year relationship with Eamonn for a lot of what she’s achieved and the connection she’s developed with the people watching at home.
“Viewers are very astute. If you were faking something, they’d be able to see it. People who know us know that we are the same in real life.
“Obviously we hold some things back, but we discuss a lot about our lives on air and we ask people to do the same on phone-ins. We’ve been doing it for so many years, so they trust us.”
Yet their position on This Morning was recently threatened when ITV bosses announced they were looking at a major diversity shake-up due to the show’s predominantly white line-up.
As we sit down to talk about her new fashion line with QVC, we find out what makes her marriage to Eamonn tick and why Ruth isn’t panicking about losing her job just yet…
We saw you recently waved off your son Jack to university. How are you feeling?
It’s so strange. I remember people saying to me: “Make the most of it, it will go in the blink of an eye” and it’s true. Where have those 18 years gone? I wasn’t looking forward to it, but I am really excited for him.
I’m concerned, watching universities go into lockdown, but I do think that students are resilient and I try to think if Jack is locked down on campus, he has a nice room, a TV and a phone and he wouldn’t starve. I also like to think this is a new chapter in mine and Eamonn’s life.
Ruth recently waved off son Jack to university and thinks it’s a new chapter in hers and Eamonn’s lifeCredit: Getty Images
You’ve been together for over 23 years now. What’s the secret to making it last?
I don’t have the secret to a happy marriage. If I did I would write a book and make a fortune! I definitely feel that Eamonn and I had chemistry from the moment we met – and we still have it.
Even when he’s annoying me or when we’ve been really grumpy, he’ll say something that’ll make me laugh. There are times when I dislike him, but I love him. I’d like to think that he feels the same.
With reports of a diversity shake-up at ITV, are you worried about your future on the show?
Not really. I don’t think about it. I just get on with it and do my job. I’m not in control of those things and I am a firm believer in not worrying about things you can’t control.
If there are discussions happening in management, I’m not part of those. So until somebody says otherwise, I will do my job and love it, like I have done for 17 years.
Ruth and Eamonn have been married for 23 yearsCredit: ITV
How have you found lockdown?
I’ve really missed my mum Joan, who is 88. She is in an assisted-living care home round the corner and I’m allowed one visit a week, which is socially distanced. We speak on the phone every day, but she hasn’t been out since March.
She’s of that generation where she’s really stoic, and it’s just what we have to do. But I’m lucky I still have my mum and she is well.
You sadly lost your sister Julia to suicide at the age of 62 last year. How have you coped?
I just deal with it every day. There are days where I try not to think about it too much. Then there are days where I indulge in my grief, which I think is important.
You need a good cry and I do that in the shower. I’ve also become good at saying to myself: “You can’t do this today because you’ve got to go to work”.
Ruth lost her sister Julia to suicide last yearCredit: Instagram/Ruth Langsford
I can’t talk about it too much, but I appreciate you asking because it is part of my life. If I get upset, Eamonn and Jack are there for me, and I have to be strong for my mum.
I hope going forward, I am able to help other people if it happens to them.
How did you find turning 60 in March?
I’m fine about turning 60, but Eamonn and I were planning to go away and to do a party and we couldn’t do anything like that.
All my plans were cancelled because of lockdown, so for now I’m 59 until I can have my party for turning 60!
Have you ever worried about getting older?
I have never worried about it, but it takes me by surprise slightly. I always remember my mum saying all these things like: “In my head I don’t feel 60,” but now me and my friends are like: “We can’t be 60!”
When we get together we laugh about what we did in maths class in 1976. In my head I still think I look a certain way, like I’m tall and lean. Then I’ll catch myself on screen.
But there also has to be an element of acceptance – you’re never going to be a size 10 again because you’re 60, and I don’t mind that. When I’m with friends who are not on TV, we all look the same.
We have all got crow’s feet and have thickened around the waist, so we moan about it and then we get on with our lives.
Ruth says she has never worried about getting olderCredit: Nicky Johnston
You’ve just released your latest clothes range with QVC. How involved are you in the making of it?
I’m very hands-on, which is one of the reasons I think it’s done well. I’m involved in the first initial idea that I want, right through to presenting it on air. And my biggest success story has been the denim jacket.
I have always loved denim jackets and had them in my wardrobe, but then when I was in my late 40s I realised that it had disappeared from shops.
So when I started at QVC, I knew I wanted to do jeans and a denim jacket that looked good and was comfortable.
How has your confidence grown over the years?
That comes with age and experience. In my career, I am much more relaxed and confident than when I started, when I was aiming to please. I’ve learnt my trade and craft over the years and I’m in a very happy relationship – that gives you confidence.
Eamonn is very supportive and understanding about changes in menopause. When I say: “OMG, I’m fat!” he says: “No you’re not, you’re still gorgeous.” That’s lovely.
- The Ruth Langsford Fashion A/W ’20 collection is available now at Qvcuk.com
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