King of breakfast TV Eamonn Holmes compared job to 'the stuff of boyhood dreams'


Following an eventful 11 years that has involved flooding, apologies and a fog-forced delay, Eamonn Holmes will step down as anchor of the Sky News' Sunrise breakfast programme on Thursday.

The 56-year-old from Belfast made his name at ITV where he presented GMTV for 12 years and was dubbed the king of breakfast television before making the switch to Sky in 2005.

For more than a decade Holmes anchored the flagship breakfast programme as well as juggling gameshow roles, regularly hosting the National Lottery and a weekly Friday morning slot on ITV's This Morning with wife Ruth Langsford.

Eamonn Holmes
Eamonn and his wife Ruth (Ian West/PA)

In fact, managing several jobs sometimes took its toll. In 2010 the avid Manchester United fan got stuck in traffic as he rushed from Sky to ITV forcing Richard Madeley - who was set to appear as a guest - to turn back the clock and fill in alongside Ruth until Eamonn arrived.

And the presenter missed Sunrise completely last year after becoming stranded by fog which grounded his London-bound flight.

Earlier in 2015 the weather interrupted Eamonn more directly after a flood hit the Sky News studio. The seasoned interviewer and his Sunrise colleagues were forced to switch sets after a plumbing issue in the newsroom.

Eamonn Holmes
Eamonn Holmes pictured in Sky's studios in 2005 (Yui Mok/PA)

His approach was described as "very much 'be yourself'" by former co-host Charlotte Hawkins, who credited Eamonn with developing her career before she made the move to Good Morning Britain two years ago.

However, it has not all been plain sailing for Eamonn. Earlier this year he had to apologise after being accused of comparing an attack on the Manchester United team bus by West Ham supporters to the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, which led to deaths of 96 Liverpool fans.

The Northern Irishman signed a five-year contract at Sky in 2013 but announced his intention to leave last month via a post on his Facebook page. He called anchoring his own breakfast show "the stuff of boyhood dreams" but said that it is time for him to step down due to "having so much to do but little time to do it"