Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Sky's Eamonn Holmes and wife Ruth Langsford tell of cancer and Alzheimer’s family heartache

Eamonn Holmes and wife Ruth Langsford

TV presenter Ruth Langsford has spoken about the double heartache she and husband Eamonn Holmes have been suffering — both have a parent with a life-threatening illness.

The hard-working couple, who often present ITV’s This Morning together, have been dealing with the emotional stress of Eamonn's 82-year-old mum Josie’s battle with a tumour.

And with Ruth’s dad Dennis suffering from Alzheimer’s she shares Eamonn’s pain — and admitted 2010 was a year of ups and downs.

Sky News presenter Eamonn and Ruth finally wed last summer after 13 years together, but their fears for their parents’ health has been a worry.

Eamonn’s mum is now recovering in Belfast after the op to remove her tumour, but the experience has undoubtedly shaken the couple.

Ruth explained: “At the moment she is fine and doing well but I don't know — I'd rather not go down that road as anything could happen.”

And Eamonn himself is just feeling thankful they removed the tumour in time.

“We had a bad scare with Mum so it's really special to have her here,” he said.

Ruth said she and Eamonn can both take each other for granted sometime but it's in times of trouble such as this that she feels so much closer to her husband. She said: “When I could see he was tired and worried about his mum, I lit the fire, ran him a bath, made a nice dinner and got us a good movie to watch together.”

Ruth herself has also being bearing her own heartache over her elderly parents as her dad Dennis has been battling Alzheimer's for the past 14 years.

She said: “We're now at that age where our parents aren't as healthy as they used to be. It's a switch of roles. They become the priority.

“You have children but then you have to look after your parents or want to spend more time with them.”

Ruth used to make a regular 500-mile round trip down to see her dad in a nursing home in Cornwall until last year, when she decided she wanted her parents nearby and for her mum Joan to have all her family around her.

She explained: “I used to go as often as I could but it was a terrible struggle. I’ve got a young child in school and it's a long way to Cornwall.

“I am a working mum and that is a big juggling act and, of course, you feel guilty about that.”

Ruth took action and now has her parents close to her Surrey home that she shares with Eamonn and their eight-year-old son Jack.

She added: “We moved my dad here first because we knew it had to be that way round. Firstly to find a good care home but secondly to find one for people with Alzheimer's because it's a very specialist care that they need.

“Once we done that we managed to sell my mum's house and found her a place close to us. It's lovely for her now because she was separated from my dad for about a year.” Even with the help of her sister the move was quite an upheaval and, wedding aside, 2010 was a tough year, but Ruth said she knew it would all be worth it.

She revealed: “These things are a struggle but it's so important to us. It's nice we're all back together again. Mum's such great company and we just want to spend more time with her and we're close by if she needs help.”

Meanwhile, Ruth has said she hopes she can land a regular slot on This Morning covering for Holly Willoughby, who will soon be taking maternity leave as her baby is due in March.

She said: “I would like to think so because I often fill in with Philip when Holly's not there. But who knows?”

And Ruth also revealed how she and Eamonn keep the sparkle in their relationship — they keep the romance alive by having regular “date nights”.

She revealed: “He can see when I'm running myself down and need my batteries recharged.

“Eamonn can actually came up with the idea of ‘date night’ and it sounds corny, but unless you schedule in quality ‘we-time’ to just snuggle up, you forget why you fell in love in the first place.

“It's ridiculous but it is important for us to find time to have a proper catch-up. I know we are much closer when we do and less scratchy with each other. You have to invest in your relationship.”

Source Sunday Life