ITV to axe Eamonn and Ruth Holmes from This Morning

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Ed Power
·3 min read
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Eamonn Holmes and his wife Ruth Langsford with This Morning colleagues Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby - Getty
Eamonn Holmes and his wife Ruth Langsford with This Morning colleagues Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby - Getty

Eamonn Holmes and his wife Ruth Langsford are to be dropped as This Morning presenters in a major shake-up at the morning ITV show. The couple are being replaced after 14 years by Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary in a bid to freshen up the series, according to reports. 

Holmes and Langford, both 60, were said to be “upset” they were being axed from their Friday slot. “Ruth and Eamonn have been part of the show for 14 years and being told they are no longer wanted has been very sad and disappointing for them,” a This Morning source was reported as telling the Mail on Sunday

“They love it and the viewers love them but times are changing on the show and they have been the victims.” 

Holmes is reported to have been increasingly anxious about his future on This Morning, telling friends he was too “pale, male and stale” for morning television. 

Hammond (45) - who will be the show's first permanent black presenter - and O’Leary (47) are understood to have impressed This Morning editor Martin Frizell when standing in for main hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby over the summer. Frizell is also reported to have told staff that he wanted to hire presenters from more diverse backgrounds. Ratings for This Morning have soared through the pandemic, rising to a record 1.2 million in September. 

But as recently as last week Langsford appeared unaware that she and her husband were at imminent risk of the chop. 

“There's always talk, I don't know. Not that anybody's told me. I think I am very good at what I do, and as long as they want me I'll be there,” she told New! magazine. 

“I’ve been doing it a very long time and it seems we've been very popular, so I presume all those things will be taken into consideration.” 

Dermot O'Leary and Alison Hammond interviewing Rick Astley on This Morning earlier this year - ITV
Dermot O'Leary and Alison Hammond interviewing Rick Astley on This Morning earlier this year - ITV

Holmes and Langsford are said to have been blindsided and infuriated by the decision. “Eamonn is pretty furious and everyone feels for him and Ruth, they are well liked on the team, but sometimes tough decisions have to be made,” an insider on the production told the Mirror

But ITV seems confident this is the right time to replace the pair and that Hammond and O’Leary will make for a compelling double act. 

“They have real warmth. It's time for change and they are perfect.”

There is a faint ray of hope for Holmes and Langsford, however, with the Sun reporting they may be kept on as holiday cover

“No one wants to see them go,” said someone with knowledge of the situation. “The shows execs have some very tricky decisions….One possibility is to keep the couple on as regular holiday cover but lose their regular Friday slot.”