Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes OBE have been together for 21 years and they’re very open about the fact that they bicker like any couple. But it’s also clear that they’re more in love than ever.
In our exclusive interview – to coincide with the lifestyle event This Morning: Live – Ruth and Eamonn, both 58, talk huffs, hoarding and why home is where the heart is…
How do you spend time off?
Ruth: Pottering. I’d happily spend most of Sunday in the kitchen. I cook for the freezer – Bolognese, shepherd’s pie, curry. I’m a bit of a home bird.
Is that because you lived in five countries before you were 10?
Ruth: Yes, being an army family, we were shipped out every five minutes. So I’ve a big nesting instinct. I also have a ‘wherever I lay my hat, that’s my home’ mentality. I’m not very sentimental. I don’t hoard. Eamonn’s a hoarder. He’s very sentimental.
Eamonn: Ruth’s a nomad, she’s no roots. I’ve huge sentimentality towards shows and toys from when I was a kid. Like Star Trek. If I’d been better organised, I would have stored more things.
Ruth: More rubbish to dust! When we were moving, I cleared out what I thought were old Man United magazines. They were programmes! Apparently, you keep every programme when you go to a match. They went on a skip. Eamonn came home and was, ‘Aaah!’ He had to get them back out.
What are you most likely
to row about?
Ruth: We’ve a very equal relationship. You fall into certain jobs, but not because I’m a woman and he’s a man. I cook because I like cooking and Eamonn’s not that interested. I renege responsibility for cars. I assume Eamonn’s done insurance, petrol, tyres. If he hasn’t, it’s a shock. It’s not I can’t do it. I’m perfectly capable. I don’t like doing it. I feel a complete equal with Eamonn, as he does with me.
Eamonn: Yes, but why pick a disagreement when there is no disagreement? The best part of being married to Ruth is making up with her – and you always have a reason to make up because she’s always got an argument on the boil.
Ruth: Most rows are trivial. He left the orange juice out. I came in and said: ‘Why is this out?’ It turns into a row. Big stuff we don’t argue about.
Eamonn: You basically like to be in control of everything – and so do I.
Ruth: Thereby lies the crux of the problem.
Eamonn: I don’t like the idea we’re annoyed with each other, though. If you asked what I love about Ruth, the list would be too long.
Ruth: Ditto, darling.
Eamonn: The way she looks, the way she looks after our son, Jack, and me, how she’s grown in confidence – I find that a real turn-on.
Ruth: Some of it comes from age, a lot from being in a very happy relationship – that automatically gives you confidence because we’ve got each other’s backs. Eamonn’s always saying, ‘You can do that. You’re brilliant.’ We bicker, but if the chips are down, there’s nobody I’d want more in my corner.
You’ve been together for 21 years. What’s the secret?
Eamonn: You’ve got to say to yourself, ‘Would I ever find anybody better than this?’ The answer is no.
Ruth: (Laughs) Make time to do things together. We’ve just had four days in Tenerife, just the two of us. You think, ‘We need to do this more often.’ Not because we’ve problems in our marriage, just because you need that time, otherwise why be in the relationship? Dad said to me at 19: ‘Never let anybody tell you you don’t have to work at marriage.’ I remember thinking, ‘That’s a bit boring. It’s about love.’ It’s about effort. For us, it’s simple pleasures: a night at the cinema or Grace and Frankie binge-watching.
You’re about to meet viewers at This Morning: Live. Do they often say the show’s changed their life?
Ruth: All the time. We’ll have someone saying, ‘I was watching and Dr Chris was talking about if your tongue is red on a regular basis, you could have this. I found out I had second stage cancer, but they caught it in time. I owe this man my life.’ What an amazing feeling that must be for Dr Chris.
Eamonn: And it’s amazing to meet people who are supporters. At This Morning: Live we’re doing what we do on the show: fashion, beauty, cookery, health. We’re in people’s living rooms every day. This time there’s no screen between us.
✱ Ruth and Eamonn are at This Morning: Live at the NEC Birmingham, which takes place 17-20 May. For more info, visit thismorninglive.co.uk