Eamonn Holmes says Ruth Langsford felt guilty after sister's death

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28:  Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford attend the National Television Awards 2020 at The O2 Arena on January 28, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford have both been grieving the loss of her sister Julia, who took her own life in 2019. (Getty Images)

Eamonn Holmes has told how wife Ruth Langsford felt guilty after the death of her sister.

Langford’s sister Julia Johnson died by suicide aged 62 in June 2019, after battling depression for many years.

This Morning host Holmes, 60, told The Daily Star: “It’s just the unanswered questions. I mean, I experienced the sudden death of my father and there are a lot of loose ends – things where you ­wonder, what were your last words? What way did you last deal with that person?

“Sudden death is a very, very ­difficult thing to deal with, and with Julia you know, she was just the most lovely, gentile, kind person. I often used to joke to her and Ruth that I got the wrong sister, but she was a lovely, lovely person – tortured by mental depression.

Read more: Ruth Langsford walks off 'This Morning' set during mental health phone-in

“Ruth was very caring, very loving to her and I think there can often be a guilt when you think, ‘Should I have been there? Where was I?’.”

 LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 25, 2019: Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford attend the White Christmas Musical press night at the Dominion Theatre. (Photo by Phil Lewis / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Husband and wife TV presenting team Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford live and work together. (PA)

The TV presenter added: “You can’t press the rewind ­button and what I would honestly say is that we were always very supportive.

“We were a loving family, Ruth could not have done more for her sister, and I think you know, it takes a lot of getting over that, a lot of getting over.”

Langsford, 60, recently revealed she considered quitting the public eye after her sister’s death, but Holmes persuaded her to return to TV.

She revealed: “Eamonn pointed out that he was, in effect, losing not one, but two of the most precious people in his life – Julia and me. He showed me how I had so much to live for in Julia's memory – and beyond.

Eamonn Holmes, with his wife Ruth Langsford, as he wears his OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) after it was awarded to him by Queen Elizabeth II for services to broadcasting during an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in central London.
Eamonn Holmes persuaded wife Ruth Langsford to return to the public eye after the death of her sister. (PA)

“He pleaded with me not to let it win, by ruining everything I had achieved – and still had to celebrate.”

Read more: Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford celebrate 10th wedding anniversary

Announcing her sister’s death on Twitter last year, Langsford said: “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.”

Langsford spoke publicly about her sister’s death for the first time on This Morning in February this year, during a discussion about suicide.

She told psychologist Emma Kenny: “This happened in my family. I remember my shock at that. It's the questions it leaves the families - 'I should have gone round. I should have phoned. I was going to go round. I was going to phone. Maybe I should have stayed longer.”

“You are left with the 'what ifs'.”

For confidential emotional support at times of distress, contact The Samaritans at any time by calling 116 123 or emailing jo@samaritans.org.