Belfast Telegraph

Eamonn Holmes introduces television world to mum Josie - 'He's still my wee boy'

By Sarah Tulloch

Eamonn Holmes revealed that he is at his happiest when he is home in Belfast as he starred in UTV’s latest episode of Back Home.

"Definitely, I am at my happiest when I am home. I am a Belfast man. Belfast is a city but it's a village really. Everybody knows everybody, and everybody is close to everybody else," said the This Morning presenter.

His mum Josie gave a rare interview about her famous son, revealing she treats him the same as her other children.

"I never even thought about him being a star but he's still my wee boy. He's no different from the rest," she told Back Home presenter, Malachi Cush.

Asked if he is the same Eamonn as she reared, she replied laughing: "He definitely is or he knows what will happen."

During the show, Eamonn brought Malachi to the cemetery where his dad Leonard is buried. He died suddenly from a heart attack aged 65 in 1991.

Standing beside the grave where he says he will be buried too one day, the veteran broadcaster recalled: "He chose the plot that he has and this is a family plot and that's where I will be laid to rest eventually as well.

"He was known as Leonard the carpet man. He had his carpet van, the 'magic carpet'. People will always say to me 'Your dad did our carpet' and as long as their carpet is on the floor Leonard will not be dead, he will not be gone.”

Eamonn and Malachi also visited the New Lodge where Eamonn grew up, St Malachy's College where he went to school and the old UTV headquarters where he began his broadcasting career.

Sitting in the chapel at his secondary school, Malachi asked the 58-year-old TV and radio host if he still believes in his Catholicism and life after death.

"I see my mother now and she is 90 and my mother is only genuinely looking forward to one thing and that is being reunited with everybody who she has known who has gone and left this world.

"That is genuine comfort for her, and if people get comfort out of something like that, that is a very good thing. It's better than the alternative, to have no hope, to have nothing to look forward to.

"I think I am too young to think about it at the minute."

Speaking in Belfast, Eamonn told Malachi that Northern Ireland will always be home to him.

"As soon as the TV work dries up in England this is exactly where I will be. Well, either here or somewhere sunny like the Algarve."

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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