Eamonn Holmes was left fighting back tears as he hosted This Morning without a grieving Ruth Langsford on Friday.
Ruth was absent from the ITV daytime show following
the death of her older sister Julia Johnson, leaving Eamonn to explain to viewers why he was appearing with stand-in Rylan Clark-Neal.
An emotional Eamonn was unable to finish reading out a tribute to his sister-in-law as he and Rylan opened the show.
Eamonn Holmes was comforted by Rylan Clark-Neal on This Morning (Photo: ITV)
“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.’”
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 usually hosts This Morning with Eamonn on Fridays (Photo: Rex/Shutterstock/ITV/Ken McKay)
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. Love HuffPost? Become a founding member of HuffPost Plus today.
'This Morning': 45 Most Memorable Moments As The Show Celebrates 30th Birthday Eamonn Holmes Left Feeling 'Very Vulnerable' After Being Conned Out Of £60K Ruth Langsford ‘Heartbroken’ After Death Of Her Sister, Julia Johnson OCTOBER Peter “Ginger” Baker (1939-2019) The drummer was known for forming Cream with Eric Clapton in 1966, before going on to perform as part of Blind Faith and Ginger Baker’s Air Force. OCTOBER Anna Quayle (1932-2019) The actress was known for starring as Mrs Monroe on BBC kids series Grange Hill, a role she played in 85 episodes from 1990 until 1994. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang fans will also remember as Baroness Bomburst in the 1968 family film. OCTOBER Peter Sissons (1942-2019) The journalist's broadcasting career spanned more than 40 years and he appeared as a newsreader on ITN and the BBC. SEPTEMBER David Garrison (1960-2019) The actor played Tommy from the infamous Cobra Kai gang in the original 1984 Karate Kid film. 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