Eamonn Holmes admitted he “didn’t sleep a wink” before his GB News debut, as he signed off from his first breakfast show on the channel.
The TV presenter and journalist, 62, joined co-host Isabel Webster for the first episode of the channel’s new Breakfast With Eamonn And Isabel programme on Monday.
The show, which began at 6am, featured interviews with guests including Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi, who congratulated the pair on their inaugural programme.
Holmes led segments about his native Northern Ireland, post-Brexit trade and the use of fireworks during the festive period.
Addressing his return to early starts, he told viewers: “We are coming to the end of our first day – and hopefully not our last day of the GB News breakfast show. A new look.”
Closing the programme, he quipped: “I need to make a long-term plan about how to get up in the morning. I didn’t sleep a wink last night.
“My kids brought me a fancy alarm clock that went off and then I couldn’t turn it off.”
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Holmes, from Belfast, is the latest signing to the fledgling channel.
He joins on-air talent including former Sky anchor Colin Brazier, ex-ITV News stalwart Alastair Stewart, former BBC journalist Simon McCoy and one-time Labour MP Gloria De Piero.
Speaking to the audience at the start of the show, he said: “I’m having some lovely messages from people all around the country who are looking forward to whatever we’re going to do differently. Hopefully we are going to do lots of things differently.
“We’re going to do news, but we’re going to do news with views. We’re going to do your news, because if it is important to you, it is important to us.”
It was announced in November that Holmes was leaving ITV after 15 years hosting This Morning alongside his wife Ruth Langsford.
He said at the time: “I’ve spent my career on broadcasting firsts and start-ups and GB News is one of the most exciting yet. It’s just the kind of shake-up the industry needs.
“I’ve admired GB News from the beginning for its clever mix of punchy debate but delivered with warmth and even some fun.
“To me the greatest honour in journalism is to give a voice and respect to the unheard, and that’s exactly what GB News is all about.”
Before This Morning, Holmes presented GMTV and has also worked across radio, with slots on stations including Radio 5 Live, Magic, BBC Radio 2 and talkRadio.
His wife and on-screen presenting partner will continue to work with ITV as an anchor on Loose Women and a member of the This Morning team.
Breakfast With Eamonn And Isabel airs on weekdays from 6am to 9.30am.