An emotional Eamonn was unable to finish reading out a tribute to his sister-in-law as he and Rylan opened the show.
“Let me just explain why it is Rylan and myself today,” the presenter began. “You may already be aware of the terrible bereavement Ruth has had yesterday on her social media.
“She made this post to inform everyone and she said, ’My lovely sis Julia has died after a long illness. My heart is completely broken. She was the kindest and most gentle soul...’”
As Eamonn struggled to contain his emotions, Rylan then took over reading out Ruth’s tribute, saying: ”‘And I’ll miss her forever as I am sure you will appreciate I need to take him to grieve. Thank you for your understanding.’”
My lovely Sis Julia has sadly died after a very long illness. My heart is completely broken. She was the kindest and most gentle soul and I will miss her forever. As I am sure you will appreciate I need to take time to grieve with my family. Thank you for your understanding. pic.twitter.com/o6jMtIqMg4— Ruth Langsford (@RuthieeL) June 20, 2019
Eamonn admitted he was grateful to Rylan for stepping in for Ruth, and revealed the former X Factor contestant was the first person he called when he heard Julia had passed away.
He said: “No one understands more than our friend and our colleague Rylan, who has been a great comfort to Ruth and a great help by stepping in today for her.”
Rylan said: “We know Ruth is watching and we are sending you all our love, and we love you dearly. And Ruth is going to need time to deal with this.
“And so are you, for that matter. But I couldn’t not be here.“
Ruth told her social media followers on Thursday that her sister had died following a long illness at the age of 62.
An ITV spokesperson later said: “Our thoughts and condolences are with Ruth and her family at this incredibly sad time.
“As Ruth has said she is taking time to grieve and she has our full support.”
This Morning airs weekdays at 10.30am on ITV.