Top TV personality Eamonn Holmes is set to make a triumphant return to local screens — co-hosting a new prime-time show from Belfast. Holmes will link up with I’d Do Anything star Rachel Tucker for The Friday Night show which kicks off on BBC1 NI October 23.
The one-hour show — a mixture of music, chat and craic — marks BBC Northern Ireland’s return to the Friday night chat and entertainment showformat.
Back in the Nineties, the Beeb in Belfast made a number of top-rated weekend chat oriented series, fronted by Patrick Kielty, Gerry Anderson and John Daly.
Sunday Life understands that a pilot show for the new series, fronted by Eamonn and Rachel, will be made later this week.
There had been speculation that former UTV sofa king, Gerry Kelly, was the man set to make a sensational Friday night chat show comeback — on the BBC.
But, speaking to Sunday Life, genial Gerry, who has been presenting the Gerry Kelly show on BBC Radio Ulster since last April, dismissed the rumours.
“I haven’t spoken to the BBC about television or anything like that.
“I did speak to an independent production company earlier this year. But I didn’t take up their offer.
“I think people speculate that because I have gone to the Beeb, then something is going to happen.
“I am really enjoying the Saturday show. I genuinely enjoy it and I look forward to each Saturday,” he said.
Eamonn, who turns 50 in December, is one of the UK’s most popular telly personalities.
He is due to get hitched to long-time partner Ruth Langsford in 2010.
He fronted GMTV for 13 years and has presented hit TV shows, such as The National Lottery Jet Set and Sudo-Q.
Last summer, he returned to local screens on BBC Northern Ireland’s Tall Ships coverage.
He currently presents Sky News’ Sunrise With Eamonn Holmes and co-hosts ITV’s This Morning programme every Friday, with his fiancee, Ruth.