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Eamonn Holmes and eldest son Declan share their special family relationships

By Karen Ireland

Published 25/11/2015

Ale fellows: Eamonn Holmes with son Declan
Ale fellows: Eamonn Holmes with son Declan

Eamonn Holmes is Northern Ireland's best-known presenter on national TV. His eldest son Declan is MD of Nightcap Beer Company.

Name: Eamonn Holmes

Age: 55

Occupation: Television

presenter Relationship to Declan: Father

I have been in the television industry for 35 years now, starting at UTV presenting sport and news. Since then, I have worked for different stations and networks.

At the moment I present Sky's Sunrise programme four mornings a week and then This Morning on a Friday with my lovely wife Ruth Langsford. We are also presenting a Channel Five programme called How the Other Half Lives, which was great fun to do.

I still love what I do as much as I did when I started out - maybe even more. And I feel very privileged to do something I love for a living.

I have just been nominated for a National Television Award for Best News Anchor and Sunrise has also been nominated for best programme, which is fantastic news.

Last week on This Morning, I got to meet my hero Elvis's wife Priscilla and to look and touch some of his memorabilia which was amazing. I never take things like that for granted. It still blows me away and I feel very blessed to do what I do.

Outside of work I have four children, Declan (26), Rebecca (24), Niall (22) and Jack (13) and they are my priority. I am very proud of all of them and love them all equally. Declan and I have always been close and had a special bond as he was my first born. We share a love of football and have always spent a lot of time going to Manchester United matches together.

When he studied Film Studies at university, I always assumed he would go into the media. He has an encyclopaedic memory for sport, so I thought he would become a sports reporter.

But I will never forget him coming to me one day and saying: "Dad I can't do this. I will never be able to do this as I will always be compared to you."

For him that was the end of it, but it was very poignant and sad for me and I still get emotional thinking about it now.

Since then, he has carved out a career for himself in the hospitality industry.

He kept moving to different bars and restaurants but never appeared to be earning more money. I thought this was wrong and suggested that he should think about working for himself.

Afterwards he came up with the idea for the Beer Company.

I gave it my 100% backing as I believe in him and Declan has great social skills despite being quite shy."

Name: Declan Holmes

Age: 26

Occupation: MD of Nightcap Beer Company

Relationship to Eamonn: Son

Growing up, I thought I wanted to work in the media. I have always loved movies and I decided to take Film Studies at Queen's University, Belfast.

After university I started working in bars part-time to earn some money and discovered that I loved working in the hospitality industry. Eventually I took on a full-time job.

I enjoy all aspects of the trade, from working with the public, to researching and ordering different drinks. I love discovering how drinks are made, what is popular and why.

So I decided to go into business and open up a beer production company. It's called Nightcap Beer and the brand is called Gallopers, after an old Belfast folklore story that my granny used to tell to my dad and his brothers - it was about a headless rider who used to gallop about the streets of Belfast. I loved that story and thought it fitted perfectly.

It's a bit of a family affair, as my dad is involved and my brother Niall also works for me part-time.

Growing up, I always had a very close relationship with my dad. Even though he was really busy and working in England he always made the time to come home and see us.

Getting back to Belfast was always really important to dad. Then, as we got older, we were able to go over to London for the weekend to see him.

Dad and I are both avid Manchester United supporters - I was born there, so it's a natural fit.

I was very fortunate growing up as because of dad's work I was able to meet a lot of my childhood heroes such as David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Sir Alex Ferguson.

When I was younger I just got used to seeing dad on TV - that was just his job.

He is quick-witted and has a great Northern Ireland sense of humour.

I am excited about going into business with him. If I can achieve half of the success he has, I will be doing alright."

A familiar face on TV for 35 years

  • Eamonn Holmes's career spans 35 years and he is the longest-serving breakfast television anchorman in Britain
  • Outside of his early starts on Sky, Eamonn is a familiar face on ITV where he co-hosts This Morning alongside his wife Ruth Langsford on Fridays and during the school holidays

Belfast Telegraph

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