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A charmer with common touch... no wonder he's in high demand

By Frances Burscough

Published 11/09/2015

Say what you like about our wee country, but you cannot fault us for the calibre of our celebrities.

Actors, comedians, rock stars, sports stars - we've produced them in their droves - but there is one area in which we excel like nowhere else and that is, of course, the chatty presenter.

Be it radio or television, the Belfast brigade beats regional rivals hands down every time.

But the king of the comfy chair is without doubt our beloved Eamonn Holmes, who seems to have been around forever but keeps going from strength to strength.

As well as working for Sky, ITV and the BBC, he has yet another lucrative new contract under his belt, this time from Channel 5.

So what is it that makes our Eamonn so irresistible to the telly-viewing public? To answer that, it's a good idea to look at the other Northern Irish presenters - of which there are many - who have made it big on the small screen and to consider what they all have in common.

When you think about Stephen Nolan, Zoe Salmon, Colin Murray, Gloria Hunniford, the late Gerry Anderson, Patrick Kielty and Christine Bleakley, that common denominator becomes clear. It's all about the craic, isn't it?

Every one of them is known for their quick wit and a warm friendliness that makes live guests feel relaxed enough in their company to open up and spill the beans.

Combine that with a down-to-earth common touch that they all exhibit and there's your recipe for success.

Eamonn has been around longer than most of them and he really has it down to a fine art.

With his cheeky grin and disarming charm, he could probably get blood out of a stone. In his latest job Eamonn steps into the territory of the legendary Alan Whicker, interviewing the mega rich and famous for a new six-part documentary entitled How The Other Half Live.

What will be most interesting for me will be to see whether Eamonn can maintain his famous common touch even when he's interviewing a gaggle of gazillionaires.

Meanwhile, the irony of it all is that Eamonn himself is making so much money in the light entertainment business that he's possibly on par with a lot of them, so the lifestyle he'll be observing with that wry smile may not be so dissimilar to his own.

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